After months of speculation Downing Street has made the announcement. There has been unfair criticism of Sumption delaying his appointment until he has completed his professional commitments; barristers do not return cases (indeed cannot) to fit in with their judicial careers and Sumption is right to complete his professional commitments before he takes his appointment. His clients are entitled to their lawyer of choice and to hold Sumption to his professional duty. Note that Lord Collins is going to fill in in retirement whilst the Court waits for Lord Sumption (the first Barrister to straight go to the UK's highest court in 62 years - Viscount Radcliffe (as he ended his career) was the last.)
Wilson LJ's appointment is also to be welcomed - he has handed down many excellent judgments and not just in his core field of family law.
The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Allan Roy Wilson as a Justice of the Supreme Court with effect from 26 May 2011 following the retirement of The Right Honourable The Lord Saville of Newdigate in October 2010.
The Queen has also been pleased to approve the appointment of Jonathan Philip Chadwick Sumption OBE, QC as a Justice of the Supreme Court following the retirement of Lord Collins of Mapesbury in May 2011 with effect from a date to be agreed with the President of the Court.
Lord Justice Nicholas Allan Roy Wilson (65) was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1967 and took Silk in 1987. He was appointed as a Recorder in 1987 and was made a Bencher in 1993. He was appointed to the High Court (Family Division) in 1993 and to the Court of Appeal in 2005.
Lord Justice Wilson was knighted in 1993.
Jonathan Philip Chadwick Sumption OBE, QC (62) was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1975 and took Silk in 1986. He was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 1992 and served as a Recorder between 1993 and 2001. He was then appointed as a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey in 1995.
Additional Note for Editors
Jonathan Sumption OBE, QC will take up the appointment as soon as his existing professional commitments are completed, on a date to be agreed with the President of the Supreme Court.
Following his retirement Lord Collins of Mapesbury will sit as an additional Judge of the Supreme Court.