The lord chief justice has announced the imminent appointment of the first female senior presiding judge for England and Wales.

Court of Appeal judge Lady Justice Macur will become the first woman to hold the role since it was created in 1983 when she takes up the appointment in January 2018.

Lord Justice Fulford, also a court of appeal judge, is the new deputy senior president judge and will take the top post in next year. Macur will be his deputy from January 2016 to December 2017.

The role involves overseeing the work of presiding judges on each circuit in England and Wales, with overall responsibility for the deployment of work in the courts. The SPJ also sits on the board of HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

The role is especially important in the next five years, as HMCTS undertakes a wide-ranging reform programme and implementation of new IT systems.

Previous incumbents of the SPJ post have included Sir Igor Judge, Sir John Thomas and Sir Brian Leveson.

Fulford was called to the Bar in 1978 and was appointed QC in 1994.

Macur was called to the Bar in 1979 and made QC in 1998.