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Queens Bench Masters and Admiralty Registrar
The JAC has been asked to identify 4 candidates suitable for selection as Queen's Bench Masters. This exercise is expected to launch in March.
2 of the vacancies are immediate and 2 are expected to arise in the near future. Of the 2 immediate vacancies, 1 is for the Admiralty Registrar who will divide their time between Admiralty and general Queen’s Bench work.
About the role:
All litigation in the Queen’s Bench Division Central Office is assigned to Queen’s Bench Masters for case management. The Queen’s Bench Masters also have a trial jurisdiction. The claims issued in the Queen’s Bench Division are high value complex claims concerning contract and tort, especially personal injury claims including industrial disease claims, professional negligence actions including clinical negligence, media and communication claims, human rights claims, and complex contractual disputes. The Queen’s Bench Division also deals with enforcement of British, EU and foreign judgments and awards.
The work of Queen’s Bench Masters is challenging, varied and closely analogous to the civil work of High Court Judges, with whom the Masters have a strong working relationship. QB Masters have the opportunity to specialise in different areas of the jurisdiction. These include the Asbestos List, which deals with asbestos disease on a UK wide basis, the Clinical negligence List and the Media and Communications List.
The Admiralty Court is part of the Business and Property Court of the High Court of Justice which handles shipping and maritime disputes. The Admiralty Registrar must have a good working knowledge of the rules in and relating to Part 61, Practice Direction 61 and the Admiralty and Commercial Court Guide. The Admiralty Registrar reports to the Admiralty Judge. The Admiralty Registrar typically sits 2 days a week dealing with Admiralty matters, but this may be more, such as where a trial or reference is listed. In that event the Queen’s Bench Masters’ Listing Section and the Admiralty Court Listing Clerk coordinate the Queen’s Bench and Admiralty Listing in the Admiralty Registrar’s diary. The Admiralty Registrar has a 50% allocation of general Queen’s Bench claims. The Admiralty Registrar from time to time conducts trials, namely trials of matters under £1m and references referred by the Admiralty Court to the Admiralty Registrar.
Who can apply
This exercise is open to Solicitors and Barristers in England and Wales with at least 5 years post qualification legal experience.
In addition, candidates are expected to have previous judicial experience sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity, or in a similar role such as the chair of an equivalent body for which a legal qualification is required. A minimum of 30 completed sitting days since appointment, not including training or sick days, is expected. Only in exceptional cases, where the necessary skills are demonstrated in some other significant way, will an exception be made.
Candidates should also be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 5 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.
The Commission encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under represented in the judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.
Sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.