Judge Raquel Agnello KC, Deputy Insolvency and Companies Court

“I qualified as a barrister in 1986 and went on to specialise in insolvency and corporate litigation. I love the diversity and the challenges that my practice provides and have been extremely happy with my career choice.

I was approached by a full-time Judge who encouraged me to apply to join the judiciary. He suggested that whether or not I had any judicial ambitions, being a part-time judge would give me real understanding of life ‘on the other side’ whilst making me a better barrister.

I decided to apply and was appointed in 2001. Since my appointment, the full-time judges have always been extremely supportive. They are a small group and are very approachable with their doors ‘always being open’. If I ever have any question about how to approach a case, a legal issue, or any practice issues, I know I can contact them to seek guidance. The accessibility and genuine friendliness of the full-time judges in my area is what makes part-time sitting a real joy. Also, the court staff are amazing!

The role of a part-time ICC Judge has expanded further since I was appointed. There are longer contested hearings, complex applications and urgent work. It is varied, although insolvency-based or corporate work. The interim applications list requires you to be ready for anything and I like this versatility of hearing a case, analysing the issues, making a decision and providing the rationale. Sometimes, when an urgent decision is required you have to remain completely focused to decide the case. Writing judgments can take quite a long time so you need to be disciplined and prepared to just methodically work through them.

I enjoy the variety of the work and the challenge of judging, hearing a case, and making up your mind, which is different from my practice. I also really enjoy constantly learning something new! It is important to never stop learning.”

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