Pick of the bench

Robert Walker QC's elevation to the bench was a loss, but an inevitable one, as he was well-respected and admired as a silk.

Chancery practice, although drier, is one of the more cerebral, academic and fascinating areas of the law. It tends to attract a particular talent and demands a different approach.

The barristers in this area are among the cleverest of those at the Bar and are very different from, say, family law barristers where sometimes a less intellectual approach is needed.

The intellectual approach needed for chancery practice is also to be found on the Chancery division bench.

The following list is subjective, not exhaustive:

Justice Gavin Lightman, is “pretty sound, good on land law, and also had a very good reputation as a barrister”.

Sir Richard Scott, vice-chancellor, who is “making news otherwise, and is frightfully good and confident”.

Some of the judges have also gone on to the Court of Appeal: Lord Justices Andrew Morritt and Peter Millet are both “excellent [and] their judgments are always read with great attention”.

And in the House of Lords, Lord Nichols, a former vice-chancellor is “of a very high standard and pretty impressive”.

Also highly regarded in the House of Lords are Lord Nolan, Lord Hoffman and Lord Browne-Wilkinson.