Geoffrey Vos

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Sir Geoffrey Vos
Sir Geoffrey Vos 2018.jpg
Vos in 2018
Master of the Rolls
Assumed office
11 January 2021
Preceded bySir Terence Etherton
Chancellor of the High Court
In office
24 October 2016 – 11 January 2021
Preceded bySir Terence Etherton
Succeeded bySir Julian Flaux
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
1 October 2013 – 23 October 2016
Personal details
Born (1955-04-22) 22 April 1955 (age 66)
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Sir Geoffrey Charles Vos (born 22 April 1955) is a British judge. Since January 2021, he has held the position of Master of the Rolls, the head of civil justice in the court system of England and Wales.[1]

Early life[edit]

Vos was born on 22 April 1955 to Bernard Vos and Pamela Celeste Rose.[2]

He was educated at University College School, London and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[2]


He was called to the bar at Inner Temple in 1977, and took Silk in 1993. He was the Chairman of the Chancery Bar Association from 1999 to 2001 and of the Bar Council in 2007.


Between 2005 and 2009 he was a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey, and a Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands between 2008 and 2009.[3]

He sat as a Deputy High Court Judge from 1999 until 2009 and was appointed as a Justice of the High Court, assigned to the Chancery division, in October 2009. He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2013. He was President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary between June 2014 and June 2016. He became Chancellor of the High Court on 24 October 2016.

Master of the Rolls[edit]

Vos was appointed the Master of the Rolls on 11 January 2021, succeeding Sir Terence Etherton.[4]

In March 2021, Vos disclosed that the Civil Justice Council was "looking at the extent to which litigants should be forced to mediate and if so, in what circumstances". He admitted the idea is "highly controversial".[5]

In April 2021, Vos called for a greater use of digital technology to accelerate the dispute resolution process.[6] In May 2021, he outlined his vision for digital justice reform in more detail, and the need to reform the overall system, rather than focusing only on the judicial decision-making process. Emphasising the need to focus on the whole picture, he said: "We should not allow the tail, however waggy, to wag the huge dispute resolution dog".[7]

Notable decisions[edit]

Notable judicial decisions of Sir Geoffrey include:

Personal life[edit]

Vos married Vivien Mary Fieldhouse, in 1984.[2] Vos is a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club and the Worcestershire Golf Club.[2] He is a member of both the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood and the Herefordshire Jewish community.[8]


  1. ^ "Master of the Rolls: 31 July 2020". 10 Downing Street. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Vos, Rt Hon. Sir Geoffrey (Charles)". Who's Who. 1 December 2020. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U41205. Retrieved 5 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "New Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, starts his appointment". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  4. ^ Slingo, Jemma (12 January 2021). "'Lonely, socially distanced' new MR is sworn in". The Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 5 April 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Hyde, John (29 March 2021). "Compulsory mediation back on the table as too few opting into ADR". The Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 5 April 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Croft, Jane (5 April 2021). "Top judge urges reform in civil lawsuit system in England and Wales". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 April 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Keynote Speech by The Right Hon. Sir Geoffrey Vos for London International Disputes Week 2021". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Geoffrey Vos is appointed as a High Court judge". Retrieved 10 November 2021.

External links[edit]