A duo of female barristers have been elevated to the High Court including 2 Hare Court’s Bobbie Cheema-Grubb QC, who becomes the UK’s first female Asian High Court judge.

Circuit judge Juliet Mary May QC has also been made up, replacing Mr Justice Akenhead who will retire on 3 December aged 66.

Cheema-Grubb is replacing Mr Justice Parker, who will retire on 23 November aged 70.

The appointments bring the number of female High Court judges to 23 out of a total of 108. The figure has grown rapidly since 2005 when there were just 10 women on the High Court bench.

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) launched a recruitment programme earlier this year to fill around 14 vacancies left by retiring deputy High Court judges and Court of Appeal judges.

In July the judiciary made up four CoA judges, including two with less than 10 years’ experience on the bench. The appointments were: former 20 Essex Street QC Mr Justice Hamblen, Francis Taylor Building silk Mr Justice Lindblom, Erskine Chambers’ Mr Justice David Richards and Brick Court Chambers’ Mr Justice Simon.

Their replacements in the High Court have not yet been announced.