The sixth Lord Chancellor in six years

family law

Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a new Lord Chancellor, just six months after Aylesbury MP David Lidington was given the role.

The sixth Lord Chancellor in six years is David Gauke, who has been Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire since 2005. As a solicitor, he is the first legally qualified Lord Chancellor since Tory grandee – and QC – Kenneth Clarke in 2012. Mr Gauke is also the first solicitor to ever hold this ancient post, which was once reserved for barristers given its authority over the courts and judiciary.

The Hertfordshire MP, who worked for a city law firm before his election, also takes on the role of Justice Secretary. He said:

“I am looking forward to meeting experts and front line staff to drive the crucial work started by my predecessors, to reform our prisons and courts, uphold the rule of law and promote our world-leading legal services.”

His appointment was welcomed by Law Society President Joe Egan and Chair of the Bar Andrew Walker QC.

The latter said:

“We look forward to working with the new lord chancellor to ensure access to justice is available to all, to ensure that the system for securing the administration of justice is resourced properly and functioning effectively, and to achieve fair and sustainable public funding arrangements for advocacy and legal advice.”

Mr Gauke was previously Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. David Lidington, meanwhile, has been moved into the Cabinet Office.

Photo by UK in Japan – FCO via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Andrew - January 10, 2018 at 7:43am

The Woolsack used up be the pinnacle of a career at the Bar. You went to the Lords and would never hold another senior appointment unless like Eldon and Hailsham you had two spells as LC.


Now it’s just another mid-level Cabinet post, the head of a spending department with more opportunities than most to make yourself unpopular with your party, the press, and the public – all of whom expect you to “sort out” judicial decisions which they don’t like.


Change for the sake of change and change for the worse.

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