Following an open competition run by the Judicial Appointments Commission, 24 Deputy High Court judges were appointed in November 2019. The exercise was open to practitioners with or without previous judicial experience to apply to become a Deputy High Court Judge for England and Wales.
Judge Nicholas Briggs
Nicholas Briggs grew up in Somerset, leaving school at 16. After service in the Royal Marine Commandos he returned to study law at the University of Bristol followed by Bar School in London. Called to the Bar in 1994, Nicholas specialised in insolvency and company law.
In 1998 he was appointed as counsel to the Attorney General’s panel for the South West region and Deputy Insolvency and Companies Court Judge. He acted as an advocate in cases from the County Court to the House of Lords (Supreme Court) including Royal Bank of Scotland plc v Etridge (No 2) (2001) and Exeter City Council v Bairstow (2007).
He became a full-time Insolvency and Companies Court Judge in 2015 and in 2017 was appointed the Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge. He sits in the Rolls Building, in the Business and Property Courts of England & Wales.
Michael Ford QC
Michael Ford is a barrister and a professor at the University of Bristol. He grew up in Kent where he attended a grammar school. After school he spent 4 years competing as a racing cyclist before studying law at the University of Bristol. He is the first in his family to go to university and the first to become a lawyer.
Michael originally qualified as a solicitor before being called to the Bar in 1992. He was appointed a fee-paid employment judge in 2001, as Queen’s Counsel in 2013 and a Professor in Law at Bristol in 2015.
Both in practice and academia Michael specialises in labour law in all its aspects, including discrimination, strikes, health and safety, judicial review, EU law and human rights. He is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of specialist counsel, and acted for them in the UNISON case, where the Supreme Court held that employment tribunal fees were unlawful.
Caspar Glyn QC
Brought up in Singapore and Borneo, Caspar attended school in England. He studied law at Manchester University where he won the SJ Berwin Scholarship. He was the first generation of his family to graduate from university.
Having taught skiing in the Chilean Andes and worked as a nursing auxiliary in Calcutta, he became a barrister in 1992. He has a specialist trial practice in Employment and Sports’ law and appears regularly in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Caspar was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and served as the Chair of the Industrial Law Society from 2013 to 2015.
He is an Executive Member of the Employment Law Association, and a regular author and lecturer on employment law.
He was appointed a Recorder in 2018.
Katie Gollop QC
After studying English at Oxford University, Katie was called to the Bar in 1993. Her practice is in healthcare related law particularly negligence actions, inquests, medical treatment matters in the Family Division and Court of Protection and regulatory cases, including acting for The Haemophilia Society on the Infected Blood Inquiry.
Katie is a pro bono champion for We Are Advocate and a trustee of the charity Action Cerebral Palsy. She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2016.
Kate Grange QC
Kate Grange is a barrister. She grew up in Nottingham where she attended an inner-city comprehensive school. She is the first lawyer in her family.
Kate studied law at Cambridge University before joining the Bar in 1998. She has a broad civil practice which encompasses both public and private law, with emphasis on national security, human rights, torts, immigration, and commercial and construction law. She spent several years on the Attorney General’s panels, during which time she acted for the Security and Intelligence Agencies in the wake of the Snowden disclosures. She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2017. Kate is currently a Lead Counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, in charge of construction related issues.
Kate has a particular interest in measures promoting equality, including the retention of women at the Bar. She helped establish the Bar Nursery Association in 2003 and was part of a working party seeking to encourage the Inns to address the retention of women. She is currently a Bar Council maternity mentor and is Chair of Governors at her local state primary school.
Born in Yorkshire, Ashley grew up near Birmingham. He attended school in Birmingham before going on to study law at Cambridge and then Oxford University. He qualified as a solicitor in 1988. He was the first member of his family to qualify as a lawyer.
Ashley became a partner at Macfarlanes in 1997, leading a corporate tax practice for 15 years specialising in corporate tax aspects of cross-border mergers, acquisitions, group reconstructions and financing.
He is a former Chair of the Tax Law Committee of the Law Society and member of its Corporation Tax Sub-committee.
In 2015, Ashley was appointed as a part-time judge in the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and a deputy judge in the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).
Richard Harrison QC
Richard Harrison is a barrister. Born in Chile, he grew up in a few countries before attending school in Surrey. He studied modern languages at Cambridge University followed by a diploma in law at City University. He is the first person in his family to become a lawyer.
Called to the Bar in 1993, Richard practises in family law with specialisms in financial remedies and international children cases. He has acted in numerous reported cases including several in the Supreme Court. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2012.
Richard Hermer QC
Richard was born and raised in Wales, attending Cardiff High School. He studied politics and modern history at Manchester University before qualifying for the Bar in 1993. After pupillage in Wales, Richard moved to London where his practice has predominately focused on human rights and international law. He has been involved in claims emanating from the Iraq conflict, Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary renditions and the United Nations anti-terrorism measures.
He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2009
Stephen Houseman QC
Stephen grew up in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where he attended a local comprehensive school, before studying law at Oxford University. The first lawyer in his family, he taught undergraduates part-time at Oxford University during pupillage and early years in practice.
Called to the Bar in 1995, Stephen’s practice is focused on international commercial disputes, mostly in the Commercial Court or Chancery Division and international arbitration including in foreign courts, most recently in St Lucia, Antigua and Dubai.
He was appointed as Queens’s Counsel in 2013.
Tom Leech QC
Tom Leech is a barrister and has been a partner in Herbert Smith Freehills LLP since 2014. Born in London, he grew up in the North West where he attended a state grammar school. Tom went to Oxford to study Classics before changing to study law, followed by the post-graduate degree, Bachelor of Civil Law.
Called to the Bar in 1988, Tom specialises in Commercial Chancery with a specialism in solicitor’s negligence, regulation and discipline.
He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2010, a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2015 and is an elected member of the Bar Council sitting on the Ethics Committee and the Employed Barristers’ Committee.
Tom has also been called to the Bar in Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man and appeared in the Dubai International Finance Centre Court, as well as in arbitrations in London, Israel and Singapore.
He is the co-author of Flenley and Leech on Solicitors’ Liability and co-editor of Spencer Bower on Reliance-Based Estoppel.
Andrew Lenon QC
Andrew grew up in Sussex. He studied modern languages at Oxford University before deciding to pursue a career as a barrister. He speaks Spanish, German, French and Russian and is the first lawyer in his family.
Called to the Bar in 1982, Andrew’s practice is in commercial litigation and arbitration often with an international element. He was appointed as Queens’ Counsel in 2006.
Andrew was appointed as a Deputy District judge (County Court) in 2010, where he deals with a wide variety of cases including personal injury claims, landlord and tenant disputes and money claims in matrimonial proceedings. He is also a Chair of the Competition Appeal Tribunal where he decides complex appeals from the decisions of competition and communications regulators and is an accredited mediator.
Andrew has been called to the bar in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Sarah Morgan QC
Sarah Morgan QC is a barrister. Born in Pembrokeshire, Sarah travelled with her family for her father’s job during her early years, living on islands in the Caribbean, before attending a local state school in the Midlands.
She studied law at Brunel University and was called to the Bar in 1988. Sarah’s practice is in Family Law specialising in the law relating to children. She has acted in significant cases involving risk of harm from radicalisation, child trafficking, non-recent sexual abuse allegations made by vulnerable witnesses, death and non-accidental injuries. She has also appeared in cases on modern families, fertility and surrogacy.
Sarah was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2011 and a Recorder sitting in Crime (2009) and in Family (2011).
Charles Morrison is a solicitor. Born in Edinburgh, he attended a local comprehensive school before completing a degree at Heriot-Watt University. He moved to England where he qualified as a solicitor in 1987.
Charles’ practice is in acting for banks, governments and companies in international financings, projects and deals with a particular focus on the energy sector, notably oil and gas.
He has extensive international experience, especially in Africa. He is a member of the Bar in Tanzania where he has been appearing in the High Court and Court of Appeal on behalf of an international bank in a long-running power project financing dispute.
Charles was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2018.
David Lock QC
David Lock grew up in Surrey, where he attended local state schools. He studied theology at Cambridge before qualifying as a barrister in 1985. His was one of the first of his family to go to university and is the first to become a lawyer.
David was a local councillor from 1995 to 1997, when he was elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest. He was Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellors’ Department for 2 years before losing his seat in the 2001 election.
In 2002, David was appointed as Chair of the Service Authorities to the National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service and continued to work part-time as a barrister. He resumed full-time practice in 2003 as Head of the Healthcare Practice at Mills & Reeve solicitors, and returned to the Bar in 2008. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2011. David specialises in public law and health, including cases concerning care, right to life and the management of the NHS.
He is a visiting Professor at LSE, serves on the BMA Ethics Committee and is lead author of textbooks on NHS law.
Simon Salzedo QC
Simon Salzedo is a barrister. Brought up in London, attending schools in both state and private sectors, he has lived much of his adult life in South Cumbria and North Lancashire. Simon studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, before qualifying as an accountant. He then studied law at City University and was called to the Bar in 1995. Simon’s practice is in commercial law, specialising in commercial dispute resolution, banking and finance, civil fraud, professional negligence and insurance.
He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2011.
Simon is an author of legal text books and articles about contract law, arbitration, conflicts of interest and accountants’ negligence.
Hugh Sims QC
Born in Kampala, Uganda, Hugh was educated at state schools in Scotland and Devon. He went on to study physics at Manchester University and converted to law at Exeter University.
Called to the Bar in 1999, and appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2014, Hugh is a Western Circuit barrister and Head of the Commercial Team at Guildhall Chambers. He practises in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales and is recognised for his work across a number of areas including commercial, professional negligence, insolvency, banking and finance, partnership, general chancery, company and sports law.
Hugh Southey QC
Hugh went to state school in North West London and was the first member of his family to go to university. Having studied engineering at Imperial College, Hugh became interested in the impact that law had on ordinary people. He initially qualified as a solicitor before qualifying as a barrister in 1996.
Hugh was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2010. His practice is primarily public law with a focus on human rights. He has led in over 20 cases before the Supreme Court. He also appears regularly in Northern Ireland.
He is a Recorder and an Acting Justice of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.
Richard Smith is a solicitor advocate. Born in 1970, he grew up in Bromley, Kent. He studied law at Manchester University and is the first in his family to undertake higher education.
Richard qualified as a solicitor in 1994. In the early part of his career he undertook public inquiry work, representing witnesses before the BSE, Bloody Sunday and Hong Kong Airport Inquiries, including a former UK Prime Minister.
He went on to specialise in commercial arbitration and litigation, becoming a partner at Allen & Overy LLP, in 2001. He has represented commercial clients from a wide range of industry sectors including life sciences, banking and finance, shipping, construction and hospitality. He also has extensive experience of arbitrating under the Bermuda Form excess liability insurance policy and has represented clients in significant arbitration-related litigation before the English courts, including the UK Supreme Court.
Richard sits as an arbitrator and was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court (Crime) on the South Eastern Circuit in April 2018.
He is presently undertaking a career break from private practice to study for a Masters of Law degree at the University of Cambridge.
Born in Northampton, Tim attended the local comprehensive schools before studying law at the University of Nottingham. He is one of the first in his family to attend university and the first to become a lawyer.
Tim qualified as a solicitor in Northampton in 1994 before joining a City law firm in 1996 specialising in planning and environmental law. His practice includes advising on major infrastructure projects, compulsory purchase orders, public inquiries, judicial reviews and statutory challenges. He became a partner in 2001.
He was appointed as a fee-paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) in 2013. Tim is also the current chair of the Law Society’s Planning & Environmental Law Committee, a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Conduct & Discipline Panel, and a Council member of JUSTICE.
Nicholas Thompsell is a solicitor. He grew up in Coventry where he obtained a scholarship to a local grammar school before studying law at King’s College, London where he also took the Associateship of King’s College (AKC). Nicholas was the first in his family to go to university and the first lawyer in his family. He qualified as a solicitor with Slaughter and May in 1985, working on corporate and investment funds matters. He joined Fieldfisher and was made a partner in 1992 and Senior Partner between 2009 and 2012.
Nicholas has advised over a broad area of corporate, partnership and regulatory law, covering both the private and public sectors, including corporate re-organisations, privatisation and Public Private Partnerships, rail franchising and building society and friendly society demutualisations. In recent years he has concentrated on financial services regulation.
Nicholas is a Freeman of the City of London Solicitors Company and a member of the City of London Law Society and acts as a mentor within King’s College London’s mentoring scheme.
Adam Vaitilingam QC
Adam Vaitilingam is a barrister. He grew up in Bristol and studied history and law at Cambridge University.
Adam worked abroad before starting practice in the UK in 1997. He was appointed a Recorder in 2005 and as Queen’s Counsel in 2010. His practice is in in criminal, environmental, health and safety and family law.
Adam has been involved in teaching advocacy and human rights law and has lectured in Russia, Mauritius and Hong Kong on behalf of the Council of Europe and the British Council.
Robin grew up in North West London and attended local schools before going on to study law at Southampton university.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1990, becoming a partner in 1997. The main focus of his practice is wills, trusts and estate planning for families. He is a regular author and speaker on topics in these areas. A member of the Trust Law Committee, Robin has also been Chair of the UK Technical Committee of the Society of Trusts and Estate Planners and a part-time judge in the First-Tier Tax Tribunal since 2015.
Joanne Wicks QC
Joanne grew up in Bristol and Nottingham, where she attended a local grammar school and then a comprehensive. She was admitted to study law at Oxford University under an access scheme for state school students. She was awarded a scholarship, won the Gibbs Prize in Law and went on to obtain a postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law degree.
Called to the Bar in 1990, Joanne was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2010. She practises in chancery law, with a particular emphasis on property litigation and property-related professional negligence. She acts as an arbitrator and independent expert and is an accredited mediator.
Joanne has a long-standing interest in equality, diversity and social mobility issues. She is currently the Chair of the Property Bar Association and Vice Chair of the Bar Council’s Education and Training Committee.
Geraint Webb QC
Born in London to Welsh parents, Geraint grew up mainly in the East Midlands. After studying history at Oxford University, Geraint completed both a law conversion course at City University and bar school with the assistance of scholarships from Inner Temple. Called to the Bar in 1995, he became an accredited mediator in 2000, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013.
Geraint has a commercial law practice with a focus on group action multi-party claims, product liability, life sciences, consumer law, environmental law, property damage, and insurance. He also has particular experience of cross-border claims, jurisdiction disputes, and claims with a foreign law element.