Solicitors have welcomed the appointment of the Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Vos as the next master of the rolls.

Vos, who currently serves as chancellor of the High Court, will take over from Sir Terence Etherton on 11 January 2021, following the latter’s retirement.

The master of the rolls is the second most senior judge in England and Wales after the lord chief justice. As president of the Court of Appeal’s civil division the master of the rolls is responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of the judges of the division as well as presiding in its courts.

Vos, who was called to the bar in 1977, was appointed as a lord justice of appeal in 2013 and became chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales in October 2016.

Law Society president Simon Davis said: ‘Congratulations to the Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Vos on his appointment as the master of the rolls. His work clearly demonstrates his commitment to the rule of law, dedication to the promotion of our jurisdiction and support of legal technology as a driver of growth. We look forward to working with the new master of the rolls to promote England and Wales as a global legal centre.’

David Greene, vice president of the Law Society, said there is ‘no better judge to head the civil side of the courts in the modern age with modern issues’.

Other lawyers have praised Vos’ ‘exceptional intellect’ and predicted he would prove more of an activist than Etherton. Vos has previously backed online justice and deemed the Woolf reforms to civil proceedings ‘inadequately revolutionary’.