Judge Gary Hickinbottom, a former solicitor at McKenna & Co, now part of CMS Cameron McKenna, has been appointed to the High Court.
Hickinbottom will be only the second former solicitor currently sitting in the High Court, from a total of 108 judges.
Hickinbottom was a partner at McKenna & Co and was appointed as a Recorder in 1994.
He became a circuit judge in 2001, before becoming chief social security and child support commissioner in 2003, then chief pension appeal commissioner in 2005.
Last year he ruled in the case of Shambo, the “sacred” bullock from a religious community in West Wales.
The animal was eventually put down after being diagnosed with bovine TB, despite a legal campaign to save it by its owners.
Judge Hickinbottom will be assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division. Last week Lord Justice Anthony May was appointed president of the Queen’s Bench Division (QBD) of the High Court (The Lawyer, 15 September)
May LJ takes up his new role from 1 October, replacing Sir Igor Judge, who succeeds Lord Phillips as Lord Chief Justice (8 July).