High-flying solicitor judge Mr Justice Barrington Black – possibly the oldest permanent sitting judge since Lord Denning – hangs up his wig this week, completing 26 years on the bench after a two-year special appointment to The Supreme Court of Gibraltar.

Barrington was admitted in 1956 and built a criminal defence practice in Leeds, becoming a well-known media face along the way. He was one of the first solicitors to conduct cases in the Crown court before being appointed a stipendiary magistrate and then a judge in the London Crown courts.

He sat until the day of his 75th birthday, when required to retire, but in his 80th year was invited to the Rock to clear a criminal backlog which included murder, rape, robbery and fraud. He tells Obiter that he’s returning to London ‘in the hope that something else will turn up’.