Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd

Lord Thomas read law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (graduating in 1969). He was then a Commonwealth Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and graduated in 1970 with a J.D. degree.  Lord Thomas was called to the Bar in 1969 (Gray’s Inn, of which he became a Bencher in 1992). He commenced practice in commercial law at what is now Essex Court Chambers in 1972 and became Queen’s Counsel in 1984. In 1987 he was appointed a Recorder.

In 1992 he was appointed by the Department of Trade to inquire into the affairs of Mirror Group Newspapers when owned by Mr Robert Maxwell and its IPO.

On 11 January 1996, he was appointed a High Court Judge and became a judge of the Commercial Court, being judge in charge in 2002-3. On 14 July 2003, Lord Thomas became a Lord Justice of Appeal. He was Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales from 2003 to 2006.  In October 2008, he was appointed Vice-President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Deputy Head of Criminal Justice. In October 2011, he succeeded Sir Anthony May as President of the Queen’s Bench Division and in 2013 appointed to succeed Lord Judge as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. He was created a life peer, as Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. He retired as Lord Chief Justice on 1 October 2017.

He was President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary from May 2008 to December 2010, having participated in its founding in 2003/4.

A more detailed curriculum vitae is available upon request.

Appointments and Memberships

  • Chairman of the Welsh Government Commission on Justice in Wales. It is tasked with examining the delivery of justice, legal services and legal education in Wales.
  • Chairman of the Financial Markets Law Committee, London, a body established for the advancement of the understanding of financial markets law and promoting a sound legal and regulatory structure.
  • President of the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre.
  • He is Chancellor of Aberystwyth University.
  • He is a member of the House of Lords; he presently serves on its European Sub-Committee on Financial Affairs and on the Science and Technology Committee.
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the European Law Institute (ELI). He was a founder member of ELI  which provides draft model laws, comments on EU legislative proposals and gives practical guidance in the field of European and EU legal development.
  • Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and a Fellow of the Universities of Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Swansea and Bangor, and Honorary Doctor of Law of the Universities of Wales, South Wales, the West of England and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
  • Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.
  • President of ARIAS (UK) (the AIDA reinsurance and insurance arbitration Society) (of which he was a founder in 1991) Past President of the British Insurance Law Association, a Vice-President of the British Maritime Law Association
  • Patron of the International Law Book Facility and the Personal Support Unit.