He was educated at Bolton School and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was a merchant banker with Grindley Brandt & Co. and is a commissioned officer in the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry (TD, 1996).
He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1981 and was made a Bencher in 2004. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997, Assistant Recorder in 1997, Recorder in 2000 and Deputy High Court Judge in 2001.
He was Counsel to the North Wales Tribunal of Inquiry, 1996–99, and an Assistant Boundary Commissioner, 2000–04.
He was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Family Division on 4 May 2004 and was the Family Division Liaison Judge and then the Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit.
He was the Judge in Charge of the Modernisation of Family Justice, 2011-12 and was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and privy councillor in 2013. He is the Head of Deployment Strategy.
He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation and Chancellor of the University of Bolton.