MoJ names four High Court justices

The Ministry of Justice has unveiled the appointment of four High Court judges following the promotion of 10 to the Court of Appeal.

The new judges are: Judge Stephen Stewart QC; Vivien Rose; Michael Keehan QC; and Judge Colin Ian Birss QC.

Formerly a member of St John’s Buildings, Stewart was called to the bar in 1975 and took silk in 1996. He was appointed as a recorder in 1999 and, in 2011, became a senior circuit judge and designated civil judge in Greater Manchester.

The judge gained attention in Manchester earlier this year when he wrote to all judges sitting to ask them to embrace a culture of change following the implementation of new costs control measures in the courts.

Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) chair Rose brings to the bench expertise in competition and public law. She was called to the bar in 1984 and took up tenancy at Monckton Chambers.

In 1995 she left private practice and joined the Government Legal Service, working for several years in HM Treasury advising on financial services regulation, at the Ministry of Defence advising on international humanitarian law, and in the Legal Services Office of the House of Commons. She joined the CAT as chairman in 2005.

Birmingham-based family court specialist Keehan was called to the bar in 1985 and has practised from St Ives Chambers, where he has been head of chambers for the last seven years. He will join the family division of the High Court.

Judge Birss currently sits in the Patents County Court and last year came to prominence after ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets did not look “cool” enough to be mistaken for an Apple iPad (10 July 2012).

He was called to the bar in 1990 and took silk in 2008 while a member of 3 New Square.

Last month the Government appointed 10 Lord Justices of appeal, Mrs Justices Gloster, Macur and Sharp were among them (28 March 2013).