Solicitor judge to be sworn into the higher judiciary
Sir Gary Hickinbottom will be the second solicitor appointed to the Court of Appeal when he is sworn in at the Royal Courts of Justice today.
He follows Lawrence Collins (Baron Collins of Mapesbury), who was appointed in 2007.
In a lecture and dinner given in his honour by the Law Society last month, Sir Gary said he was proud to be one of the first solicitors appointed to the High Court and the Court of Appeal but claimed '… we are not punching our weight.'
Sir Gary said, 'I am fervently pro-diversity in both our profession, and in the judiciary. It is simply not right that those who come from backgrounds that are not 'traditional' - whether because of their gender, ethnicity, social background or whatever - should not have the same opportunities as those who do. There remains an important issue of personal rights here; and, to succeed when and sometimes because you do not fit the conventional image is a challenge and sometimes a struggle. It should not be; and we must fight to make sure that, in the future, it is not.'
Read Sir Gary’s speech in full.
Praising his achievements at the lecture, Law Society president Robert Bourns encouraged other solicitors, saying: 'His appointment is both a testimony to the great skill he brings to the bench, and an example of the huge contribution solicitors can make to the judiciary.
'The profession has no shortage of talented solicitors who could and should consider judicial appointment and I hope that this event encourages many of you to follow this route,' he added.
The Law Society’s Solicitor Judges Division is running a free training session to support and encourage applications from solicitor judges for the Judicial Appointments Commission district judge exercise launching on 21 March.
Read more and book your place