CPS path to the judiciary

22 January 2018

Following open competitions run by the Judicial Appointments Commission for Circuit judges and salaried First-tier Tribunal judges in 2017, 5 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers have been appointed as full-time judges:

  • Mark Angus: salaried judge of First-tier Tribunal
  • John Bristow: salaried judge of First-tier Tribunal
  • Hina Rai: salaried judge of First-tier Tribunal
  • Graham Reeds: Circuit judge
  • Charlotte Welsh: salaried judge of First-tier Tribunal

These exercises were open to practitioners with or without previous judicial experience. Graham Reeds is the first lawyer appointed as a Circuit judge directly from the CPS. Lawyers in the CPS are eligible to apply for judicial appointment.

Read their stories

Mark Angus

Mark Angus is the first lawyer in his family. He grew up just outside Manchester and attended the local primary school. After attending a local comprehensive school, Mark applied for an administrative job at the CPS working in Manchester on administrative duties. After 3 years at the CPS he moved to a private solicitors practice. With the support of his employer, Tuckers Solicitors, Mark studied for a law degree at night school. He completed a legal practice course, finishing his training contract, and after 7 years of part-time study (while working full-time), he qualified as a solicitor in 2005. Mark remained at Tuckers as a duty solicitor and higher court advocate. Mark rejoined the CPS in 2008 as a Senior Crown Prosecutor and higher court advocate. He was involved in preparing technical road traffic cases and also in the training of new lawyers. Mark became District Crown Prosecutor for Merseyside and Cheshire in August 2017.

John Bristow

John Bristow was born in London and raised in Worcestershire where he attended state schools before going on to Plymouth and Exeter Universities to study law. The first lawyer in his family, John trained as a solicitor with a firm in Plymouth, remaining there after qualification. He was involved in civil litigation until joining the CPS in Birmingham in 2002. He had various roles at the CPS including magistrates prosecutor, Crown Advocate and was Principal to trainee solicitors. He was also involved in the training of CPS lawyers and police. John qualified as a solicitor-advocate in 2004 and in 2017 was appointed as a Legally Qualified Chair of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal – the committee of the General Medical Council that determines doctors’ fitness to practise.

Hina Rai

Born in Edmonton in North London to East African Asian parents, Hina Rai went to her local state secondary school in Enfield, before studying law at London South Bank University. She is the first generation in her family to go to university. Hina started her legal career as a paralegal at the CPS and took a career break to do the legal practice course. She was admitted as a solicitor in 2005 and then progressed from magistrates advocacy to become a legal assistant to the Executive Office. She joined the Crown Court team where she was involved in a number of high profile prosecutions including prosecutions for fraud, drugs, guns and attempted murder as well as directing and prosecuting a number of complex undercover operations. Called to the Bar in 2016, Hina progressed to become a Specialist Prosecutor in the Extradition Unit where she worked on complex extradition hearings. In 2016 she was appointed as a legal chairman of a tribunal on the Isle of Man and Chair of the Valuation Tribunal.

Graham Reeds QC

Graham Reeds grew up Ashton-under-Lyne and attended his local state primary school before obtaining a direct grant place at Hulme Grammar School. He went on to study law at Sheffield University becoming the first person in his family to go to university. After Bar School in Gray’s Inn, Graham returned to Sheffield for pupillage before moving to Leeds where he practised in criminal law, personal injury and other civil work for 21 years. Graham was appointed Senior Crown Advocate at the CPS in 2006 and worked exclusively on prosecuting Serious Organised Crime Agency cases. In 2009 he was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel and in 2010 he moved to the Special Crime Division dealing with high profile murders and other homicides with a medical or health and safety aspect.

Charlotte Welsh

Charlotte Welsh grew up in Merseyside and attended Merchant Taylor’s Girls’ School in Crosby, Liverpool, before studying history and politics at Manchester University. After working in London for a few years, Charlotte completed the law conversion course at City, University of London and then the Bar Vocational Course. She was awarded the Harmsworth Scholarship by Middle Temple and was a pupil at Cloisters before working at Bridewell Chambers. Charlotte joined the CPS in 2006 as a Crown Advocate before becoming a Specialist Prosecutor in criminal appeals and the Victims’ Right to Review. Since then she has worked in the private office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, focusing on work of the Law Commission and providing charging advice on serious and sensitive prosecutions.

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