The JAC expects to launch a selection exercise for 2 specialist circuit judges on 25 April.
One specialist circuit judge will hear cases in the Technology and Construction Court on the Midland Circuit. The second will be based on the Northern Circuit and sit in both the Technology and Construction Court and the Mercantile, Chancery and Administrative Courts.
You do not need previous judicial experience to apply for these roles. Applications are invited from barristers and solicitors with 7 years post-qualification experience. Good knowledge of technology and construction law is desirable for both roles but is not essential. More information about how to apply is on the JAC website.
Specialist circuit judge Karen Walden-Smith said:
“In my view, there can be no more fulfilling job as a lawyer than that of a judge. It’s hard work, but extremely satisfying, not least because rather than arguing a case for one side or the other, the judge’s duty is to endeavour to reach the right answer. That is remarkably liberating.
“My work as a specialist circuit judge involves the determination of cases which are both factually and legally complex and of high value. There is never a dull day and there are always new challenges to meet. I love the variety of my work. Being a judge is more than simply providing a service to resolve disputes, it is an important part of our society.
“When I was first appointed as a circuit judge my children were young, aged 2 and 4. I have now been a judge for 7 years and I often think how wonderful it has been that I have been able to spend so much time with my sons, particularly at weekends, which would not have happened if I had remained at the Bar.
“You should take your own financial advice on a move from private practice into public service. While thoroughly encouraging you to apply for such a wonderful and fulfilling job, you have to make sure you can afford it.
“I would encourage everyone who is interested to apply. You will never be bored and will often be challenged.”
About the courts
The Technology and Construction Court is a specialist group of courts that handle disputes about buildings, engineering and surveying. The Mercantile, Chancery and Administrative Courts cover cases ranging from commercial, business, property and land disputes through to reviewing decisions made by local authorities and regulatory bodies.
Salaried part-time working and job share may be available for the Midland Circuit.
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