Eleven new deputy High Court judges have been appointed by the lady chief justice in her first round of appointments since taking up her role. Five of the appointments went to women.

Two of those appointed are solicitors. Francesca Kaye is a former partner at Russell-Cooke and was the first female president of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA). Kaye was appointed as a deputy district judge in 2003 and a deputy master of the Chancery Division in 2016, becoming Chancery master in May 2019.

Nikki Edwards, vice president of the LSLA, told the Gazette: 'Francesca is an extremely valuable and long-standing (now honorary) member of the LSLA committee. She has been a great mentor to me in my time with the LSLA over the last 12 years. At a time when there is a call for more solicitors in the judiciary, this appointment is brilliant news all around.' 


Kaye became Chancery master in May 2019

The other solicitor is Allen & Overy partner David Stone, who leads the firm’s global intellectual property practice. Stone has previously sat as a deputy in the Chancery Division, the Patents Court and the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

Two silks from commercial set 7 King’s Bench Walk, David Bailey KC and Peter MacDonald Eggers KC, were appointed. At the same time, Serle Court’s Lance Ashworth KC joined the current chair of the Chancery Bar Association, Maitland Chambers’ Andrew Twigger KC, on the list. Richard Todd KC, of a specialist family set 1 Hare Court, was also appointed.

Victoria Butler-Cole KC, of 39 Essex Chambers, who is vice-chair of the Court of Protection Bar Association and family law silk, Julia Cheetham KC, deputy head of Manchester’s Deans Court Chambers, were also named along with senior family judge, Her Honour Judge Carolyn Hilder, of the Court of Protection, and Serjeant’s Inn Chambers' Debra Powell KC.

The appointments are for a single fixed six-year term from November 2023 to November 2029.


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