Biographies of the Justices
President of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE
Brenda Marjorie Hale, Lady Hale of Richmond took up appointment as President of The Supreme Court in September 2017, succeeding Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury. This following her appointment as Deputy President from June 2013. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court.
In January 2004, Lady Hale became the United Kingdom’s first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer, and judge.
After graduating from Cambridge in 1966, she taught law at Manchester University from 1966 to 1984, also qualifying as a barrister and practising for a while at the Manchester Bar. She specialised in Family and Social Welfare law, was founding editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, and authored a pioneering case book on ‘The Family, Law and Society’.
In 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. Important legislation resulting from the work of her team at the Commission includes the Children Act 1989, the Family Law Act 1996, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She also began sitting as an assistant recorder.
In 1994 she became a High Court judge, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister. In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord.
She retains her links with the academic world as Visitor of Girton College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor of Kings College London. She previously served as Chancellor of the University of Bristol. A home maker as well as a judge, she thoroughly enjoyed helping the artists and architects create a new home for The Supreme Court.
Deputy President of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Reed
Robert John Reed, Lord Reed became Deputy President of The Supreme Court on 7 June 2018. He was appointed as a Justice of The Supreme Court in February 2012.
He studied law at Edinburgh University and undertook doctoral research in law at the University of Oxford. He qualified as an advocate in Scotland and as a barrister in England. He practised at the Scottish Bar in a wide range of civil cases, and also prosecuted serious crime.
He served as a senior judge in Scotland for 13 years. From 2008 to 2012 a member of the Inner House of the Court of Session, and from 1998 to 2008 a member of the Outer House of the Court of Session, where he was the Principal Commercial Judge.
As well as sitting on the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, he is also a member of the panel of ad hoc judges of the European Court of Human Rights, and is a Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong. He is also the Visitor of Balliol College, Oxford.
Lord Reed is one of the two Scottish Justices of The Supreme Court.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore
Brian Francis Kerr, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2009.
Lord Kerr served as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 2004 to 2009, and was the last Lord of Appeal in Ordinary appointed before the creation of The Supreme Court.
Lord Kerr was educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, and read law at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970, and to the Bar of England and Wales at Gray’s Inn in 1974.
He served as Junior Crown Counsel from 1978 to 1983, at which point he took silk and served as Senior Crown Counsel from 1988 to 1993. In 1993 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court and knighted. He became Lord Chief Justice and joined the Privy Council in 2004.
Lord Kerr succeeded Lord Carswell of Killeen as Northern Ireland’s Lord of Appeal in Ordinary on 29 June 2009, the last Law Lord appointed before the creation of The Supreme Court.
Lord Kerr is the first Justice of The Supreme Court to come from Northern Ireland.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Wilson of Culworth
Nicholas Allan Roy Wilson, Lord Wilson of Culworth became a Justice of The Supreme Court in May 2011.
In 1967, after reading jurisprudence at Worcester College, Oxford, Lord Wilson was called to the Bar of England and Wales; and for the next 26 years, first as a junior and ultimately in silk, he practised almost exclusively in the field of family law.
From 1993 until 2005 he was a judge of the Family Division of the High Court. From 2005 until May 2011 he was a judge of the Court of Appeal.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Sumption
Jonathan Philip Chadwick Sumption, Lord Sumption became a Justice of The Supreme Court in January 2012.
After reading history at Magdalen College, Oxford, and serving for four years as a history Fellow of the College, Lord Sumption was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1975 and took Silk in 1986. His practice covered all aspects of Commercial, EU and Competition, Public and Constitutional Law.
He was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 1992 and served as a Recorder between 1993 and 2001. He was appointed as a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey in 1995.
Lord Sumption was a Judicial Appointments Commissioner from 2006 to 2011. He is also an accomplished historian.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, CVO
Robert John Anderson Carnwath, Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill became a Justice of The Supreme Court in April 2012.
After studying law at Trinity College, Cambridge, Lord Carnwath was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1968 and took silk in 1985. He served as Attorney General to the Prince of Wales from 1988 to 1994.
He was a judge of the Chancery Division from 1994 to 2002, during which time (1999 to 2002) he was also Chairman of the Law Commission. Lord Carnwath was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2002.
Between 2007 and 2012 he was Senior President of Tribunals and led the planning and implementation of the reforms of the tribunal system following the Leggatt report.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Hodge
Patrick Stewart Hodge, Lord Hodge became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2013.
Lord Hodge was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1983 and appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1996. From 1997 - 2003, he was a part time Law Commissioner at the Scottish Law Commission.
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court in April 2013, Lord Hodge was the Scottish Judge in Exchequer Causes and one of the Scottish Intellectual Property Judges. He was also a Judge in the Lands Valuation Appeal Court and a Commercial Judge.
Lord Hodge is one of the two Scottish Justices of The Supreme Court.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lady Black of Derwent DBE
Jill Margaret Black, Lady Black of Derwent became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2017.
Lady Black attended Penrhos College in North Wales before studying at Durham University. The first lawyer in her family, her initial career at the Bar involved a broad range of criminal and civil work, although she later specialised in family law. For a period in the 1980s she taught law at Leeds Polytechnic. She was a founding author of the definitive guide to family law practice in England and Wales, and continues to serve as a consulting editor.
Lady Black was appointed to the High Court in 1999, assigned to the Family Division. In 2004 she became the Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board's Family Committee, until her appointment as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner in 2008, where she served until 2013. Lady Black was appointed a Lady Justice of Appeal in 2010. She was previously Head of International Family Justice.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Lloyd-Jones
David Lloyd Jones, Lord Lloyd-Jones became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2017.
Lord Lloyd-Jones was born and brought up in Pontypridd, Glamorgan where his father was a schoolteacher. He attended Pontypridd Boys' Grammar School and Downing College, Cambridge. He was a Fellow of Downing College from 1975 to 1991. At the Bar his practice included international law, EU law and public law. He was amicus curiae (independent advisor to the court) in the Pinochet litigation before the House of Lords.
A Welsh speaker, Lord Lloyd-Jones was appointed to the High Court in 2005. From 2008 to 2011 he served as a Presiding Judge on the Wales Circuit and Chair of the Lord Chancellor's Standing Committee on the Welsh Language. In 2012 he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and from 2012 to 2015 he was Chairman of the Law Commission.
Lord Lloyd-Jones is the first Justice of The Supreme Court to come from Wales.
Justice of The Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Briggs of Westbourne
Michael Townley Featherstone Briggs, Lord Briggs of Westbourne became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2017.
Lord Briggs grew up around Portsmouth and Plymouth, following his naval officer father between ships, before spending his later childhood in West Sussex. He attended Charterhouse and Magdalen College, Oxford. A keen sailor and the first lawyer in his family, he practised in commercial and chancery work before being appointed to the High Court in 2006. He was the judge in charge of the extensive Lehman insolvency litigation from 2009 to 2013.
Lord Briggs was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2013. He was the judge in charge of the Chancery Modernisation Review in 2013, and led the Civil Courts Structure Review in 2015 to 2016. In January 2016 he was appointed Deputy Head of Civil Justice.