Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury will become the second president of the Supreme Court, Downing Street announced today.
Currently master of the rolls, Neuberger will succeed Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, who steps down from his post as the UK’s most senior judge on 30 September.
The appointment was made by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister and lord chancellor, following the recommendation of an independent selection commission chaired by Lord Phillips.
Neuberger will be sworn in at a ceremony at the court on 1 October 2012. He said: ‘It is a great honour to have been given the opportunity to serve as the president of the UK Supreme Court and to work with the 11 other distinguished members of the court.
'Together with the other members of the court I will do my best to ensure that it continues to play its proper role in upholding the rule of law, and applying and developing the law in a coherent and principled and practical way, appropriate for today’s world.'
Lord Phillips said: ‘Identifying a successor to lead the Supreme Court into the next phase of its life was inevitably a task I approached with mixed feelings - a degree of pride in preparing to hand over leadership of an organisation which has maintained a smooth and efficient service as the UK’s highest court following the significant changes brought about by the Constitutional Reform Act, but also an element of sadness in leaving that same organisation.
‘But in Lord Neuberger I know we have an extremely talented new president, who brings not only a wealth of judicial experience but the ability to lead a collegiate court. I wish him all the very best and I only hope that he enjoys this very special honour as much as I have.’
Neuberger has been master of the rolls and head of civil justice, the second most senior judge in England and Wales, since October 2009. Before that he was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord), after serving for three years as a Lord Justice of Appeal.
His first judicial appointment was as a recorder from 1990 until 1996, when he was appointed a judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales.
A property barrister when in practice, he was the supervising chancery judge for the Midland, Wales and Chester, and Western Circuits between 2001 and 2004. His replacement as master of the rolls has not yet been announced, but it is widely expected to be current Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson.