Sumption, Wilson confirmed as new Supreme Court justices

The Supreme Court has confirmed the appointment of Jonathan Sumption QC as one of two new justices for the UK’s highest court.


Jonathan Sumption QC
Jonathan Sumption QC

The Supreme Court has confirmed the appointment of Jonathan Sumption QC as one of two new justices for the UK’s highest court.

As previously reported by The Lawyer (6 April 2011), Sumption’s appointment has been widely rumoured for some time.

Today’s announcement, made by the court and also by 10 Downing Street, lays to rest those rumours. It also confirms that Sumption will take up his new post “as soon as his existing professional commitments are completed, on a date to be agreed”. The silk is instructed as lead counsel for Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich in his upcoming High Court dispute with rival Boris Berezovsky.

Sumption’s chambers Brick Court said he would not be accepting any new instructions.

Lord Justice Wilson, currently a Court of Appeal judge, is also appointed to the Supreme Court. Wilson LJ will take up his position on 26 May. He replaces Lord Saville of Newdigate, who retired in October 2010.

Sumption, meanwhile, will replace Lord Collins of Mapesbury, who is retiring later this month. Lord Collins will continue to sit as an additional Supreme Court judge when required.

In a statement Lord Phillips, president of the court, said: “Lord Justice Wilson will prove a valuable asset to this court as another judge with a family law background, whose skill and knowledge has shone through all his judgments at the Court of Appeal for England and Wales.

“Jonathan Sumption is widely acknowledged to be one of this country’s leading advocates. He has demonstrated incisive intellectual rigour throughout his years as a barrister.

“These appointments reflect the fact that the pool of legal talent from which the highest court in the land can draw was deliberately widened by Parliament when it created the Supreme Court. I am very much looking forward to working alongside two new Justices of such considerable calibre.”