Terence Etherton

The Right Honourable
Sir Terence Etherton

Master of the Rolls
Assumed office
3 October 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Lord Dyson
Chancellor of the High Court
In office
11 January 2013  3 October 2016
Preceded by Sir Andrew Morritt
Succeeded by Sir Geoffrey Vos
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
29 September 2008  11 January 2013
Nominated by Gordon Brown
as Prime Minister
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Personal details
Born Terence Michael Elkan Barnet Etherton
(1951-06-21) 21 June 1951
Spouse(s) Andrew Stone
Residence West London
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Occupation Judge
Religion Jewish[1]

Sir Terence Michael Elkan Barnet Etherton MR (born 21 June 1951) is the Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. He previously served as Chancellor of the High Court, the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales, from 2013 to 2016.

Early life

Etherton attended Holmewood House School and St Paul's School, and studied history and law at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[2] He was in the British Sabre team from 1977 to 1980 and qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

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[3] and assigned to the Chancery Division, receiving the customary knighthood. In August 2006, he was appointed Chairman of the Law Commission,[4] the statutory independent body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where needed.

On 29 September 2008, on expansion of the Court of Appeal from 37 to 38 judges, Etherton was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal. He was sworn in on 29 September 2008,[5] and received the customary appointment to the Privy Council. On 11 January 2013, he was appointed Chancellor of the High Court.[6]

On 3 October 2016, Etherton succeeded Lord Dyson as Master of the Rolls.[7]

In October 2016 Etherton was one of the three judges forming the divisional court of the High Court in proceedings concerning the use of the royal prerogative for the issue of notification in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (the Lisbon Treaty) (Santos and Miller, Applicants -v- Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Respondent).


Etherton was a Non-Executive Director Riverside Mental Health Trust (1992-1999), Chairman of Broadmoor Hospital (1999-2001) and Chairman of West London Mental Health NHS Trust (2000-2001).

In 2005, Etherton was installed as an honorary fellow of Royal Holloway College, University of London and in 2007 he was made an honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[8] He was President of the Nicholas Bacon Society, Corpus Christi's law society, from 2001 to 2013.

In January 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by City University, London.

Also in 2009 he was appointed President of the Council of the four Inns of Court (COIC) for a three-year term.

He has been an Honorary Professor at Kent University since 2011.

He became the honorary President of the Property Bar Association and the Chairman of its Trust Law Committee in 2012.

Etherton has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London since 2010 and lectured on subjects including diversity in the judiciary and equity and trusts on the Birkbeck, University of London LLB and LLM Qualifying Law Degrees. He is Patron of the Birkbeck Law Review.

Etherton is Senior Warden at West London Synagogue.[9]

Personal life

Etherton entered a civil partnership in 2006.[10] On his appointment as Lord Justice of Appeal in 2008, he said, "My appointment also shows that diversity in sexuality is not a bar to preferment up to the highest levels of the judiciary".[11]

On 10 December 2014, pursuant to legislation allowing couples in civil partnerships to convert the relationship to marriage, Etherton and his civil partner Andrew Stone were married in a Reform Judaism wedding ceremony at West London Synagogue.[12]

Notes and references

  1. "'Sir Terence Etherton makes his case for an entry into the legal world's hall of fame'". The Jewish Chronicle. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  2. ‘ETHERTON, Rt Hon. Sir Terence (Michael Elkan Barnet)’, Who's Who 2016, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2016
  3. The London Gazette: no. 56092. p. 535. 16 January 2001.
  4. "Terence Etherton to Chair Law Commission". legalday.com. 25 July 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 58845. p. 15299. 7 October 2008.
  6. "Appointment of Chancellor of High Court" (Press release). London: Judicial Office. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  7. "Master of the Rolls: Sir Terence Etherton". 10 Downing Street. 26 May 2016.
  8. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: Sir Terence Etherton
  9. "West London Synagogue of British Jews, Wardens 1842-2014". JewishGen.
  10. "Sir Terence Etherton, Chairman of the Law Commission". The Times. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  11. "Out gay man becomes Lord Justice of Appeal". Pink News.
  12. "West London Synagogue celebrates religious same-sex weddings". Pink News.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Lord Dyson
Master of the Rolls
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