The Rt Hon The Lord Thomas is the Head of the judiciary and President of the Courts of England and Wales.
He was born in Wales and educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read law, after which he became a Commonwealth Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1969 and became a Bencher at the Inn in 1992. He practised at the Commercial Bar in London from 1971 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1984. He was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1984 and a Recorder in 1987. He was an Inspector into the affairs of Mirror Group Newspapers plc when that company was owned by the late Mr Robert Maxwell.
He was appointed a Judge of the High Court of England and Wales in 1996 and was assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division and to the Commercial Court. From 1998-2001 he was one of the Presiding Judges of the Wales and Chester Circuit. He was Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court in London from April 2002 to July 2003, when he was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal. He has been a member of the Judges’ Council since 2002. He was the Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales from 2003 to 2006. From 2008 to October 2011 he was Vice-President of the Queen’s Bench Division. He has been President of the Queen’s Bench Division since October 2011. He has been Deputy Head of Criminal Justice since 2008 as well as judge in charge of European issues from 2007-2011. He was President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary from May 2008 to December 2010.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and a Fellow of the Universities of Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Swansea and Bangor and an Honorary Doctor of Law of the Universities of Glamorgan, the West of England and Wales.
He is Vice-President of ARIAS (UK), Past President of the British Insurance Law Association and a Vice-President of the British Maritime Law Association. He is Co-Chairman of the Trustees of the International Law Book Facility.