Nicola Davies (judge)

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Dame Nicola Velfor Davies DBE (born 13 March 1953)[1] is a judge of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, to which she was appointed on 22 January 2010.[2] At the Bar she practised in medical law. She is referred to as Rt Hon Mrs Justice Davies.

Early life[edit]

Davies was born in Llanelli, Wales, and grew up in Bridgend. Her father, Eric Davies, was a chartered engineer who was employed by the Steel Company of Wales, and she has a younger brother called Jonathan. She was educated at Bridgend Girls' Grammar School (now closed), where she was the last head girl.[3] In 1971 she entered Birmingham University to read law.[citation needed]


After graduating, Davies worked briefly in a firm of solicitors before becoming an investment analyst in the City of London.[citation needed] She later decided to become a barrister and did her second six-month pupillage at Carpmael Buildings, which later became 3 Serjeant's Inn. She was called to the bar at Grays Inn in 1976.[3] As a young barrister acting as a junior counsel to the two doctors involved in the Cleveland child abuse cases, she became recognised as a medical specialist. She also became a member of the Treasury Panels.[citation needed]

In 1992, at the age of 39, she became a Queen's Counsel, and in 1998 she was appointed to sit as an Assistant Recorder.[3] She chaired two Inquiries. In 1998 Davies spent six months on the Bristol heart surgeon's case, then took on the defence of the doctor and serial killer Harold Shipman.[4]

In 2003, Davies was appointed as a deputy High Court judge. On judicial review she quashed a decision to close some National Health Service paediatric surgery units.[5]

In 2013 Davies was appointed to sit as the Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2017.[6]

Davies is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.[7]

She was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 2018, giving Her the Honorific Title "The Right Honourable" for Life.


  1. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, p. 37, 13 March 2014
  2. ^ Judiciary of England & Wales, HM Government, 10 December 2012, retrieved 14 March 2014
  3. ^ a b c "Nicola Davies QC made High Court Judge and Dame of The British Empire". News. WalesOnline. 21 January 2010.
  4. ^ "In Defence of Shipman". BBC News. BBC. 31 January 2000. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Save Our Surgery Ltd, R (on the application of) v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts [2013] EWHC 439 (Admin)". 7 March 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Appointment of New Presiding Judges". HM Government. 17 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Honorary Fellowships". Cardiff University. 15 July 2012.

External links[edit]