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The head of Devereux Chambers Ingrid Simler QC has been appointed as a High Court judge.
The move follows the resignation of Devereux Chambers chief executive Beverly Landais last week (2 October 2013), who is leaving the law after 15 years in the profession to take up a position in marketing with financial adviser outfit Saunderson House. The set is considering whether to implement an administrative overhaul following her exit.
Simler, who appeared in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 of 2013 for her work advising on the judicial review of HMRC’s £10m settlement deal with Goldman Sachs, one of The Lawyer’s top cases of 2013, will sit as a judge in the Queen’s Bench Division at the High Court from 28 October. The appointment follows the retirement of Mr Justice Henriques.
Simler was called in 1987 and has built a career around employment law as well as tax litigation. Simler is also noted for her efforts at making law a more diverse profession. Finding herself working in a male-dominated profession back in the 1980s she quickly became involved with the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity committee, becoming chair in 2007.
Simler appeared in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 of 2013 for her work advising on the judicial review of HMRC’s £10m settlement deal with Goldman Sachs, a year after she represented Haringey Council, which had sacked director of children’s services Sharon Shoosmith, in the wake of the Baby P case.
It was, she said at the time, the biggest disappointment of her career and a far cry from her career high, when she beat two Goliaths of the bar, David Goldberg QC of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers and One Essex Court’s Tony Grabiner QC in the Supreme Court. Judgment in that dispute, Gaines-Cooper v HMRC and Davies & Anr v HMRC, came in October 2011 just ahead of her being appointed as head of chambers (10 January 2012).
Not bad for a silk who was told by her Cambridge director of studies that the bar was no place for a woman. Simler also sits as a deputy high court judge.
Her appointment is the latest in a stream of new High Court judges this year. These include that of Leveson Inquiry counsel Robert Jay QC, who joined the bench alongside 4 New Square’s Sue Carr QC and Judge Andrew Gilbart (8 May 2013)and joint head of Brick Court Chambers Nicholas Green QC following the retirement of Mr Justice Mackay (18 September 2013).
See The Lawyer’s video interview with Simler here.