High Court Judges 2020

Richard Meade KC

Richard is a barrister. He grew up in North London where he attended a state secondary school before going on to Oxford University, graduating in 1988.

After university he worked at Andersen Consulting on IT projects. He was called to the Bar in 1991 after being awarded the Scarman Scholarship for coming first in the Bar Vocational Course. Richard went on to specialise in intellectual property and commercial work relating to technology and the music business.  As well as appearing in the English Courts he has appeared in the Court of Justice in the European Union and the European Patent Office. 

He has been a CEDR-accredited mediator since 2003, was appointed as a Recorder in 2009 and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2011. 

Kelyn Bacon KC 

Kelyn Bacon was born in Mumbai and moved to England as a child. She attended local state schools in Somerset, before studying law at Oxford University and Konstanz University, followed by a Masters degree in European Law at the European University Institute in Florence. She was called to the Bar in 1998 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014, specialising in EU and competition law.  

She is the editor and main author of “European Union Law of State Aid” and has been a Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary University London, and a Visiting Lecturer at University College London, teaching competition and State aid law.   

She is a Governing Bencher of the Inner Temple and was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery Division in 2017. 

Her Honour Judge Mary Stacey

Mary Stacey was born in London and grew up in Woolwich, Oxford and Kent before returning to Oxford University to study English. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1987 and went on to specialise in employment and discrimination law.  

She was appointed as a salaried Employment Judge in 2003 and a Circuit Judge of the Midland Circuit sitting in Birmingham Crown Court and the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre in 2014. She was appointed as a Recorder in 2006. 

She became a visiting judge at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2017 and was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2018. 

His Honour Judge Mark Wall KC 

Mark was born in London but brought up mainly in Worcestershire. He attended a local comprehensive school before going on to Cambridge University. 

Called to the Bar in 1985, Mark specialised in criminal trial work first in Leicester and then Birmingham. 

He was appointed as a Recorder in 2002 and as Queens’s Counsel in 2006. Mark has been a Circuit Judge since 2014, presiding over all types of criminal trials including fraud, sexual offences and murder.  

He also chairs the Leverhulme Research Centre Advisory Board at Dundee University and sits on the Forensic Science Regulator’s Advisory Committee. 

Charles Bourne KC 

Charles Bourne is a Barrister. He grew up in London, attending school in Hampstead before going on to study English at Cambridge University and French Literature at Paris-Sorbonne. Charles started work in journalism before studying for the Diploma in Law at the Polytechnic of Central London.  

Called to the Bar in 1991, Charles specialises in local government, public law, employment, inquiries and investigations. He has frequently acted for the Government in public law cases, for example HJ (Iran) v Home Secretary [2010] UKSC 31 (asylum claims based on sexual orientation) and C v Department for Work and Pensions [2017] UKSC 72 (transgender rights). 

He was appointed as a Recorder in 2010, as Queen’s Counsel in 2014, and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016. He is also an accredited Mediator and was the founding Chair of the Human Rights Lawyers Association in 2003.  

Rowena Collins Rice 

Rowena Collins Rice is a government lawyer. Educated at a girls’ school in Glasgow, Rowena studied and taught law at Oxford University before joining the civil service fast stream in 1985. Having gained policy, legislation and private office experience in the Home Office, Rowena applied for the Government Legal Service’s legal trainee scheme, qualifying as a solicitor in 1995 and becoming the first lawyer in her family.

Following a number of legal advisory roles in the Home Office and the former Department for Constitutional Affairs, she was appointed a Legal Director at HM Revenue & Customs in 2005 and became Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Justice in 2007, before joining the Ministry’s Executive Board the following year as Director-General (Democracy, Constitution and Law) and Chief Legal Officer.

In 2010 she became Director-General, Constitution to the then Deputy Prime Minister, and in 2011 she was appointed Secretary to the Leveson Inquiry (into the culture, practices and ethics of the press). She has been Director-General of the Attorney General’s Office and Legal Secretary to the Law Officers since 2013. 

She was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2017. 

Nigel Poole KC 

Born and brought up in Yorkshire, Nigel attended a grammar school in Bradford before going on to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford. 

Called to the Bar in 1989, he has practised throughout his career in Manchester, specialising in clinical negligence and healthcare and becoming a Head of Chambers in 2017. 

Nigel was appointed as a Recorder in 2009, as Queen’s Counsel in 2012, and as a Deputy High Court Judge sitting in the Family Division in 2017. 

He was a Chair of the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service from 2013 – 2020. 

Neil Calver KC  

Neil Calver is a barrister. He grew up in Dartford, Kent, where he attended the local grammar school and was Kent County Chess Champion each year from under 12 through to under 18 levels. He went on to study law at Cambridge University, becoming the first person in his family to go to university.  

Called to the Bar in 1987, Neil specialised in all types of commercial litigation and arbitration as well as practising in competition law and public law. Early in his practice he appeared before the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the European Court of Justice, successfully resisting the challenge to the ban on the opening of shops in England and Wales on a Sunday. He also acted for the successful appellants in the last case heard by the House of Lords before the formation of the Supreme Court.   

Neil has also acted as an arbitrator for the past 10 years in various international arbitrations, including International Chamber of Commerce, London Court of International Arbitration and Permanent Court of Arbitration. Neil was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2006 and as a Recorder (Crime) in 2009. 

Adam Johnson KC 

Adam Johnson grew up in Sheffield and attended the local comprehensive school. He studied law at Cambridge University and was the first person in his family to attend university. He joined Herbert Smith (now Herbert Smith Freehills) as an articled clerk in 1988, qualified in 1990, and has been with the firm throughout his career as a solicitor and (later) solicitor-advocate. 

Adam has had a broad commercial practice with a particular focus on cross-border litigation, banking and financial services litigation, and international arbitration. He has acted in a number of high profile cases including most recently the litigation arising out of RBS’s 2008 Rights Issue. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2017, and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2018. 

Adam also has an active interest in pro bono work, and has for a number of years been Vice-Chair of the Herbert Smith Freehills Pro Bono and Citizenship Council. He is a Trustee of Pro Bono Community, a charity providing legal training for Law Centre volunteers. 

Robert Peel  

Robert Peel is a barrister. He was born in Singapore and spent much of his childhood living in Africa. He attended independent schools in England, followed by Oxford University where he studied French and Spanish.  

Robert converted to law at City University. During pupillage he held the Queen Mother’s Scholarship and the Joseph Jackson Scholarship and in 1990 he was called to the Bar. He practiced general common law for some years before specialising in matrimonial finance. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010 and has appeared in numerous high value financial remedy cases.  

In 2009 Robert was appointed a Recorder on the Midland circuit, undertaking Civil and Family work, and in 2016 he was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge. Robert served a term on the Bar Council and two terms as a designated chairperson of the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service. He is a qualified Family Arbitrator. 

Judge Emma Arbuthnot

Emma Arbuthnot was born in Macclesfield and brought up in London, where she went to a fee-paying French state school.  After school she started work before going to London University as a mature student where she supported herself by doing office cleaning. She was the first in her family to get a degree and the first to become a lawyer.

Called to the Bar in 1986, Emma worked on a wide range of cases, in defence and prosecution, specialising in crime, fraud and health and safety offences.

She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) in 2000, a Recorder in 2001 (crime and then family), a full time District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) in 2005, the Deputy to the Chief Magistrate in 2012 and became the Chief Magistrate for England and Wales in 2016.

Emma has heard a number of very high-profile cases in the Magistrates’ Courts. She is a bencher of the Inner Temple.

Michael Green KC 

Born and educated in London, Michael studied Law at Cambridge University. He was called to the Bar in 1987. 

Michael had a broad commercial litigation practice with an emphasis on company, insolvency, financial services and tax. He acted in many international cases and was called to the Bars of the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Samoa and Uganda for specific cases. For over 11 years, Michael was on the Attorney General’s A Panel of Treasury Counsel, handling directors’ disqualification, public interest winding up and tax evasion matters.  

Michael was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2009 and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2018. In 2019, he sat as a High Court Judge in the Commercial Court of the British Virgin Islands.  

Michael was the Honorary Secretary of the Chancery Bar Association and was a member of the International Committee of the Bar Council. 

Naomi Ellenbogen KC 

Naomi Ellenbogen QC was born and grew up in Liverpool. She was educated at a voluntary-aided comprehensive school, before studying Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford, graduating in 1991.   

Naomi was called to the Bar in 1992 and since then she has specialised in employment, discrimination and general commercial law.  She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2010, as a Recorder in 2016 and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2017.  

Over many years, Naomi has been instructed extensively in mass equal pay litigation, in the public and private sectors. Amongst the complex discrimination cases in which she has acted is Essop & Others v Home Office (UK Border Agency), in which the Supreme Court revisited the requirements for a claim of indirect discrimination. Naomi has conducted a number of independent inquiries, reviews and investigations, in the UK; Channel Islands; Bermuda; and Japan, including, most recently, an independent inquiry into bullying and harassment in the House of Lords; and as Chair of an independent review of the governance of the Professional Footballers’ Association.  

Between 2014 and 2018, Naomi was Joint Head of Chambers. Since January 2016, she has been Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board, having previously served, respectively, as a member of the board and as Barrister Vice-Chair of its Professional Conduct Committee. Naomi is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn. 

Joanna Smith KC 

Joanna is a barrister who grew up in a family of medics. She spent much of her childhood moving around, following her father’s work as an RAF Doctor. She was educated at an independent school in Ely before going on to study jurisprudence at Oxford University.    

Called to the Bar in 1990, she went on to specialise in professional negligence, commercial litigation and construction. She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2009.    

Joanna qualified as a mediator and in recent years has sat as an arbitrator. She was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2017. She is a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn and has been involved in many significant cases, including Cavendish v Makdessi (a landmark case on the doctrine of penalties) in the Supreme Court.  

James Mellor KC

James grew up in Sutton Coldfield, attending an independent boarding school in Rugby before going on to read Engineering and then Production Engineering at Cambridge. James worked overseas in various engineering roles before, during and after University including in Somalia, the Congo, Germany, Iraq and France before embarking on a law conversion course back at Cambridge.

Called to the bar in 1986, James specialised in all aspects of intellectual property law, and he has also acted in contractual disputes with technical or scientific aspects including some international arbitrations.  

He has appeared in the Court of Justice of the European Union in a number of references concerned with copyright, database rights and Trade Marks, and since 1994 James has edited the leading practitioners’ text on Trade Marks.

He was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 2006.  James was a member of the Disability Panel of the Bar Council 1999-2005. He was appointed as Chairman of the Second Appeal Panel of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain in 2004, as an Appointed Person for Trade Marks and Designs in 2015 and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2020.

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