Former Bar Council chairman Sir Geoffrey Vos took over as Chancellor of the High Court yesterday, succeeding the new Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton.
Sir Geoffrey’s appointment as head of the Chancery Division was only confirmed last week, more than a fortnight after the post became vacant.
It was strongly rumoured that the delay was down to a disagreement at the highest levels over whether to appoint him or Lady Justice Gloster.
Lord Justice Vos was called to the Bar in 1977, and took silk in 1993. After a decade as a deputy High Court judge, he was appointed as a High Court judge assigned to the Chancery Division in 2009. He was also at times a judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2013.
He was chairman of the Chancery Bar Association from 1999 to 2001 and of the Bar Council in 2007. He was president of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary from June 2014 to June 2016.
Sir Geoffrey, former head of chambers at 3 Stone Buildings, has been at the forefront of social mobility initiatives during his career. As chairman of the Bar he commissioned the Neuberger report on access to the Bar, sat on Alan Milburn MP’s Panel on Fair Access to the Professions in 2009, and is a former chairman of the trustees of the Social Mobility Foundation.
He was appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice.
The other panel members were the president of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, and three lay judicial appointments commissioners – Dame Valarie Strachan, Professor Emily Jackson and Professor Noel Lloyd.