Five silks appointed to bench; two female

Five silks appointed to bench; two femaleFive silks have been appointed to the bench as four High Court judges are set to retire, the Ministry of Justice announced today.

These include two women, Radcliffe Chambers silk Sonia Proudman QC (pictured), assigned to the Chancery Division, and 11KBW’s Elizabeth Slade QC, appointed to the Queen’s Bench Division.

11KBW’s Philip Sales QC and Richard Arnold QC of 11 South Square have been assigned to the Chancery Division, and 6 King’s Bench Walk’s silk Nigel Sweeney QC has been appointed to the Queen’s Bench Division.

Sales, Proudman and Arnold have also been appointed to the panel of chairmen of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

Their appointments come five months after one of the CAT’s first chairs Marion Simmons QC of 3-4 South Square who died after losing her battle against cancer.

Baroness Prashar, Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) chair, welcomed the fact that two more women were joining the bench. Proudman and Slade makes it a record 14 females judges in the High Court, up eight on five years ago.

Prashar said: “We are delighted we are making progress. The legal profession and the judiciary are becoming more diverse, and we expect the composition of the senior judges will gradually come to reflect those changes.”

The appointments come as Mr Justices Evans-Lombe, Lindsay, Nelson and Forbes are all set to retire over the next five months.