The Rt Hon Lady Black DBE

Family law specialist who became second woman to be a Supreme Court Judge

Lady Black of Derwent QC DBE (b. 1954, née Currie)

Admitted 1974, Called 1976, Bencher 1999

Jill Black is an alumna of Penrhos College in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, and Durham University. She was the first member of her family to go into the law: both her parents were doctors. She began her legal career in Leeds, working on a range of civil and criminal cases and also teaching law at Leeds Polytechnic for a period. Following the birth of her first child, Jill decided to specialise in family law so as to allow more time for her to be with her own family. In 1986 she co-authored A Practical Approach to Family Law, which is now considered an essential guide to the field. She has been involved with subsequent editions, including the most recent tenth edition in 2015, as a consulting editor. She was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1994.

In 1996, Lady Black began her judicial career as a deputy High Court judge. In 1999 she was appointed to the Family Division of the High Court, the same year that Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was appointed the Division’s President. In 2004 she became the Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board’s Family Committee, and from 2008-2013 she was a Judicial Appointments Commissioner. She was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2010, and to the Supreme Court in 2017.