JAC begins recruiting for five Chancery Division judges

Lawyers have been invited to apply for High Court judicial appointments in the Chancery division.

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) said it is on the hunt for five Chancery Court judges to sit in the Rolls Building in London.

In a change from the last selection exercise for chancery vacancies in 2008, lawyers with significant experience of litigation will not need to have gained previous judicial experience, the JAC said, adding that knowledge of chancery law was “more important” than having a judicial background.

The move is in anticipation of a wave of judges standing down from the bench over the next two years. Successful applicants will take up their seats between April 2012 and March 2014.

The division is seeking specific expertise in intellectual property law, company law, and competition/public law, together with candidates who have wide-ranging general chancery experience.

In July the JAC announced a number of changes to the Queen’s Bench Division bench following the elevation of some QBD judges to the Court of Appeal.

Matrix Chambers silk Rabinder Singh QC will become the first Sikh judge to sit in the High Court, succeeding Mr Justice Kitchin who joins the CoA (29 July 2011).

He will be joined in the QBD by Brick Court’s Andrew Popplewell QC, who replaces Mr Justice Davis, who will also join the CoA. Also joining the QBD is Quadrant Chambers’ Charles Haddon-Cave QC, following the retirement of Mr Justice Steel at the end of October, and former head of Exchange Chambers, Judge Henry Brian Globe QC.

Meanwhile, the Chancery Division will welcome 4 Stone Buildings’ Robert Hildyard QC, who will succeed Mr Justice Lewison, who is also moving into the CoA.