Sir Marcus Smith
Sir Marcus Smith was called to the Bar in 1991 and took silk in 2010. He was appointed a chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2009 and was the chair of the Appeals Committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority between 2015 and 2017. He was appointed a Justice of the High Court , Chancery Division, in January 2017. In that capacity, he continues to sit as a chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. He is also authorised to sit as a judge of the Financial List; as a judge of the Patents Court; as a judge of the Administrative Court; and as a judge of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery). Marcus is the Business and Property Courts Supervising Judge for the Midland, Western and Wales Circuits, and regularly sits in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and other courts on these circuits. Marcus is the author of many legal texts and articules, most notably The Law of Assignment, now in its third edition with OUP, one of the leading texts on intangible property.
HHJ David Cooke
HHJ David Cooke qualified as a solicitor at Pinsent & Co (now Pinsent Masons) in Birmingham in 1981 and was made a partner in 1982. He worked in corporate finance, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions and corporate insolvency and was for a number of years head of the firm’s banking department. He was appointed as a District Judge in Birmingham in 2001 and a Senior Circuit Judge specialising in Chancery matters in 2008. HHJ Cooke is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery Division, and also in the Queen’s Bench Division (with specific authorisation to sit in the Mercantile Court, the TCC, the Administrative Court and the Planning Court) and, for property related matters, in the Family Division. He is also assigned as a Judge of the Upper Tribunal in the Immigration and Asylum and the Tax and Chancery Chambers. HHJ Cooke was a member of the Judicial Pensions Committee from 2004 to 2015, and has since 2015 been a member of the Judicial Pensions Board.
HHJ Brian Rawlings
HHJ Brian Rawlings qualified as a solicitor in 1986. On qualification he moved to the Birmingham office of what was then Edge & Ellison, spending his first 2 years working in commercial litigation. Thereafter he specialised in Contentious Corporate Insolvency, Corporate and Banking work. In 1997 he moved to the Birmingham offices of Eversheds LLP where he continued to undertake Contentious Corporate Insolvency, Corporate and Banking work. In 2000 he was granted Higher Rights of audience entitling him to appear in the Higher Civil Courts and in 2001 he obtained a License to practice as an Insolvency Practitioner.
In 2008 he was appointed as a Chancery Recorder to the North Eastern circuit based, principally in Leeds. In December 2015 he was appointed as Designated Civil Judge for Staffordshire and Shropshire and was authorised to sit in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. Thereafter, in June 2018 he was authorised to sit in the Chancery Division of the High Court
HHJ Sarah Watson
HHJ Sarah Watson qualified as a solicitor in 1987 at Freshfields (now Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer). In 1989 she joined the Birmingham office of Edge Ellison (now Squire Patton Boggs) and became a partner there in 1994. Her practice was in commercial litigation. She acted in disputes involving construction and engineering, commercial contracts, corporate finance, and professional negligence. She was an accredited mediator, specialising in engineering disputes. She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2001, a District Judge in 2007, and a Specialist Circuit Judge in 2017. She is the designated Technology and Construction Court Judge in Birmingham. She is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Technology and Construction Court, the Circuit Commercial Court and the Chancery Division. She is a course tutor for the Judicial College Civil training course.
HHJ David Worster
HHJ Worster was called to the Bar in 1980 and practised in Birmingham from 7, Fountain Court and then from St Philips Chambers. Much of his work was in the Birmingham Mercantile and Chancery Courts. He was a member of the AG’s Panel from 1995-2007. He was appointed as a Recorder in 2001, a Circuit Judge in 2008 and a Senior Circuit Judge in 2017. He is the designated Mercantile Judge for Birmingham. He is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions, the Mercantile Court and the Administrative Court. He is assigned as a Judge of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. He is a Course Director for the Judicial College Civil training courses, and a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn.
HHJ Richard Williams
HHJ Richard Williams qualified as a solicitor in 1992. He worked at Eversheds LLP advising corporate and trustee clients in respect of both contentious and non-contentious pensions and trust law including: (i) High Court pensions litigation involving funding disputes, professional negligence, interpretation and rectification of pension scheme governing documents, estoppel and applications for Part 64 directions/compromises (ii) applications before the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pensions Protection Fund Ombudsman (iii) corporate insolvencies, outsourcings, disposals, re-organisations and capital reductions including seeking Pensions Regulator approval. He was appointed as a District Judge in Birmingham in 2010 specialising in Chancery/BPC matters and a Circuit Judge in 2018. HHJ Williams is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery Division. He is also authorised to sit as a Circuit Judge in the Financial Remedies Court.
HHJ Emma Kelly
HHJ Emma Kelly was called to the Bar in 1997. She practised in Birmingham from 1, Fountain Court and then from St Philips Chambers. Much of her practice involved Chancery matters, particularly property and probate litigation. She was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2010, District Judge in 2015, a Recorder (crime and civil) in 2018 and a Senior Circuit Judge in 2021. From 2015 she was a specialist Chancery and then BPC District Judge at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre and thereafter also authorised to sit in the Business and Property Courts as a Recorder. She is now the Designated Civil Judge for Birmingham. HHJ Emma Kelly is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division, including in the Administrative Court. She is also authorised to hear Court of Protection cases.
HHJ Delia Truman
HHJ Delia Truman trained as a solicitor with a long-established Midlands firm then known as Haden & Stretton. She subsequently became a partner in the firm’s Civil Litigation Department. She was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2000 and became a District Judge in 2005, developing a great interest in Chancery work and becoming one of the Specialist Chancery/BPC District Judges at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. She became a Circuit Judge in 2018, and deals with a wide variety of Civil cases, including BPC work in the County Court. She formerly served as a member of the Insolvency Rules Committee.
HHJ Jane Ingram
HHJ Jane Ingram qualified as a solicitor in 1985, and became a Partner in a leading West Midlands Law Firm in 1987. She was Head of the Firm’s Dispute Resolution Department with a practice was in general Commercial Litigation, TCC; Building Disputes; Company and Partnership litigation. She was also an accredited Mediator. She was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2000 and a District Judge in 2006. She became a Specialist Chancery District Judge in 2008 and was appointed a specialist District Judge of the Business and Property Court upon its inception. In 2019 she was authorised to hear Intellectual Property Small claims in Birmingham. She was appointed BCJC Leadership District Judge in 2018, until she was appointed a Circuit Judge in October 2020, authorised to hear BPC matters. She is also authorised to sit as a Judge in the Financial Remedies Court. HHJ Ingram has been a Civil Tutor Judge with the Judicial College since 2013 and is also a Supervisor CJ.
HHJ Stephen Murch
HHJ Stephen Murch was called to the bar in 1991. After pupillages in a Chancery and then a specialist property law set of Chambers, he practised in London with most of his work being focused upon disputes relating to the ownership and use of land.
In 2006 he was appointed a Deputy District Judge and in 2016 was given authorisation to hear Chancery matters in the County Court at Central London. In 2017 he was appointed a District Judge on the Midland Circuit and the following year was appointed a Recorder authorised to hear both family and civil matters on the South Eastern Circuit. In 2020 he was given a ticket to hear Business and Property Court matters as a District Judge in Birmingham.
He was appointed a Circuit Judge in 2021, receiving authorisation at the same time to continue to hear Business and Property Court matters.
He was elected a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 2016 and was one of the founder Governors of the Inns of Court College of Advocacy. Since 2020 he has been a civil tutor for the Judicial College.
District Judge Asif Malek
District Judge Asif Malek was called to the bar in 1998 and completed a chancery pupillage in London. He then worked in-house in the tax/trust department of a major private bank, the Mergers and Acquisitions tax team in one of the “big four” firms of accountants and the private client tax team in a nationally recognized law firm before returning to independent practice at the Manchester bar. He became a Deputy District Judge in 2010 assigned to the Northern Circuit and held a chancery (and then BPC) ticket. He became a fee-paid judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) in January 2019 and was appointed as a District Judge in December 2019, assigned to the Midlands circuit.
DJ Malek has cross qualified as a solicitor and as a Chartered Tax Advisor, becoming a member of the Chartered Institution of Tax Advisors and then the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He also served on the Law Society Income Tax Law Sub-committee. He has written widely on tax, chancery and litigation matters. He has an interest in technology and serves as the ADJ Joint National IT Lead Judge for the District Bench.
District Judge Chloë Phillips
District Judge Chloë Phillips qualified as a Solicitor with City firm Richards Butler (now Reed Smith) in 1996. Working subsequently with Pinsents, RPC and BLM she specialised in professional negligence litigation, acting for professionals and insurers in claims involving Solicitors, Barristers, accountants, surveyors, structural engineers and insurance brokers. Her practice developed to include insurance coverage issues, fraud and recovery claims. She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2007, initially on the South East (London) Circuit and then to the Midland Circuit. After taking on the role of Risk Management Partner for Harrison Clark Rickerbys in 2016, she was appointed as a full time District Judge to Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre in 2020 and authorised to sit as a Business and Property Courts District Judge.
District Judge Anthony Rich
District Judge Anthony Rich TD qualified as a solicitor in 1981. On qualifying he took up a litigation post in the City of London, whilst gaining an MA in International Business Law. After a further post in London he moved in 1986 to Birmingham to join Cartwright & Lewis, solicitors, where in due course he was elected as The Senior Partner. He left private for public practice in 2004 becoming General Counsel (or equivalent) in a number of public authorities. His last post before appointment as a full time District Judge was as General Counsel to the Legal Ombudsman. In 2012 he was appointed a District Judge. DJ Rich is fluent in French & German. His other duties including acting as a Training DJ, as a personal injury/ clinical negligence specialist DJ and as a Diversity & Community Relations Judge.
District Judge Augustine Rouine
District Judge Augustine Rouine was admitted as a solicitor in 1991. He practised for most of that time as a general commercial litigator, but with a particular interest in contentious construction work. He was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2005 and a District Judge in 2012. He has been a BPC District Judge in Birmingham since 2017 and also sits as a Regional Costs Judge.
District Judge Daryl Shorthose
District Judge Daryl Shorthose was admitted as a solicitor in 1994 having completed a training contract at Shoosmiths & Harrison in Northampton. He worked in banking litigation, insolvency and general civil litigation before moving to Birmingham in 1996 to specialise in insolvency and restructuring with a number of local firms including Gateley Wareing, Hammond Suddards Edge, Shoosmiths, Cobbetts and DWF. He was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2010 and then as a District Judge sitting full time at Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre in May 2014. He was authorised to sit as a Chancery District Judge in December 2014 and appointed as a specialist BPC District Judge with effect from the opening of the BPC in Birmingham on 6 July 2017. He is also a Diversity Mentor Judge, Training and Appraisal Judge and JAC Pool Judge.
District Judge Saira Singh
District Judge Saira Singh was admitted as a solicitor in 1994, having completed her training contract at Lovell White Durrant (now Hogan Lovells). At Lovells, she specialised in commercial and insurance litigation, professional indemnity work and reinsurance arbitration. In 2009, she took up a role in the Dispute Resolution and Arbitration teams at Practical Law (a leading provider of online knowhow, now part of Thomson Reuters), and between 2013 and January 2020, she was Director of Practical Law Arbitration. She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge on the Midland Circuit in 2013 and as a Specialist Business & Property Court Deputy District Judge in 2019. In March 2020, she was appointed as a District Judge, sitting at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. She was authorised to sit as a Specialist BPC District Judge and a Specialist Personal Injury District Judge in April 2020.
District Judge Robert Talog-Davies
District Judge Robert Talog-Davies was admitted as a Solicitor in 1996 having been articled at the Firm of William Jones and Talog-Davies, Ruthin, North Wales. Practised in the North Wales area for the length of my career as a Solicitor and specialised in Chancery work for a significant proportion of that time. Appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2007 and a District Judge in 2018, becoming a BPC Judge in 2019.
Publications: Williams, Mortimer & Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators & Probate (20th ed., 2014: Sweet & Maxwell) (21st ed. in progress) Theobald on Wills (18th Ed. 2016; Sweet & Maxwell)