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Lord Justice Thomas new Queen's Bench president

8 June 2011

Lord Justice Thomas has been promoted to president of the Queen’s Bench Division.

Sir Roger John Laugharne Thomas QC, 63, is currently vice president of the QBD and will replace Sir Anthony May at the start of the new term in October.

Lord Phillips, when Lord Chief Justice, said of Thomas: “Margaret Thatcher once famously said of William Whitelaw ‘everyone needs a Willie’. David Neuberger suggested to me that every Lord Chief Justice needs a John Thomas.”

The Welshman, who has previously held the post of leader of the East Caribbean Circuit, recently completed his term as president of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary, during which he has fought for closer cooperation between jurisdictions.

Christopher Kinch QC, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said: "He has vast experience and boundless enthusiasm. He will need to call on both in his new role."

Thomas is also currently chairing the Joint Advocacy Group, responsible for designing the controversial quality assurance scheme for advocates, and is known for his support of tighter regulations.

Gregory Bull QC, who has followed in Thomas’ footsteps to lead the Wales and Chester circuit, said he was delighted by the “well-earned” promotion. “Thomas LJ has a formidable reputation for fairness, zeal and thoroughness,” he said.

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