Mr Justice Barling is the Business and Property Courts Supervising Judge for the North and North-East, and he makes decisions regarding deployment and listings.
The Resident Judges of the Business and Property Courts are Senior Circuit Judges who sit principally in Liverpool and at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. They are each authorised to sit as Judges of the High Court in all the jurisdictions of the Business and Property Courts’ work. In addition, substantial High Court cases may be listed before a High Court Judge, who may be Mr Justice Barling.
Business and Property Courts work in the County Court may be listed before one of the Resident Judges or, if so authorised by a Resident Judge in an appropriate case, before a Recorder with relevant specialist expertise or a Specialist District Judge.
His Honour Judge Stephen Davies
His Honour Judge Stephen Davies was called to the Bar in 1985 and practised in business and property litigation from chambers in Manchester from 1986 until 2007. He became a part-time Crown Court Recorder in 2002. He was appointed a Deputy Judge of the Technology and Construction Court in 2006. He was appointed a full time Circuit Judge in January 2007, sitting initially in the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre and then transferring to Manchester as a Specialist Circuit Judge in October 2007 when the Manchester Civil Justice Centre opened. Since 2007 he has sat in Manchester as one of the two permanent Technology and Construction judges as well as sitting in the Circuit Commercial Court and in the Chancery Division. He also sits in the Queen’s Bench Division and in the Administrative Court (including the Planning Court) as well as in the County Court and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Tribunal). He will sit in Business and Property Courts in Liverpool when required.
His Honour Judge Eyre QC
His Honour Judge Eyre QC was called to the Bar in 1981. He practised from chambers in Birmingham and had a broad Chancery and Commercial practice with a particular emphasis on property, insolvency, banking, professional negligence and probate disputes. He also practised as a mediator in those fields from 2006 until his appointment as a Circuit Judge. He was appointed QC in 2015.
Judge Eyre QC was appointed a recorder in 2005 and as a fee-paid judge of the First-tier Tribunal: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health) in 2007. He was formerly a committee member of the Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association and also served on the Complaints Committee of the Bar Standards Board. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Coventry and of Lichfield.
Appointed to the Circuit Bench in 2015, Judge Eyre QC was subsequently appointed a Deputy High Court Judge. In 2017, he was appointed a Specialist Civil Circuit Judge to sit in the Business and Property Courts in Manchester and Liverpool.
His Honour Judge David Hodge QC
His Honour Judge David Hodge QC is a Specialist Chancery Circuit Judge sitting principally in Manchester and Liverpool. He read law at University College, Oxford, graduating with a first-class BA degree in Jurisprudence in 1977 and the degree of BCL in 1978. He was called to the Bar in 1979, took silk in 1997 and was elected a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2000. He is the Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Blackburn.
David practised at the commercial Chancery Bar in Lincoln’s Inn between 1980 and 2005, first at 9 Old Square and, following its merger, at Maitland Chambers. He specialised in property litigation and related professional indemnity work.
His judicial career began sitting in crime, first as an assistant recorder (from 1998-2000) and then as a recorder (from 2000-2005). He was appointed to sit as a deputy High Court Judge of the Chancery Division in 2004, and then as one of the two Specialist Chancery (Senior) Circuit Judges on the Northern Circuit in November 2005. He sits principally hearing High Court Chancery cases in Manchester and in Liverpool, although he is also authorised to sit in the Queen’s Bench Division, the Circuit Commercial Court, the Technology and Construction Court and the Court of Protection. He has been appointed to sit in the Tax and Chancery Chamber and the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal. David has contributed the chapter on Chancery Matters to the last five editions of Foskett on Compromise (1996-2015) (Sweet & Maxwell). He is also the author of Rectification: The Modern Law and Practice Governing Claims for Rectification for Mistake (Sweet & Maxwell). He has also written articles for the Conveyancer & Property Lawyer (Sweet & Maxwell).
His Honour Judge Graham Wood QC
His Honour Judge Graham Wood QC is the Designated Civil Judge for Cheshire and Merseyside. He was called to the Bar in 1979 and took Silk in 2002. He was appointed as an Assistant Recorder in 1996, as a Recorder in 2000, as a fee-paid Legal Member of the Restricted Patients Panel in 2007 (becoming fee-paid Tribunal Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Health Education and Social Care Chamber in 2008) and as a Circuit Judge in 2011.
Formerly a member of Exchange Chambers in Liverpool, and 3 Paper Buildings in London, his practice since taking Silk in 2002 was predominantly in financial crime, serious personal injury and public law. Among his wider experience, he can count co-editing the fourth and fifth editions of Bingham’s Negligence Cases (Sweet & Maxwell). He is a Legal Assessor to the General Dental Council and the General Medical Council, as well as Deputy Chancellor to the Dioceses of Liverpool and Chester. He sits as a Section 9 High Court Judge in the Administrative Court and the QB Division. He is a Technology and Construction Court (TCC) ticketed Judge and hears TCC cases in Liverpool and Chester.
District Judge John Baldwin
District Judge John Baldwin was called to the Bar in 1990 and practised in personal injury and general civil litigation, including building disputes, from Chambers in Liverpool. He was appointed a Deputy District Judge on the Northern Circuit in 2010 and has been sitting as a District Judge in civil work at Liverpool and Birkenhead since 2014. He is a Regional Costs Judge, an IT Liaison Judge and a national moderator for the District and Deputy District Judges’ Team Sites, having been part of the team responsible for their design and implementation. He is the nominated gatekeeping District Judge for case management of Technology and Construction Court claims at Liverpool.
District Judge Mark Benson
District Judge Mark Benson was admitted as a solicitor in 1985. He specialised in commercial litigation with particular emphasis on engineering claims. After a number of years sitting as a Deputy District Judge he was appointed as a full-time District Judge in January 2013. He sits in Liverpool and spends about 30% of his time dealing with Chancery cases.
District Judge Charlotte Deane
District Judge Charlotte Deane was called to the Bar in 2002. Formerly of Atlantic Chambers in Liverpool where she had a Chancery practice, she became a Deputy District Judge in 2013 and a District Judge in 2017. As a District Judge she hears Chancery, civil and family cases in St Helens Civil and Family Court.
District Judge Samantha 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 Wright
District Judge Wright qualified as a solicitor in 1978 and worked in private practice until 1989 when she became a lecturer at the College of Law. She was appointed a deputy district judge in 1992 and a full-time district judge in 1996. She sits full-time in Liverpool and spends about 30% of her time hearing Chancery cases.