Lord Collins of Mapesbury

Lord Collins was until 2011 a Justice of the UK Supreme Court. In 2000 he was the first (and so far only) solicitor  to be appointed direct from private practice to the High Court bench (Chancery Division, and subsequently also the Commercial Court), as Mr Justice Lawrence Collins. In 2007 he was appointed to the Court of Appeal, as Lord Justice Lawrence Collins, and then in 2009 appointed to be a member of the House of Lords Appellate Committee, whose functions were transferred to the UK Supreme Court in October 2009. He continues to sit on an occasional basis as an acting Justice of the UK Supreme Court and as a non-permanent judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.

He was in private practice as a partner in Herbert Smith for 30 years, and was head of its litigation and arbitration practice. In 1997 he was one of the first two solicitors to be appointed practising Queen’s Counsel. He acted as counsel and arbitrator in arbitrations, including ICC, LCIA, Cairo Centre and ad hoc arbitrations. As a judge in the Court of Appeal and the UK Supreme Court he delivered important judgments in the field of international arbitration, including Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Emmott (confidentiality in international arbitration); ETI Euro Telecom International NV v Bolivia (provisional measures in investment arbitration); and Dallah Real Estate & Tourism Holding v Pakistan (enforcement of foreign awards).

Since 1987 Lord Collins has been the general editor of Dicey and Morris (now Dicey, Morris and Collins), on the Conflict of Laws, the leading work in that field, and is co-editor of the chapter on international arbitration.


1971 to 2000:  Partner in Herbert Smith & Co (later Herbert Smith), solicitors;

1997:  Appointed Queen’s Counsel (one of first 2 solicitors to be appointed);

1997 to 2000:  Deputy High Court Judge, Chancery Division;

2000 to 2007:  High Court judge (as Mr Justice Lawrence Collins) (Chancery Division;  judge of the Commercial Court, from 2006);

2000:  Bencher, Inner Temple;

2007 to 2009: Lord Justice of Appeal, Court of Appeal (as Lord Justice Lawrence Collins);

2009:  Lord of Appeal, House of Lords (as Lord Collins of Mapesbury);

2009 to 2011:  Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom;

2010: Member, American Law Institute

2011 to 2016:  Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom;

2011:  Non-permanent member of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal;

2011:  Professor of Law, University College London;

2012:  Arbitrator member, Essex Court Chambers, London;

2013 to 2014:  Deputy Chairman, Takeover Appeal Board;

2014:  Chairman, Takeover Appeal Board.


1975:  Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge (Director of European law research programme;  1975 to 1980:  Emeritus Fellow, 2008; Honorary Fellow, 2010;

1982:  Visiting Professor, Queen Mary College, University of London;

1989:   Elected Associate (1989-1993) and Member (since 1993), Institut de droit international;

1994:  Awarded LL.D., Cambridge University (for distinction by original contribution to the advancement of the science or study of law);

1994:  Elected Fellow of the British Academy;

2000:  Honorary Fellow, Downing College, Cambridge;

2011:  Professor of Law, University College London;

2011:  Visiting Fellow, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand;

2012/2013:  Visiting Professor, Columbia University School of Law;

2012/2014:  Visiting Fellow/Visiting Professor, New York University School of Law;

2015:  Visiting Professor, New York University School of Law.