Interview

Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger talks future plans, Brexit nerves and what the justices do for lunch

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Exclusive Legal Cheek interview

You can now watch Legal Cheek’s full interview with outgoing Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger.

The head honcho at the country’s highest court is approaching his statutory retirement age and will be waving goodbye to the bench in a few months time. Currently in the process of clearing out his Westminster-based office, now seemed an appropriate time to ask the top judge what he’ll miss the most about the job.

Having likened himself to a tram or train that’s moved steadily along a judicial railway for over a decade, he quips:

I’m coming off the rails (I hope not literally!) and going into a different world. I suppose it’s coming out of one’s comfort zone, which is what I will miss.

Though heavy with nostalgia, Neuberger is looking forward to moving on.

He doesn’t want to be loitering in the Supreme Court corridors like a ghost, and certainly won’t be watching hearings on its livestream service. This ‘clean break’ is made easier by Neuberger’s confidence in his successor, the “remarkably intelligent and humane” Lady Hale. He’s also happy with the trio of Court of Appeal judges taking up positions on the Supreme Court bench (not least because he was on the panel that selected them).

One thing he and the three newbies, Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Briggs and Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, have in common is that all four have enjoyed spells in the Court of Appeal — the Supreme Court’s “buzzier” younger sibling. Life in the appeal courts is similar, but there is one big difference: you see much more of the same people in the Supreme Court because of the vastly smaller number of judges. Does this mean the justices are more pally? Neuberger laughs:

That’s an interesting question. I suppose I will be a lawyer and say it depends what you mean by ‘pally’. But they see more of each other. We have lunch together, I’m very keen on that.

Moving away from the justices’ eating arrangements, Oxford chemistry grad Neuberger also reflected on his nerves in hearing the overwhelmingly important Article 50 case. He says:

It was just the pressure of publicity. I don’t think I lost any sleep over it — you can never be quite sure — but I was definitely a bit nervous. I didn’t realise until I started speaking that I was nervous, but when I heard my voice internally, I thought: ‘David, you’re nervous.’

The outside-court madness (some of which is pictured below), the media attention, the overwhelming political interest in the case and the fraught public mood could have been enough to break a judge.

Insta

But, Neuberger tells us: “I can’t speak for my sub-conscious… but I can’t say [the attention] made a great deal of difference.”

Like doctors dealing with very ill children, you just have to concentrate on the job at hand; if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be a judge, he says. But — given the public pressure — does Neuberger think Miller was a highlight in his career, or more of a lowlight? You’ll have to watch the interview to find out.


Previously:

Lord Neuberger reveals his biggest regrets [Legal Cheek]


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26 Comments

Sumpo

Top lad. Best memory: neubo three sheets to the wind after a Tuesday lunchtime slaughter-sesh at the crown. Got back to our desks and we were bellowing with laughter everyone hale tutted at us.

(15)(1)

Anonymous

Wanker.

(0)(0)

SingaporeSwing

Great interview. Well done Legal Cheek and KK!

(7)(0)

Anonymous

You are looking very elegant in the video Katie. You do not hesitate, flinch or stutter in what to many would be quite a daunting interview to conduct. You are not only a very beautiful young lady, but also a very competent and intelligent one. I imagine you would make great conversation at a dinner party. I often host dinner parties. I wonder if you like veal Katie King. I cook some cracking veal.

(17)(6)

Hannibal Lecturer

Do you serve it with fava beans and wash it down with a nice Chianti?
f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-fffff–ffffff

(2)(0)

Anon.

May I say, KK looking particularly delightful.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Where’s Katie’s dress from? It’s nice. (genuine question not a troll) really hope Katie replies…

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(12)(0)

Anonymous

Where’s lord N’s suit from? It’s gorgeous

(4)(0)

Lord Neuberger

M&S

(24)(0)

Anonymous

Thank you! Xx

(0)(0)

Anonymous

To misquote Rod Stewart “She wears it well”

(2)(0)

Anonymous

£13! I’d ask Alex for a pay rise!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Alex is apparently now trousering nearly 20k a month from this site, he should be a bit more generous. Our pretty little Katie King deserves at least 40k

(2)(0)

Anonymous

A month?

I wonder what Tom pockets?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

£20K a month from the drivel posted on this site ?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

What size?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

I was gonna ask the size as well 🙈

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LegalRec

BEETLEJUICE!!!

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Anonymous

Nice interview, Katie. Good job.

(6)(0)

Don Qioté

Honcho es no buen. Jefe es mejor.
LC, por favor, habla espanol, en serieux.

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Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester

Il y a des personnes qui lisent ceci?

(0)(1)

Jones Day

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(7)

Anonymous

A+++++

(1)(0)

Anonymous

What a beautiful woman.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Katie King.

Smart babe.

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Comments are closed.