The outgoing chair of the Bar Council is one of four new High Court judges whose appointments have been announced this week. All four have moved from the bar.

Derek Sweeting QC, from 7 Bedford Row, will sit as a judge of the Queen’s Bench division from January, it was announced today. Called to the bar in 1983, Sweeting’s practice focuses on contentious civil litigation, including personal injury and clinical negligence, as well as commercial contracts, product liability and claims arising from the Iraq war.

Henrietta Hill QC and Joel Bennathan QC, both from Doughty Street Chambers, were also appointed this week to sit in the Queen’s Bench division from January. Hill, called to the bar in 1997, specialises in inquests and public inquiries and represented 22 of the families of those who died in the Hillsborough tragedy. Bennathan, called to the bar in 1985, is a criminal silk with an established defence practice in serious and complex crime.

Doughty Street’s joint head of chambers Edward Fitzgerald QC said: ‘Our loss is the judiciary’s gain.’ ‘We look forward to appearing before them and are sure that they will continue to dispense justice with wisdom and compassion in their new role as High Court judges,’ Fitzgerald added.

Sarah Morgan QC, from 1GC, was also appointed to sit as a High Court judge in the family division from next year. Morgan, called in 1988, specialises in all aspects of the law relating to children.