Mary Arden, Lady Arden of Heswall

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Lady Arden of Heswall

Lady Arden 2010.png
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Assumed office
1 October 2018
Nominated byDavid Gauke
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byThe Lord Mance
Lady Justice of Appeal
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
High Court Judge
In office
Personal details
Mary Howarth Arden

(1947-01-23) 23 January 1947 (age 74)
(m. 1973)
Alma materGirton College, Cambridge
Harvard Law School

Mary Howarth Arden, Baroness Mance, DBE (born 23 January 1947), known professionally as Lady Arden of Heswall, is an English judge.

She is currently a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Before that, she was a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

Early life and education[edit]

Mary Arden was born in Liverpool, the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Cuthbert Arden, of Heswall, Cheshire, a solicitor who had served with the Royal Garrison Artillery, and Mary Margaret (née Smith).[1][2] Her grandfather was a partner in Gamon Arden and Co., a Liverpool firm of solicitors. Her father and brother, Roger, joined the family firm which merged with Hill Dickinson in 2007.[3] She was brought up in south Liverpool and educated at Huyton College.[3] She read law at Girton College, Cambridge, where she gained a starred first and an LLM,[4][5] and an LLM degree at Harvard Law School in 1970 as a Kennedy Scholar.[3]


She was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1971,[6] and joined Lincoln's Inn in 1973. She practised at Erskine Chambers from 1971 to 1993, mainly in company law.[3] She became a QC in 1986, and served as Attorney-General of the Duchy of Lancaster.[7] She is an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway, University of London, and of Liverpool John Moores University.[7]

She was appointed to the High Court on 30 April 1993,[6][8] becoming the first female High Court judge to be assigned to the Chancery Division. As is customary, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) at the same time. Her husband joined the Queen's Bench Division in October 1993, making them the first married couple to sit on the High Court bench. That feat has now been matched by Sir Peter Openshaw and Dame Caroline Swift. Arden was chairman of the Law Commission from 1996-99.[6]

Her husband became a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1999. On 2 October 2000, she was also appointed to the Court of Appeal.[6][9] The couple became the first married couple both to sit on the Court of Appeal.

Other posts held by Arden include her membership of the Steering Group of the Company Law Review, and a current post as Head of International Judicial Relations for England and Wales.[6] She is a member of the Advisory Board, Centre of Commercial Law; of the Council of the Statute Law Society; of the Board of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, as well as being President of the Trinity Hall Law Society, and of the Association of Women Barristers.[3] She is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.[10]

Arden's appointment to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, replacing her husband on the court, was announced in June 2018, to take effect on 1 October 2018.[11][12] Since the retirement of Lady Black in January 2021, she is the only woman out of the twelve judges on the court.

Personal life[edit]

She married Jonathan Mance (now Lord Mance, former Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom) in the Lady Chapel at Liverpool Cathedral in 1973; they have three children together,[3] two daughters and a son. By virtue of her marriage, she is entitled to be styled The Lady Mance, but is instead known by her own judicial title.



Arden's judgments include:


  • with George Eccles, Companies Act, 1980 (1982)
  • with Geoffrey Newton Lane, Rotaprint PLC: Investigation under Section 432 (2) and Section 442 of the Companies Act 1985 (1991)
  • The Common Law in the Age of Human Rights (2000)
  • Human Rights and European Law: Building New Legal Order (2015)


Coat of arms of Mary Arden, Lady Arden of Heswall
Patientia Vinces [27]


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage 2011, p. 1024
  2. ^ Burke's Peerage 2003, vol. 1, p. 133
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Rt. Hon Lady Justice Mary Arden - Oration". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Swearing-in Ceremony at the Supreme Court". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Arden of Heswall, Rt Hon. Lady, (Mary Howarth Arden), a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, since 2018". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u5672. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Biographies of the Court of Appeal judges". Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Honorary Fellows 2006". Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  8. ^ "No. 53295". The London Gazette. 6 May 1993. p. 7925.
  9. ^ "No. 55989". The London Gazette. 5 October 2000. p. 11135.
  10. ^ "Women at the Inns of Court" (PDF). Inner Temple Library. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Appointments to the Supreme Court: 27 June 2018". GOV.UK. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Three new appointment's to UK's top appeal court". The Supreme Court. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ [1995] FSR 365
  15. ^ The history of advertising 17 - Chris Joseph's silver, 3 June 2011
  16. ^ [2000] 2 All ER (Comm) 346
  17. ^ [2001] 1 WLR 1369
  18. ^ [2002] EWCA Civ 227, [2002] 1 WLR 2075
  19. ^ [2004] EWCA Civ 1244
  20. ^ [2007] EWCA Civ 11
  21. ^ [2007] EWCA Civ 1329, [2008] 1 WLR 643
  22. ^ [2008] 3 C.M.L.R. 7
  23. ^ [2008] Fam. 54
  24. ^ [2009] EWCA Civ 142
  25. ^ [2011] 2 W.L.R. 448
  26. ^ [2014] EWCA Civ 360
  27. ^ Lincoln's Inn Great Hall, Eb13 Arden, M. Baz Manning. Retrieved 22 November 2020.

External links[edit]