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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

27 MAY 2016

New Master of the Rolls: Sir Terence Etherton

Jonathan Cailes

Major Works Manager

@JPFamilyLaw

New Master of the Rolls: Sir Terence Etherton

The Queen has approved the appointment of The Rt Hon Sir Terence Etherton as the Master of the Rolls with effect from 3 October 2016.


The appointment follows the retirement of The Right Honourable Lord Dyson on 2 October 2016.

Sir Terence Etherton

Sir Terence Etherton was called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn) in 1974 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1990. He was appointed a High Court judge on 11 January 2001 and assigned to the Chancery Division, receiving the customary knighthood.

In 2006, Sir Terence Etherton was appointed Chairman of the Law Commission and, in 2008, a Lord Justice of Appeal, receiving the customary appointment to the Privy Council. Then, in 2009, he was appointed President of the Council of the Inns of Court and, in 2013, Chancellor of the High Court, head of the Chancery Division.

Sir Terence Etherton is an honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, and of Royal Holloway, London University. He is a Visiting Professor of Law of Birkbeck, London University and an Honorary Professor of Law of Kent University. He has an honorary doctorate in law from City University.

The Master of the Rolls

The Master of the Rolls is the Head of Civil Justice and the second most senior judge (after the Lord Chief Justice) in England and Wales. The position dates back to at least the 13th century. The Master of the Rolls is President of the Court of Appeal’s Civil Division, which hears appeals on the full range of civil, family and tribunal cases. In addition to a heavy caseload and administrative responsibilities, the office also conveys the chairmanship of a number of bodies, including the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, Civil Justice Council, Advisory Council on National records and Archives and the Magna Carta Trust.

The appointment of the Master of the Rolls was made by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice.

The other panel members were: the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, and three lay Judicial Appointments Commissioners, namely Dame Valarie Strachan, Professor Emily Jackson and Professor Noel Lloyd. The Lord Chancellor was consulted as part of the selection process.

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