Following an open competition for High Court judges launched in November 2018, the JAC received 64 applications and made 17 recommendations for appointment in June 2019. The exercise was open to practitioners with or without previous judicial experience.
Nine appointments have been announced and further appointments will be announced in coming months. Further information about the appointments is on the Judiciary website.
Karen Steyn QC
Karen Steyn was born in South Africa and brought up in Kent, where she attended local state schools before studying history at the University of Liverpool and taking the Graduate Diploma in Law at City University.
Called to the Bar in 1995, her practice covered a range of public law, human rights, public international and information law. She is known for her work in the contexts of armed conflict, national security, human rights and freedom of information. She has appeared at the Supreme Court in a number of significant cases including representing Liberty in DSD v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, which imposed an operational duty on the police force to conduct a proper investigation into allegations of ill treatment.
She was a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s A Panel of Counsel, the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel and the Welsh local authorities’ panel. Karen was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2014 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016.
William Trower QC
William Trower grew up in Hertfordshire and studied history at Oxford University before completing the Diploma in Law at City University.
Called to the Bar in 1983, he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2001 and is a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn. William specialised in insolvency and corporate restructuring, banking and company law. He has acted as leading counsel for the administrators of Lehman Brothers, taking a number of disputes to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He has been instructed in other complex insolvencies and financial restructurings, both in the UK and abroad.
William was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in 2007. He has been head of chambers at South Square, the independent reviewer of complaints for the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association, a member of the Insolvency Rules Committee and a non-executive member of the Board of the Insolvency Service. He has edited and contributed to a number of textbooks on insolvency and restructuring.
John Cavanagh QC
John Cavanagh was born in Belfast and grew up near Stratford-on-Avon. He attended Warwick School and went on to study law at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He taught law at Illinois and Oxford. Before studying law he was a residential social worker at a community home school in Airdrie, Scotland. He spent some time working in law firms in Chicago before coming to the Bar.
He has spent his career at 11KBW Chambers, where he was Joint Head. Called to the Bar in 1985, John was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2001. He specialised in employment law and related areas of commercial, public, and European law. John was Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association from 2005 to 2007. He was appointed Recorder in 2004, and Deputy High Court Judge in 2017. John is a judge of the Administrative Tribunal of the Bank for International Settlements and a Bencher of Middle Temple.
Martin Chamberlain QC
Martin Chamberlain was born and brought up in Edinburgh. He attended school there before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, and later for Bachelor of Civil Law and was awarded the Eldon Scholarship. In between, Martin took the Diploma in Law.
Called to the Bar in 1997, Martin specialised in public law, human rights, EU and international law. He was a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel to the Crown from 2001 and a Special Advocate from 2003. He was appointed QC in 2013 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016.
In practice, Martin focused on judicial review and appellate advocacy. He successfully defended the UK’s ban on broadcast political advertising in the European Court of Human Rights, and established the right of same sex spouses to survivors’ pensions.
He writes and lectures on public and national security law, and chaired the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association from 2018 to 2019.
Judge Jennifer Eady QC
Jennifer Eady was born in East Anglia and attended state schools in Hampshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire before studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, the first generation of her family to go to university.
Jennifer was called to the Bar in 1989 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 2006. She specialised in employment and discrimination law, acting for employers and employees and their trade unions and appearing in many of the leading cases in her field. She demonstrated a commitment to pro bono work throughout her career and was a trustee of the Free Representation Unit for 7 years. Jennifer has also held public appointments outside the law, as an independent member of the Acas Council for 2 terms and as a Trustee of the Wallace Collection.
Jennifer was formerly a fee-paid Employment Judge and Recorder. In 2013 she was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge, assigned to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Alison Foster QC
Alison Foster grew up in Sussex, the daughter of art teachers. She is the first lawyer in her family. Alison attended grammar school in Bexhill, before studying English at Oxford University and then at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Alison completed the law conversion course with the benefit of scholarships from Jesus College Oxford and Inner Temple, and was called to the Bar in 1984. She became a Queen's Counsel in 2002.
Alison's practice encompassed most areas of public law and regulation including tax, acting both for and against the government. She appeared in a wide range of cases, from arguing that a jaffa cake is a biscuit for the purposes of VAT to representing the family of Cheryl James in the Deepcut Barracks Inquest.
She was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery Division in 2008 and in the Administrative Court in 2018. She been a Bencher of the Inner Temple since 2002.
Jeremy Johnson QC
Jeremy Johnson was brought up in Sheffield where he attended a local school. He studied maths and philosophy at Oxford University. He then completed a Graduate Diploma in Law at Middlesex University.
Called to the Bar in 1994, Jeremy has practised from 5 Essex Court in general common law and public law, often acting in cases involving the police and government departments. Jeremy recently represented South Wales Police in the first ever legal challenge against the use of automatic facial recognition technology.
He was appointed as a Recorder in 2010, a Queen’s Counsel in 2011, and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016.
Frances Judd QC
Frances Judd spent her childhood in Hong Kong and then Portugal, first attending school in Lisbon and then in Canterbury. She studied at Cambridge University and was the first member of her family to become a lawyer.
Frances was called to the Bar in 1984 and specialised in public and private law children’s cases including complex medical cases, sexual abuse, international and domestic relocation, adoption and surrogacy.
She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2006, a Recorder in 2002 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2011. She was Head of Chambers at Harcourt Chambers between 2009 and 2018, has been Chair of the Family Law Bar Association since 2018.
Pushpinder Saini QC
Pushpinder Saini is the son of Punjabi Sikh immigrants from East Africa. His family left Kenya in the early 1970s and settled in Southall, West London. Educated in Southall at Dormer’s Wells Comprehensive School, Pushpinder went on to graduate with firsts in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Civil Law degrees at Oxford University, and become a Senior Scholar of Gray’s Inn. Pushpinder taught law at Oxford and the London School of Economics while studying for the Bar.
He was called to the Bar in 1991 was in practice at 2 Hare Court and Blackstone Chambers for all his career, specialising in commercial law, public law, EU law and human rights. Pushpinder was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2008, as Bencher of Gray’s Inn in 2014, and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2017.