Moves to recruit more solicitors to the senior bench appear to be progressing slowly, with one solicitor among five new High Court appointments.
The Judicial Appointments Commission announced Peter Lane's appointment on Friday. Lane initially trained as a barrister but became a solicitor when he entered private practice.
Lane, who specialised in infrastructure projects, began his judicial career as a fee-paid immigration adjudicator. He became president of the General Regulatory Chamber in 2014. He has been a deputy High Court judge since 2016.
The senior judiciary last month expressed anxiety about efforts to recruit solicitors to the bench after figures showed the proportions are going backwards.
However in a comment tweeted by the Judicial Office on Friday, Sir Ernest Ryder, senior president of the tribunals, said the five new appointments demonstrate the possibility of progression up the judicial ladder.
Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Ernest Ryder: this demonstrates judicial career progression potential pic.twitter.com/eljVWduc4P— Judicial Office (@JudiciaryUK) August 18, 2017
Akhlaq Choudhury QC was appointed a Crown court recorder in 2009 and became a deputy High Court judge in 2016.
Julian Goose QC was appointed honorary recorder of Sheffield and senior circuit judge in 2013. He sat part-time in the Court of Appeal criminal division and Queen's Bench Division. He is a judicial member of the Sentencing Council.
Simon Bryan QC became a recorder in 2009 and a deputy High Court judge in 2013. In 2015 he was appointed chief justice of the Falklands Islands and other Overseas Territories.
Gwynneth Knowles QC was appointed a fee-paid judge in the mental health tribunal in 2007. Since 2015 she has also sat as an upper tribunal judge in the immigration and asylum chamber. She was appointed as a deputy high court judge, assigned to the family division, in 2016.
Lane is one of three who were the first in their family to go to university.
The commission said there will be more announcements 'in the coming months'.