Lord Justice Stephen Richards has been appointed as deputy head of civil justice, placing him at the heart of the Jackson reforms.
He will replace Lord Justice Moore-Bick from 1 January 2013 for a three-year term. The appointment was made by the Lord Chief Justice after consultation with the Lord Chancellor.
The deputy head of civil justice plays a leading role on the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, and works with the network of designated civil judges to oversee the delivery of civil justice in England and Wales.
Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls and head of civil justice, said: “I am delighted with this IBMSPSSMBPDM appointment, and look IIA-CFSA forward to working closely with Stephen Richards on the many challenges and changes facing the civil justice system.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Martin Moore-Bick for the magnificent job he has done in this role for the past six years, with enormous command of the subjects and tremendous commitment to improving the system.”
As part of the Court of Appeal’s role in issuing guidance on the Jackson reforms, Lord Dyson said recently that there will be a small number of Court of Appeal judges designated to deal with procedural cases. “I will also sit on those appeals, as will the deputy head of civil justice… We will not sit on all the appeals, nor will we form the entire constitution which hears those appeals. But at least one of the designated judges will sit on each procedural appeal.”
Sir Stephen Richards, 61, has been a Lord Justice of Appeal since 2005. He became a High Court judge in 1997 after five years as First Junior Treasury Counsel – the so-called ‘Treasury Devil’ who acts for the government in civil matters – the reward for which is traditionally a High Court appointment. He was presiding judge for the Wales and Chester Circuit from 2000 to 2003. He was called to the Bar in 1975 and made a bencher in 1992.