No solicitors appear among a list of new High Court judges announced this week. Brick Court Chambers' Martin Chamberlain, who acted for the lord chancellor in challenges brought by the Law Society and practitioner groups over criminal legal aid reforms, is among seven barrister QCs to be appointed to the High Court bench.
The others are John Cavanagh QC, Jennifer Eady QC, Alison Foster QC, Jeremy Johnson QC, Frances Judd QC and Pushpinder Saini QC. All have studied at Oxford or Cambridge universities.
The Judicial Appointments Commission says further appointments will be announced 'in the coming months'. The Gazette was told that the number of applicants or recommended candidates who are solicitors could not be confirmed until the annual statistics bulletin, which contains diversity data about selection exercises, is published.
The recruitment exercise began last November and was open to practitioners without judicial experience. The Judicial Appointments Commission received 64 applications and made 17 recommendations for appointment in June.
Cavanagh, joint head of 11KBW Chambers, appeared for the lord chancellor and Ministry of Justice in the long-running judges' pensions row.
Eady, a senior circuit judge assigned to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, was a trustee of the Free Representation Unit for seven years.
Foster's CV includes arguing that a Jaffa Cake is a biscuit for tax purposes.
Johnson recently represented South Wales Police in a landmark challenge over automatic facial recognition technology.
Judd has been chair of the Family Law Bar Association since 2018.
Saini went to a west London comprehensive school and taught law at Oxford and the London School of Economics while studying for the bar.
Latest judicial statistics show that solicitors are less represented among the judiciary than they were four years ago, despite a government-funded diversity programme. The current action plan for the judicial diversity committee of the judges' council includes holding workshops as part of a 'solicitor support programme'.