Legal Cheek

Lord Neuberger lands role at One Essex Court following Supreme Court departure

As former colleague Lord Clarke secures new arbitration gig

It would appear that ex-Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger has no intentions of leaving the law behind in his retirement.

The 69-year-old, who left the United Kingdom’s top court in September, has resurfaced at One Essex Court. The elite London set, widely considered to be part of the bar’s answer to the magic circle, specialises in areas including commercial litigation, banking and company law.

In a statement released this morning One Essex Court — which boasts 38 QCs and 60 juniors — confirmed that Neuberger had joined the set as a commercial arbitrator.

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Interestingly, the former judge had hinted that a move into arbitration was on the cards during the weeks leading up to his judicial retirement. In an exclusive interview with Legal Cheek’s Katie King this summer, the Oxford chemistry grad said on his impending judicial retirement:

“I can’t say I have any firm plans… [I might] do what lots of judges do, it’s a bit sad in a way, which is to become an arbitrator.”

Now, having accepted the new role, Neuberger appeared slightly more upbeat about arbitration. He said:

“I am very pleased to be joining One Essex Court, and, having retired from the bench, I am looking forward to what I hope will be an equally stimulating time as an arbitrator. Judging and arbitration have much in common, but there are also a number of significant distinctions.”

One Essex Court’s profile on Legal Cheek’s 2017-18 Chambers Most List shows the well-respected set offers around four pupillage positions annually, each with a hefty award of £65,000.

During his Legal Cheek interview, Neuberger admitted “coming out of one’s comfort zone” is the thing he’ll miss most about his retirement. But hopefully this will be eased by the fact Neuberger’s former bench buddy, Lord Clarke, has bagged himself a similar arbitration role just around the corner.

Clarke, who stepped away from Supreme Court life at the same time as Neuberger, has joined 10 Fleet Street, a small team of arbitrators operated in connection with London’s Quadrant Chambers. Legal Cheek understands that former commercial barrister Clarke will handle commercial disputes at 10 Fleet Street — and will be just a three-minute walk away from former boss Neuberger.