Terence Etherton

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The Right Honourable
Sir Terence Etherton
Chancellor of the High Court
Assumed office
11 January 2013
Preceded by Sir Andrew Morritt
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
21 June 1951
Residence West London
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Religion Jewish[1]

Sir Terence Michael Elkan Barnet Etherton (born 21 June 1951) is a British judge. He is currently Chancellor of the High Court, the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales.

Early life

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

Legal career

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[2] and assigned to the Chancery Division, receiving the customary knighthood. In August 2006, he was appointed Chairman of the Law Commission,[3] 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, following the expansion of the Court of Appeal from 37 to 38 judges, Etherton was to take the post of Lord Justice of Appeal. He was sworn into office on 29 September 2008,[4] and received the customary appointment to the Privy Council. On 11 January 2013, he was appointed Chancellor of the High Court.[5]


Whilst a practising barrister he was, in a volunteer capacity, a Non-Executive Director Riverside Mental Health Trust (1992-1999), Chairman of Broadmoor Hospital (1999-2001) and Chairman 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 his alma mater, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[6] He was President of the Nicholas Bacon Society, Corpus Christi's law society, from 2001 to 2013.

January 2009 saw him awarded an honorary doctorate in law by City University, London.

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 also the Chairman of the 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 also the Patron of the Birkbeck Law Review.

Etherton is currently Senior Warden at West London Synagogue.[7]

Personal life

Etherton is openly gay, and celebrated his civil partnership in 2006.[8] 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".[9]

On 10 December 2014, pursuant to the final piece of Great Britain's same-sex legislation allowing couples in civil partnerships to convert to a marriage for the first time, Etherton and his spouse Andrew Stone were married in a traditional Jewish Wedding Ceremony at London's iconic West London Synagogue.[10]

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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The London Gazette: no. 56092. p. 535. 16 January 2001.
  3. "Terence Etherton to Chair Law Commission". legalday.com. 25 July 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The London Gazette: no. 58845. p. 15299. 7 October 2008.
  5. "Appointment of Chancellor of High Court" (Press release). London: Judicial Office. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: Sir Terence Etherton
  7. "West London Synagogue of British Jews, Wardens 1842-2014". JewishGen.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Sir Terence Etherton, Chairman of the Law Commission". The Times. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Out gay man becomes Lord Justice of Appeal". Pink News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "West London Synagogue celebrates religious same-sex weddings". Pink News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>