Nicholas Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers : biography
Nicholas Addison Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers, KG, PC (born 21 January 1938) is a former English judge. Until October 2012, he was the President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Before 1 October 2009, his title was Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. He was Master of the Rolls from 2000 to 2005 and Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2005 until 1 October 2008. He was the first Lord Chief Justice to be head of the English judiciary, when that function was transferred from the Lord Chancellor in April 2006. "No surprise, probably, that Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers takes the No 1 slot."
Phillips was awarded the prestigious International Jurist Award at the International Conference of Jurists 2007. The award was presented by the President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Phillips was educated at Bryanston School. He has been a Governor of the school since 1975 and has been Chairman of the Governors since 1981. He undertook his National Service with the Royal Navy and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, where he was a commissioned officer. After the two years' service he went to King's College, Cambridge, where he read law. In 1962, he was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple, where he was the Harmsworth Scholar. He undertook pupillage at 2 Essex Court chambers (where the QC was the Anglo-American Waldo Porges) and subsequently obtained a tenancy there, later moving to 1 Brick Court (now Brick Court Chambers). In 1973 he was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Ministry of Defence and to the Treasury in maritime and Admiralty matters. On 4 April 1978, he became a Queen's Counsel (QC).
- Nicholas Phillips Esq (birth–1978)
- Nicholas Phillips Esq QC (1978–1987)
- The Hon. Mr Justice Phillips (1987–1995)
- The Rt Hon. Lord Justice Phillips (1995–1999)
- The Rt Hon. The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers PC (1999–2011)
- The Rt Hon. The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG PC (2011–present)
In 1982, Phillips was appointed a Recorder and from 1987 was a full-time High Court Judge on the Queen's Bench Division, with the customary knighthood. He took an interest in legal training, and was Chairman of the Council of Legal Education from 1992 to 1997. He presided over several complex fraud trials including those covering the Robert Maxwell pension fund fraud and Barlow Clowes. In 1995, he became a Lord Justice of Appeal and was appointed to the Privy Council.
On 12 January 1999, he was made a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and created a life peer under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 as Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers, of Belsize Park in the London Borough of Camden. He then succeeded Lord Woolf as Master of the Rolls on 6 June 2000. He conducted an inquiry into the outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. He served as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2005 to 2008, when he was reappointed as a Law Lord. Since 2008, Phillips was the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until he became the first President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on 1 October 2009. Queen Elizabeth II created him a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter on 23 April 2011.
He is President of the British Maritime Law Association and Chairman of the European Maritime Law Organisation.
On 11 October 2011, Phillips announced his retirement on 30 September 2012, almost four months before his mandatory retirement at turning 75 on 21 January 2013.
After retiring from the bench, Phillips followed Lord Woolf as President of the Qatar International Court in Doha. He also sits as an arbitrator.
Phillips is married to Christylle Marie-Thérèse Rouffiac, with whom he has two daughters, and a stepson and stepdaughter, and lives in Hampstead, London. He is a member of Brooks's and the Garrick Club. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Drapers and of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, and an honorary fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies and University College London, and King's College, Cambridge.
He is also the first Dickson Poon Distinguished Fellow and Visiting Professor at The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London.
He has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from the Universities of Exeter (1998), Birmingham (2003) and London (2004) and the International Institute of Maritime Law, and of Doctor of Civil Law (D.CL) from City University, London (2003). He is also the current Chancellor at Bournemouth University
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