David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Lord Neuberger
of Abbotsbury
Lord David Neuberger Royal Society (cropped).jpg
Neuberger in 2017
President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
In office
1 October 2012 – 4 September 2017
Nominated byKenneth Clarke
Appointed byElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
Succeeded byThe Baroness Hale of Richmond
Master of the Rolls
In office
1 October 2009 – 30 September 2012
Preceded byThe Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony
Succeeded byThe Lord Dyson
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
In office
11 January 2007 – 30 September 2009
Preceded byThe Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead
Succeeded byLord Dyson (as Justice of the Supreme Court)
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
12 January 2004 – 11 January 2007
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong
Assumed office
1 March 2009
Appointed byDonald Tsang
Personal details
David Edmond Neuberger

(1948-01-10) 10 January 1948 (age 75)
SpouseAngela Holdsworth
EducationWestminster School
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford (MA)
Chinese name

David Edmond Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury GBS PC HonFRS (/ˈnjbɜːrɡər/; born 10 January 1948) is an English judge. He served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2012 to 2017. He was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until the House of Lords' judicial functions were transferred to the new Supreme Court in 2009, at which point he became Master of the Rolls, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. Neuberger was appointed to the Supreme Court, as its President, in 2012. He now serves as a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal[1] and the Chair of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom.[2]

Early life[edit]

Neuberger was born on 10 January 1948, the son of Albert Neuberger,[3] Professor of Chemical Pathology at St Mary's Hospital, University of London, and his wife, Lilian. His uncle was the noted rabbi Herman N. Neuberger. All three of his brothers are or were professors: James Neuberger is Professor of Medicine at the University of Birmingham, Michael Neuberger was Professor of Molecular Immunology at the University of Cambridge, while Anthony Neuberger is Professor in Finance at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.[4]

He was educated first at The Hall School, Hampstead, then Westminster School, and studied chemistry at Christ Church, Oxford.[3][5]


After graduation, Neuberger worked at the merchant bank, N M Rothschild & Sons, from 1970–73.[3][6] Neuberger was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1974,[3][7] where he became a Bencher in 1993. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1987. He was a Recorder from 1990 to 1 October 1996, when he was appointed a High Court Judge in the Chancery Division and received the customary knighthood.[8]

In 2001, he was made Supervisory Chancery Judge of Midland, Wales and Chester, and of the Western Circuits, a post he held until 12 January 2004, when he was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and a member of the Privy Council.[9][10]

Since 2005, he has been co-chair (with Richard Susskind) of ITAC (Lord Chancellor's Information Technology and Courts Committee).

On 11 January 2007, he succeeded Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary[7] and was made a life peer as Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury, of Abbotsbury in the County of Dorset, and introduced in the House of Lords on 15 January 2007 between Lord Bingham of Cornhill and his sister-in-law, Baroness Neuberger.[11]

His rise to the Court of Appeal[12] and then to the House of Lords is one of the quickest in recent times. Although Lord Devlin was, at 55, even younger on his own appointment to the House of Lords in 1960, Neuberger was the youngest sitting Law Lord.[13]

It was announced on 23 July 2009 that he would be appointed the next Master of the Rolls, succeeding Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, who became one of the inaugural Justices of the Supreme Court on the retirement of Lord Scott of Foscote. This appointment took effect on 1 October 2009.[14]

Between 2006 and 2007, he led an investigation for the Bar Council into widening access to the Bar. He also served on the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, led by former Health Secretary Alan Milburn, which reported in July 2009. Other Panel members included Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, Michael Grade, Chairman of ITV, and Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal.[15]

In May 2010, Neuberger gave an ex tempore dissenting judgment that the trade union Unite had not complied with ballot rules under trade union legislation.[16]

In July 2010 Neuberger ruled that peace protesters in Parliament Square who had camped out in Democracy Village should be evicted after the protesters lost an appeal.[17]

In May 2011, while commenting on super injunctions, he said that social media sites like Twitter were "totally out of control" and society should consider ways to bring such websites under control.[18]

In July 2012, it was announced that Neuberger would succeed Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers as President of the Supreme Court,[19] which post he took up on 1 October 2012.[20]

In February 2017, it was announced that Neuberger would retire "in the Summer" from his role in the Supreme Court.[21][22]

He now sits as a voting cross-bench member of the House of Lords[23][24] and is the Chair[2] of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, an independent body convened at the request of the UK and Canadian governments.[25]

Selected cases[edit]

Akici v L R Butlin Ltd [2006] WLR 601

Awards and honours[edit]

He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017.[30]

In 2018, Neuberger was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.[31]

Significant lectures[edit]

On 24 February 2014, Neuberger delivered at Cambridge University the Freshfields annual lecture, which he entitled "The British and Europe".[32]

Personal life[edit]

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury speaking at a conference in Singapore in 2016

In 1976, Neuberger married Angela Holdsworth, the TV producer and writer. They have three children, Jessica, Nicholas and Max, who are all solicitors.[5] Neuberger's sister-in-law, through his brother Anthony Neuberger, is Julia Neuberger, Baroness Neuberger, Senior Rabbi of the West London Synagogue.

Neuberger was Chairman of the Schizophrenia Trust from 2003 to 2013, when it merged with and was subsumed by Mental Health Research UK: he is now a Trustee of MHRUK. He was a Governor of the University of the Arts London between 2000 and 2010. He was President of the British Records Association from 2009 to 2012, in his capacity as Master of the Rolls.

On 18 May 2020 he was appointed as Deputy President of The Academy of Experts due to replace Mark Saville, Baron Saville of Newdigate as President in late 2020.


  1. ^ "About Us – List of Judges and Judicial Officers". Judiciary.gov.hk. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Lord Neuberger and Amal Clooney announce Media Freedom Legal Panel members". GOV.UK. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Anon (2017). "NEUBERGER OF ABBOTSBURY, Baron". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.29330. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Anthony Neuberger". 2.warwick.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b "The Panel on Fair Access to the Professions: David Neuberger". Cabinet Office. 23 February 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  6. ^ U.K.'s Youngest Law Lord David Neuberger Joins Court at Age 59, Bloomberg, 10 January 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Judicial Appointment for Sir David". 10 Downing Street. 13 December 2006. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  8. ^ "No. 54543". The London Gazette. 4 October 1996. p. 13211.
  9. ^ "No. 57179". The London Gazette. 15 January 2004. p. 504.
  10. ^ "Orders for 11 February 2004". Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on 3 November 2010.
  11. ^ Minutes of Proceedings of Monday 15 January 2007; Publications.parliament.uk, retrieved 27 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Lord Neuberger's entry on Court of Appeal webpage". hmcourts-service.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Neuberger LJ in fast-track promotion to the Lords]". The Lawyer. 13 December 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  14. ^ Bill Jones; Philip Norton (2014). Politics UK. Routledge. p. 442. ISBN 9781317581031.
  15. ^ "Panel on Fair Access to the Professions". 27 July 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  16. ^ "BA strike: Ban lifted by High Court". BBC News. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Parliament Square protesters lose eviction appeal". BBC News. 16 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Journalist's Twitter posts spark prosecution call". BBC News. 22 May 2011.
  19. ^ "New President of the Supreme Court". Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  20. ^ Farmer, Brian (1 October 2012). "New Supreme Court chief Lord Neuberger sworn in". Independent. London, UK.
  21. ^ "Supreme Court – Judicial Vacancies". UK Supreme Court. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  22. ^ In July 2017, it was announced that Baroness Hale of Richmond would succeed him as President of the Supreme Court in September "President of the Supreme Court appointment: Baroness Hale". 10 Downing Street. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Contact information for Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Parliamentlive.tv". parliamentlive.tv. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  25. ^ "IBA - IBAHRI Secretariat to the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom". www.ibanet.org. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Krasner v McMath [2005] EWCA Civ 1072 (10 August 2005)". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  27. ^ [2007] 2 AC 432 at [127]
  28. ^ "Ladele v London Borough of Islington [2009] EWCA Civ 1357 (15 December 2009)". Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  29. ^ "Manchester City Council v Pinnock [2010] UKSC 45 (03 November 2010)". 15 August 2014. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014.
  30. ^ Anon (2017). "David Neuberger". royalsociety.org. London: Royal Society. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  31. ^ "G.N.(E.) 32" Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 29 Vol. 22 (Extraordinary), 1 July 2018)
  32. ^ Neuberger, David (12 February 2014). "Cambridge Freshfields Annual Law Lecture 2014 – The British and Europe" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2022.

Further reading[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Preceded by Master of the Rolls
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Murray Gleeson
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Succeeded by
The Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal