13 September 2017Print This Post

Ex-Linklaters capital markets partner among latest group appointed to High Court

Williams: from bike to bench

Another tranche of new High Court judges has been named, half of whom are women – and one of them is a former partner at City giant Linklaters.

The six new judges takes to 13 the number of new appointments over the past month. They take up their posts on 2 October.

Her Honour Judge Clare Moulder, who has been authorised to sit as a deputy High Court judge since 2013, replaces Sir Julian Flaux, who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal.

HHJ Moulder, aged 57, was admitted as a solicitor in 1984 and was a capital markets partner at Linklaters from 1991. She was appointed as a Recorder in 2010 and then as a specialist mercantile circuit judge in Manchester in 2015. She has been assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division (QBD).

Amanda Yip QC of Exchange Chambers in Liverpool will also be assigned to the QBD. Her appointment follows the retirement of Sir Wyn Lewis Williams.

Aged 48, the personal injury specialist was appointed as a Recorder in 2008 and authorised to sit as a deputy High Court judge in 2013.

Her profile states that “having juggled practice through maternity leave and part-time working, Amanda is a strong supporter of flexible working at the Bar”.

Sara Cockerill QC of Essex Court Chambers joins the QBD too after the retirement of former Labour Solicitor-General Sir Ross Cranston.

Also aged 48, she was appointed as a deputy High Court judge in 2016. A commercial law specialist and arbitrator, Ms Cockerill is the author of the main textbook on compelled evidence in civil proceedings and editor of two sections of the White Book (Commercial Court and arbitration).

She is also a keen student of medieval history; her biography of Eleanor of Castile was published in 2014 and she is currently working on a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Another new judge for the QBD is Julian Knowles QC, following the promotion of Dame Kate Thirlwall to the Court of Appeal.

Appointed as a Recorder in 2009 and a deputy High Court judge just this year, the 48-year-old – who the judiciary notes point out grew up on a council estate in Manchester and attended the local comprehensive school – specialised in complex criminal law, extradition, human rights law, public law and media law.

He appeared in numerous significant cases, including: the Pinochet extradition case, the Siôn Jenkins murder case, the Dewani ‘honeymoon murder’ extradition case, the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes and the MPs’ expenses prosecutions.

He is the co-author of the extradition textbook Nicholls, Montgomery and Knowles.

The fifth new face for the QBD is well-known media lawyer Matthew Nicklin QC, following the elevation of Sir Timothy Holroyde to the Court of Appeal.

The co-head of 5RB and one-time member of the Bar Standards Board, Mr Nicklin, 46, was appointed as a Recorder in 2009 and has sat as a deputy High Court judge since earlier this year.

He has acted for both claimants – such as Madonna – and various leading defendant newspapers over the years, and acts regularly for Channel Four Television, particularly for the Dispatches programme. He successfully defended the libel action by Andrew Wakefield brought over a Dispatches investigation over the MMR scandal.

Finally, David Williams QC of 4 Paper Buildings has been assigned to the Family Division after Sir Andrew Moylan was promoted to the Court of Appeal.

Aged 53, he was only appointed as a Recorder in 2016 and authorised to sit as a deputy High Court judge earlier this year.

He specialises particularly in children cases with an international dimension and has also acted in private law disputes where there are psychological issues. He has appeared twice in the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as the UK Supreme Court.

He is the editor of the children volume of Rayden and Jackson, a leading family law textbook.

Mr Williams used to tweet under the name ‘Biking Barrister’ but the account has now been deleted.

By Neil Rose


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