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Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal

Sir Geoffrey Vos appointed Master of the Rolls

Sir Geoffrey Vos appointed Master of the Rolls


Vos will replace Sir Terence Etherton early next year

Sir Geoffrey Vos has been appointed as the next Master of the Rolls and will replace Sir Terence Etherton when he retires on 11 January 2021.

The Master of the Rolls is the second most senior judge in England and Wales after the Lord Chief Justice.

As President of the Court of Appeal’s Civil Division the Master of the Rolls is responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of the judges of the division as well as presiding in its courts, often hearing the most complex cases across the full range of civil, family and tribunal matters.

The Master of the Rolls is Head of Civil Justice, and as such is chair of the Civil Justice Council and Civil Procedure Rule Committee, with responsibility for the development and oversight of the wider civil justice system.

Vos is currently chancellor of the High Court, a role he has occupied since 24 October 2016.

Prior to that, he was a Lord Justice of Appeal from 2013 and acted as president of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary between June 2014 and June 2016.

He was appointed a Justice of the High Court in October 2009. He sat as a judge internationally, in the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey between 2005 and 2009, and in the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands between 2008 and 2009, having begun his judicial career as a deputy High Court Judge in 1999.

Vos was also the chairman of the Chancery Bar Association from 1999 to 2001 and of the Bar Council in 2007, having taken silk in 1993 after a career practising at the Chancery-Commercial bar, both domestically and internationally.

Vice president of the Law Society David Greene is reported to have said there was “no better judge to head the civil side of the courts in the modern age with modern issues”.