E-discovery guru Whitaker resigns from judicial post after diary investigation

Senior Master Steven Whitaker has resigned from his post after the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) found he had made “misleading” entries in his diary.

Master Whitaker
Master Whitaker

Whitaker stepped down on Friday (14 March).

In a statement the JCIO said: “A judicial investigation into the conduct of Senior Master Steven Whitaker has found that he made misleading entries in his Outlook diary with the intent to mislead anyone who might scrutinise the record. The Lord Chancellor and the Chancellor of the High Court (on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice) concluded that this behaviour amounted to serious misconduct and would have removed the Senior Master from office had he not voluntarily resigned.”

Whitaker was appointed as senior master of the High Court in 2007, at the same time taking on the ancient ceremonial role of Queen’s Remembrancer.

He played a key role in the development of the e-disclosure regime which came into effect in 2010 (1 October 2010). He also established a specialist list at the High Court for mesothelioma claims.

A spokesperson for the judiciary said: “Master Leslie is sitting as Acting Senior Master in the expectation that a Judicial Appointment Commission recruitment exercise will be launched in due course.”