The barrister whose nickname is the ‘Bionic Ferret’ has landed the top job, as it has been announced he will become the Lord Chief Justice when Lord Judge steps down in September.
Sir John Thomas, who is the president of the High Court’s Queen’s Bench Division and earned his nickname from other barristers for being as they put it ‘particularly irritable’, was chosen ahead of original favourite for the role Sir Brian Leveson who has been dubbed his own interesting nickname of ‘Lev-Actually’ after he took evidence from actor Hugh Grant during the Leveson Report on the phone hacking scandal.
Of course with the recent reforms to the whole of the legal industry, there will be interest in Lord John’s appointment considering his insurance background.
Will the ‘Bionic Ferret’ have any influence over the ‘Meerkat’ represented insurance industry’s campaign to do away with legal aid? As you can imagine, the sector will be slightly perturbed that a man who has an extensive insurance law background, has landed the sweet £239,845 a year role.
Of course the role of the Lord Chief Justice is to be the president of the judiciary and lead the criminal division of the court of appeal, and therefore there should not be any reason for him to influence anything more than that area.
So for now it is congratulations to Sir John Thomas although this is one ferret that will be watched with interest, moving forward.
1. BBC; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23329442