David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury

The Right Honourable
The Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury speaking at a conference in Singapore in 2016
President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Assumed office
1 October 2012
Monarch Elizabeth II
Deputy The Lord Hope of Craighead
The Baroness Hale of Richmond
Preceded by The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
Master of the Rolls
In office
1 October 2009  30 September 2012
Preceded by The Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony
Succeeded by Lord Dyson
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
11 January 2007  30 September 2009
Preceded by The Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead
Succeeded by Lord Dyson (as Justice of the Supreme Court)
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
12 January 2004  11 January 2007
Personal details
Born (1948-01-10) 10 January 1948
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Angela Holdsworth
Relations Herman N. Neuberger (uncle)
Julia Neuberger, Baroness Neuberger (sister-in-law)
Children 3
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Occupation Judge
Profession Barrister
Religion Reform Judaism

David Edmond Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury, PC (/ˈnjuːbɜːrɡər/; born 10 January 1948) is an English judge. He is currently President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. He was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until the House of Lords' judicial functions were transferred to the new Supreme Court in 2009, at which point he became Master of the Rolls, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. Neuberger was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2012. He also serves as a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.[1]

Early life

Neuberger was born on 10 January 1948, the son of Albert Neuberger,[2] Professor of Chemical Pathology at St Mary's Hospital, University of London, and his wife, Lilian. His uncle was the noted rabbi Herman N. Neuberger. All three of his brothers are or were professors: James is Professor of Medicine at the University of Birmingham, Michael was Professor of Molecular Immunology at the University of Cambridge, while Anthony is Professor in Finance at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.[3]

He was educated at Westminster School, and studied chemistry at Christ Church, Oxford.[2][4] Upon graduation, he worked at the merchant bank, N M Rothschild & Sons, from 1970 to 1973.[2][5]

Legal career

Neuberger was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1974,[2][6] where he became a Bencher in 1993. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1987. He was a Recorder from 1990 to 1 October 1996, when he was appointed a High Court Judge in the Chancery Division and received the customary knighthood.[7] In 2001, he was made Supervisory Chancery Judge of Midland, Wales and Chester, and of the Western Circuits, a post he held until 12 January 2004, when he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and a member of the Privy Council.[8][9] Since 2005 he has been co-chair (with Richard Susskind) of ITAC (Lord Chancellor's Information Technology and Courts Committee).

On 11 January 2007, he succeeded Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary[6] and was made a life peer as Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury, of Abbotsbury in the County of Dorset, and introduced in the House of Lords on 15 January 2007 between Lord Bingham of Cornhill and his sister-in-law, Baroness Neuberger.[10]

His rise to the Court of Appeal and then to the House of Lords is one of the quickest in recent times. Although Lord Devlin was, at 55, even younger on his own appointment to the House of Lords in 1960, Neuberger was the youngest sitting Law Lord.[11] It was announced on 23 July 2009 that he would be appointed the next Master of the Rolls, succeeding Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, who became one of the inaugural Justices of the Supreme Court on the retirement of Lord Scott of Foscote. This appointment took effect on 1 October 2009.

Between 2006 and 2007, he led an investigation for the Bar Council into widening access to the Bar. He also served on the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, led by former Health Secretary Alan Milburn, which reported in July 2009. Other Panel members included Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, Michael Grade, Chairman of ITV, and Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal.[12]

In May 2010, Neuberger gave a controversial, ex tempore dissenting judgment that the trade union Unite had not complied with ballot rules under trade union legislation.[13] In July 2010 Neuberger ruled that peace protesters in Parliament Square who had camped out in Democracy Village should be evicted after the protesters lost an appeal.[14]

In May 2011, while commenting on super injunctions, he said that social media sites like Twitter were "totally out of control" and society should consider ways to bring such websites under control.[15]

In July 2012, it was announced that Neuberger would succeed Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers as President of the Supreme Court,[16] which post he took up on 1 October 2012.[17]

Personal life

In 1976, Neuberger married Angela Holdsworth, the TV producer and writer. They have three children, Jessica, Nicholas and Max, who are all solicitors.[4] Neuberger's sister-in-law, through his brother Anthony, is Baroness Neuberger, DBE, Senior Rabbi of the West London Synagogue.

Neuberger was Chairman of the Schizophrenia Trust from 2003-13, when it merged with and was subsumed by Mental Health Research UK: he is now a Trustee of MHRUK. He was a Governor of the University of the Arts London between 2000 and 2010. He has been President of the British Records Association since 2009.

Selected cases


  1. List of Judges and Judicial Officers (Position as at 1 September 2010)
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Neuberger of Abbotsbury". Who's Who. Oxford University Press. December 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  3. "Anthony Neuberger". Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  4. 1 2 "The Panel on Fair Access to the Professions: David Neuberger". Cabinet Office. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  5. U.K.'s Youngest Law Lord David Neuberger Joins Court at Age 59, Bloomberg, 10 January 2007.
  6. 1 2 "Judicial Appointment for Sir David". 10 Downing Street. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 54543. p. 13211. 4 October 1996.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 57179. p. 504. 15 January 2004.
  9. "Orders for 11 February 2004". Privy Council Office.
  10. Minutes of Proceedings of Monday 15 January 2007; retrieved 27 July 2009.
  11. "Neuberger LJ in fast-track promotion to the Lords]". The Lawyer. 13 December 2006.
  12. "Panel on Fair Access to the Professions". 27 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  13. "BA strike: Ban lifted by High Court". BBC News. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  14. "Parliament Square protesters lose eviction appeal". BBC News. 16 July 2010.
  15. "Journalist's Twitter posts spark prosecution call". BBC News. 22 May 2011.
  16. "New President of the Supreme Court". Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  17. Farmer, Brian (1 October 2012). "New Supreme Court chief Lord Neuberger sworn in". Independent. London, UK.
  18. [2007] 2 AC 432 at [127]

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony
Master of the Rolls
Succeeded by
Lord Dyson
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded by
The Lord Fowler
as Lord Speaker
as President of the Supreme Court
Succeeded by
The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd
as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Murray Gleeson
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Succeeded by
The Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
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