If authority and humility are exemplars of good judicial practice, it’s no wonder Lady Hale has reached the position of Supreme Court president.
Hale was on excellent form on Monday as she oversaw the latest insurer-claimant costs dingdong in Haven v Edmondson.
As the clock ticked towards 3.30pm, Lady Hale politely interrupted Lord Marks QC to point out he had four minutes remaining of his allocated four hours for arguments.
‘I will do my best,’ replied Marks.
Hale responded: ‘No, you have four minutes remaining. However you choose to fill them is up to you.’
A chastened Marks was about to continue when it was quietly pointed out to the judge that proceedings had started at 11am, meaning counsel had another 34 minutes left.
‘I had forgotten we started at 11 as I have been so fascinated,’ said an apologetic Hale, much to the amusement of the court. Marks wisely wrapped his submissions up 15 minutes early. ‘Congratulations,’ said Hale as she briskly moved on.