Sir Terence Etherton has succeeded Lord Dyson to take over as Master of the Rolls, a position that will see him head the civil judiciary in England and Wales.
Currently Chancellor of the High Court, the 64-year old’s promotion was confirmed following an announcement from Downing Street this Thursday morning (26 May).
Outranked only by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Etherton will take home a salary of around £220,000.
Etherton is Britain’s first openly gay judge and entered into a civil partnership in 2006, which was then converted to a marriage in 2014.
Called to the Bar in 1974, he became a Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and appointed a High Court Judge in 2001 and assigned to the Chancery Division, receiving the customary knighthood.
In 2006, he was given the role of chairman of the Law Commission and three years later, appointed president of the Council of the Inns of Court. In 2013, he was appointed the Chancellor of the High Court, head of the Chancery Division.
Lord Dyson will step down this October after four years in the role. He succeeded Lord Neuberger in 2012, who became president of the Supreme Court.
The most complex cases traditionally come before the Master of the Rolls, and the appointee is responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of judges, Lord Neuberger once told Legal Business the job is much more process-orientated compared to his role as Supreme Court president.
He said: ‘It’s a bit less frenetic and more strategic. There were a lot of administrative things to do and civil justice to run. This doesn’t involve so many things. On the other hand, it is a more visible job and every judgment for which this court is responsible is going to be important, not just to the parties, but to a sector or to society. Master of the Rolls was a lovely name, but nobody knew what it meant. President of the Supreme Court – you know what that means.’
For more on the judiciary see: ‘Great expectations – Neuberger speaks’