The Rt Hon The Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill DBE

First Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales

Admitted 1985, Called 1987, Silk 2003, Bencher 2006

The appointment on 1 October 2023 of the first Lady Chief Justice, The Inner Temple’s Dame Sue Carr marks a historical milestone - since the inception of the role in the thirteenth century no woman had held the position of Chief Justice. Her decision to reflect this in her title marks another first in legal history. In this role she is the President of the Courts of England and Wales and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales, and only the 98th person to hold this historic office.

She was born in 1964 and educated at Wycombe Abbey and studied Modern Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge. Carr was called to the Bar in 1987 and undertook pupillage at Brick Court Chambers and 2 Crown Office Row, now 4 New Square, where she became a tenant in 1988. She developed a broad commercial practice, taking silk in 2003. She became a Governing Bencher of The Inner Temple in 2006 and then Chair of the Education and Training Committee; and head of chambers. In 2007 she became Chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, Chair of the Bar Standards Board Conduct Committee in 2008, and was appointed as the Complaints Commissioner to the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2011. In 2012, she was named Professional Negligence Silk of the Year by Chambers and Partners having garnered a reputation as an excellent legislator in her specialised fields of commercial professional liability, insurance and fraud litigation and arbitration.

Her judicial career began in 2009, when she was appointed a Recorder. She was appointed a High Court Judge in 2013. In 2019, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal. The first woman appointed to the Court of Appeal, in 1988, was fellow Inner Temple Bencher The Rt Hon Baroness Butler-Sloss, who approved of the appointment of Carr, calling her "an excellent choice" and telling The Times:

She is a very good lawyer with experience of an unusually wide range of legal issues both at the Bar and on the bench.

Baroness Butler-Sloss, The Times

Carr’s appointment follows the retirement of The Rt Hon Lord Burnett who had been appointed to the office in 2017.