Would you become a high court judge if eligible?

The JAC have announced the latest list of appointments, and Martin chamberlain of Brick Court called in 97 , took silk in 2013 has been appointed. I just wonder what the driver his for people like him, unless their practice in silk never took off.

no gold plated pension,long hours due to lack of judges , poor admin and support,and having to adjudicate on matters that should be no where near a court , and of course the huge drop in income more often than not.

I don’t know but you maybe correct, chamberlain took silk after just 15 years so I guess he must have a bit of an ego. That said he’s probably going to take a 300k a year hit for the next 25 years, he’s only 44, and have to deal with mad litigants in person having been appointed to the dustbin of the high court, otherwise known as the QBD

Imagine it will be a relief to be paid every month after 22 years, even if it does mean less money.

I am a high court judge, since you mention it. What would you like to know?

Status and a reliable pension, one imagines.  But I can't for one second understand why Tony Zacaroli did it.

It’s not as hard work as being a QC. Equal or better status, less money, better work life balance.

Tangent , maybe but given his chambers ,the type of work it does, and the length of time he has been in practice, he would still be getting monthly cheques in excess of his new salary.

ps I am not really a High Court judge, before the lurking Mail Online reporters all quote me in their latest click bait.

But the best silks pick and choose their cases , take time off as they wish, those I know means having 6 weeks off in the summer, month off in Easter and Christmas and any other time they chose . What do they get for holidays about 25 days I imagine .

I suspect that the majority of matters which one has to sit through would be terribly dull. 

No that’s true clubman, but aged 44 he is likely to have a chunky mortgage or two, along with school fees etc . I can see the attraction when these bills are no longer .

Not everyone has levered up on their earnings so as to lock themselves in to needing to earn the same or more for another 25 years. If you don’t have a savage personal cost base then moving from successful QC to judge in your forties may well be attractive, not only for the status (to which many will always have aspired) but also for the more balanced life. I’m not saying being a judge is a doss, but it’s not going to eat as many of your weekends and evenings as being a QC is. If you’re in your forties and have a youngish family, then that could appeal.

Can anyone remember the poster who, a couple of years ago, was saying that he was going to go to the bar and anticipated being a high court judge within 10 years in order to spite rof?

Can anyone remember his name and do they know if he made the switch as he might have some useful insights on this subject?

At the same time, I do suspect it is true that not all of the early middle-aged appointees were pulling up trees as QCs. To pull up trees as a QC you'd need to really really love the role, and if that were the case (being one of those freaks who likes law, discusses on my other thread) you’d probably want to do it a bit longer before taking to the bench. I suspect many of these guys, like the people who quit City law firms after five years as partners, are pleased to have been successful, but are not in love with practice any more and fancy a change.

That would be another good reason to make the switch - to piss off a bunch of malcontent internet gadflies. I suspect that’s a motive in at least some cases.

@ a perfectly normal human , firstly all the commercial /high end civil silks I know certainly have lifestyles commensurate with their income(as do most people)

i can think of one with two kids at uni, another two at top public schools, massive Georgian town house in Clapham, holiday house in Cornwall . Obviously I don’t know the mortgages on them , but he certainly pays 80k in school fees alone.

as no end of silks have told me, there is only a finite amount of genuine silk work about , and you have to restablish your self all again . For many it doesn’t work out because they cannot be bothered with the effort or just don’t make the step up.

it is also why clerks advise applicants who are in their early/ mid thirties to wait until they can afford to take the reduction in earnings that will inevitably drop off when they get made up and have to start all over again . Of course there are always a handful of Uber brilliant ones who make the transfer seemlessky , but many don’t.

That fairly obscure family QC recently had a £15,000 brief fee for a 1 day basic costs hearing disallowed in full by the Court on an inter-partes taxation.

Had no idea that family silks could charge so much...

Also I don't think I'd ever qualify being a stupid lazy fucker

I think we are saying mostly the same things EBITDA. 

We (my family and I) don’t really have a lifestyle commensurate with our income, that said. We’ve always stashed about 50% of what we earn after tax so we can stop doing something as face achingly tedious as law as soon as possible.

Remember that apparently brilliant senior junior family bazza doing family at a top family set who got shot dead by armed police in his 2 million pound Chelsea flat a while ago, it was reported he was billing 500k.

didnt laz say he only wanted an appellate only practice though when he changed to the bar !!?

High Court judges in Australia earn a little over $530,000 with the CJ on about $585,000.

That would be a massive pay cut for most Australian silks, and for quite a number of leading counsel.

No thank you.

That's GBP297K. If it's a "massive" pay cut then most Aussie silks are bringing home a bit more dingding than a lot of jobbing UK silks tbh

Chap I know took silk in rapid time in Sydney, did it for about 5 years tops and joined the Federal Court about a year ago.  Couldn't be arsed with the grind.  Very bright fellow, extremely well connected and could quite conceivably end up on the High Court.


I would but I never had the Latin for the judgin'

Judging in Ockerland's High Court is Laz's next career move

heffalump, are you a silk or am I confusing you with someone else.

I tried bribing a mate on the appointments committee a few years ago as would have been a big step up and a pay rise.  Strangely he was having none of it as a result of me not having any of the requisite qualifications.

MC's wife is also a silk so it is not as if he is suddenly going to be out of cash

Herr, I never know that, but still, a 50% or so drop in earnings is likely to hurt a bit.

I am guessing his practice in Silk, never took off, but I might be wrong. Heffa, would you be up for it at some stage?