Nicholas Wall (judge)

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The Right Honourable
Sir Nicholas Wall
President of the Family Division
In office
13 April 2010 – 1 December 2012
Nominated by Gordon Brown
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Mark Potter
Succeeded by Sir James Munby
Personal details
Born Nicholas Peter Rathbone Wall
(1945-03-14)14 March 1945
Died 17 February 2017(2017-02-17) (aged 71)
Nationality English
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Sir Nicholas Peter Rathbone Wall, PC (14 March 1945 – 17 February 2017) was an English judge who was President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales.

Legal career[edit]

Wall was called to the bar (Gray's Inn) in 1969 and was made a Bencher in 1993. He became a Queen's Counsel and was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1988. He became a Recorder in 1990. He was appointed to the Family Division of the High Court on 20 April 1993,[1] receiving the customary knighthood. Wall was a Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (2001–2003) and the Administrative Court (2003–2004). He was promoted to the Court of Appeal on 12 January 2004[2] and consequently made a Privy Counsellor.

Wall was nominated to be President of the Family Division by the appointments panel, but the Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw, asked them to reconsider. The panel once again put Wall forward, and he was subsequently appointed to the position on 13 April 2010.[3] Wall retired on 1 December 2012 for health reasons.[4][5]


Wall died on 17 February 2017. His family stated that he had recently been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, and had taken his own life.[6]


  1. ^ "No. 53284". The London Gazette. 23 April 1993. pp. 7209–7210. 
  2. ^ "No. 57179". The London Gazette. 15 January 2004. p. 509. 
  3. ^ "No. 59393". The London Gazette. 16 April 2010. p. 6727. 
  4. ^ (20 December 2012). "Appointment of President of the Family Division" (Press release). Judiciary of England and Wales. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Retirement of the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales" (Press release). Judiciary of England and Wales. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ex family court head takes own life after dementia diagnosis". BBC News. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.