The Hon Mr Justice Fancourt, Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster

Mr Justice Fancourt began his judicial career in 2009 when he was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court. He sat regularly in the Crown Court until 2018. Having been appointed a Deputy High Court Judge of the Chancery Division in 2013 he was then appointed a High Court Judge to sit in the Chancery Division in 2018. He served as President of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) from August 2019 to August 2022 and was then appointed Vice-Chancellor in September 2021, in succession to Mr Justice Snowden. As such, he is the supervising judge for the Business and Property Courts on the Northern and North-Eastern Circuits. He published Enforceability of Landlord and Tenant Covenants (3rd ed. 2014) and is the general editor of Muir Watt and Moss, Agricultural Holdings (15th ed).

HHJ Cadwallader

HHJ Cadwallader became one of the judges of the Circuit Commercial Court in 2020.

He is authorised to sit in the Chancery Division, the King’s Bench Division (Circuit Commercial and TCC) and sits primarily in Liverpool, though also in Manchester and London.

He was called to the Bar in 1984 and practised in Liverpool at the Chancery Bar, specialising in business and property and commercial litigation. He is an accredited mediator and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and has conducted both mediations and arbitrations in those fields.

He was appointed a Chancery Recorder and Deputy Adjudicator to HM Land Registry in 2009.

The court is also able to draw upon the services of specialist Civil Circuit Judges in the north-west and Deputy High Court Judges, as well as High Court Judges for the heaviest cases.

His Honour Judge Wood KC

Graham Wood is the Designated Civil Judge for Cheshire and Merseyside. He is authorised to sit as a High Court judge in the King’s Bench Division, in the Administrative Court and as a judge of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. He is also authorised to sit in the Business and Property Courts, principally in the Technology and Construction Court. He sits as a tribunal judge in the First Tier Tribunal (mental health restricted patients) and is a course director for the Judicial College with responsibility for overseeing the training of all civil recorders.

His Honour Judge Wood has lived in the Merseyside area throughout his life. He read law at the University of Leeds, before moving to London to study at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the Bar in 1979. He returned to his roots for his pupillage in Liverpool, obtaining a common law tenancy at Melbourne Buildings (later becoming India Buildings and St John’s Buildings) practising in a wide range of common law work as a junior, with a particular interest in personal injury, clinical negligence and public law. He obtained silk in 2002 and moved to Exchange Chambers where he specialised in criminal fraud, clinical negligence and public law. He was appointed as an assistant recorder in 1996, becoming a recorder in 2000, and obtaining a civil ticket in 2001. He was appointed a section 9 judge in the Administrative Court in 2009, and a full-time circuit judge in 2011.

His Honour Judge Hodge KC

His Honour Judge David Hodge KC was appointed as a Specialist Civil Senior Circuit Judge in November 2005.

His principal court is the Manchester Civil Justice Centre although HHJ Hodge KC also sits in Liverpool and at the Rolls Building in London. He is authorised to hear cases in the Chancery Lists, the Circuit Commercial Court, and the Technology and Construction Court. He is also authorised to sit in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) and the Court of Protection.  

HHJ Hodge KC was educated at a local state secondary school (St Margaret’s) in Liverpool, where he grew up. He studied at University College, Oxford where he took a first class degree in Jurisprudence and was awarded the post-graduate degree of Bachelor of Civil Law.

He was called to the Bar in 1979 and was one of only four in his year to receive a first class in the Bar Finals. He practised at the Chancery and Commercial Bars from chambers in Lincoln’s Inn, London (9 Old Square and then Maitland Chambers) between 1980 and his appointment to the Bench in 2005, specialising in the fields of property and professional liability.

He was appointed a QC (now KC) in 1997 and sat in crime as a fee-paid Assistant Recorder and Recorder (from 1998) and also as a Deputy High Court Judge of the Chancery Division (from 2004) until his appointment as a full-time, salaried judge in 2005. HHJ Hodge KC was elected a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2000 and he served as Joint Chair of its Students Activities Committee from 2008 to 2014. He has been a lead advocacy tutor and tutor trainer for Lincoln’s Inn since 1996. He has served as a member of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting since 2010 and of the Legal Advisory Commission of the General Synod since 2016. HHJ Hodge KC has acted as a Judicial College course tutor on the specialist jurisdictions course since 2010 and he served as its joint course director between 2019 and 2021.  

HHJ Hodge KC is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Blackburn and Oxford and in 2022 he served as the Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Ely to determine the unsuccessful petition to remove a contested memorial from the Grade I listed chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge. He has served on the Committee of the Council of HM Circuit Judges since 2007 and has acted as the Secretary and then the Chair of its Civil Sub-Committee. He is currently the Senior Vice-President of the Council.

In 2010 he published ‘Hodge on Rectification’ which is now in its 2nd edition (2015).

HHJ Pearce

His Honour Judge (Richard) Pearce was called to the Bar in 1985. He practised in the sphere of common law. He was appointed a Recorder in 2005 and a full-time civil Circuit Judge in 2015, sitting initially in Chester and Liverpool and more recently in Manchester.

Richard is the Judge in charge of the Circuit Commercial Court in Manchester and also sits in the Technology and Construction Court and the Chancery Division, as well as in the County Court, the King’s Bench Division, the Administrative Court and the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

He is a frequent speaker at events organised by the British Irish Commercial Bar Association. He has been involved in the Court Reform programme, including work on online court processes.

District Judge Deane

District Judge Deane formerly practised at the Chancery Bar, was appointed a District Judge in 2017, and sits as a specialist Business and Property District Judge in Liverpool

District Judge Johnson

District Judge Samantha Johnson was admitted as a solicitor in 1997. She specialised in commercial litigation for a number of years before becoming a lecturer and then associate professor at the University of Law in Chester. She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2010, became authorised to hear Chancery work in 2015. 

She was appointed as a District Judge in 2017 and she hears Chancery, insolvency and general civil cases (including clinical negligence and industrial disease). She is a contributor to the Civil Court Service (the Brown Book) (LexisNexis).

District Judge Lampkin

District Judge Mark Lampkin was admitted as a solicitor in 1990. He ran his own practice as a solicitor for 20 years prior to his appointment as a Deputy District Judge in 2010. He was appointed as a full-time District Judge in 2018.

NB: Other judges who sit only in the Circuit Commercial Court or in the Technology and Commercial Court have profiles on the pages for those courts.