I am a salaried judge of the First-tier Tax Tribunal and a solicitor. It is a matter of common knowledge that the judicial pension scheme is currently being ‘redesigned’. The leaflet published by the Judicial Appointments Commission in connection with the pension scheme reform (which was highlighted in your recent daily email update) gives a rather one-sided summary of the changes currently ‘proposed’ by the government.

I believe it may be the first public indication of the scale of the changes proposed, and as it is now in the public domain I no longer feel bound by the request made of the judiciary to keep silent on the topic, particularly as prospective judges may be taking irrevocable, life-changing decisions without full possession of the facts.

If you read the leaflet carefully, obtain proper objective information about the structure of the current scheme and then compare the two in a properly informed and careful way, you may draw some reasonable conclusions about the effect (both financial and in terms of motivation/morale) of the unilateral changes on judges who took up what was supposed to be a lifetime appointment, severing their ties with private practice, on the basis of the scheme that was in place when they took up their appointments.

Once you have carried out that exercise, you might consider warning prospective applicants for the new posts to think carefully before burning their bridges in private practice.

Name and address withheld on request