Robert Rinder

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Robert Rinder
Rob Rinder.png
Rinder conducting a choir in March 2017
Born (1978-05-31) 31 May 1978 (age 40)
London, England
Education University of Manchester
Occupation Barrister, television personality
Partner(s) Seth Cummings (2013–2018)

Robert Rinder (born 31 May 1978), also known as Judge Rinder, is an English criminal law barrister and television personality.[1] He is best known for his role on the reality courtroom series Judge Rinder. He has been described as "the Simon Cowell of the bench ... in a British version of the hit American show Judge Judy".[2]

Early life[edit]

Rinder was born into a Jewish family[2][3] in London on 31 May 1978.[4] His maternal great-grandfather left Talsi, Latvia – then within the Russian Empire – after the 1905 Russian Revolution. He joined the British Army in World War I.[5] The grandson of a Holocaust survivor,[6] Rinder's maternal family roots extend back to Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland. After the Nazi invasion of Poland at the start of World War II, his maternal grandfather Moses (also known as Maurice) and his family were sent to a ghetto, where Maurice worked in a local glass factory. With most of the family sent to Treblinka extermination camp, Maurice as a worker was then moved to a concentration camp in Schlieben, Germany to work in a tank munitions factory.[7] Towards the end of WW2, like other survivors he was moved to Theresienstadt concentration camp by the Nazis. After liberation by the Russian army, an appeal was raised by the British Jewish community to rehome 1000 Jewish orphans. Maurice, who had adjusted his date of birth in official records so as to appear younger than his 22 years, was offered an opportunity to be relocated to the United Kingdom, where he was one of the 300 children taken by airplane to the Lake District and housed within the former aircraft factory located on the Calgarth Estate.[5][8]

Rinder was raised in Southgate, London,[3] and was educated at Queen Elizabeth's School for Boys[9] and the National Youth Theatre. He later gave up acting because his peer and later close friend, Benedict Cumberbatch, "was so good".[10] Rinder studied politics, modern history, and art at the University of Manchester, graduating with double first class honours.[9][11]



Rinder was called to the bar in 2001 after graduating from the University of Manchester, starting his pupillage at 2 Paper Buildings.[9][12] He then became a tenant at 2 Hare Court.[13][14] He went on to specialise in cases involving international fraud, money laundering and other forms of financial crime. He was involved in prosecutions following the murders of Leticia Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis in January 2003, and the defence of British servicemen on charges of manslaughter after the deaths of detainees in Iraq.[15] Since 2010 he has been involved in the investigation and prosecution of alleged bribery, corruption, and fraud in the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands.[15]


While practising as a barrister, Rinder wrote television scripts in his spare time. Upon attempting to sell one, he met producer Tom McLennan.[16] He approached ITV with a proposal for a remake of the 1970s programme, "Crown Court", but this was rejected in favour of a British version of Judge Judy, and McLennan offered Rinder the opportunity to front it.[17][16] Since 2014, he has been the eponymous judge in the reality courtroom series Judge Rinder, where he has been referred to as a British Judge Judy.[17]

Shortly after the programme started, he criticised Judith Sheindlin, the judge of Judge Judy, for making judgements based on her preconceptions while claiming that he applied the law seriously and made "real legal rulings".[18] Despite this, he insisted that it be clarified on the programme that he is a practising criminal law barrister and not a civil court judge.[19] As such, he wears his normal barrister's court dress but without the barrister's wig.[20] Rinder received praise for his cross-examination abilities and acerbic comments.[17] His courtroom includes a gavel and flag of the United Kingdom, neither of which are used in British courts but are on display in American courts and televised court programmes, and his show has been criticised as "Jeremy Kyle set in a small-claims court".[19][21] In 2015, Rinder was in discussions to create an American version of Judge Rinder to be broadcast to directly compete with Judge Judy.[22]

In 2015, Rinder released a book called Rinder Rules.[23] In 2016, he presented a new series, Judge Rinder's Crime Stories, with reconstructions of real crimes. He also hosted Raising the Bar on BBC Radio 5 Live,[24] which he started with a discussion with former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge.[25] In December 2017 Rinder re-launched Crown Court on ITV, newly named Judge Rinder's Crown Court, with a two-part special after a 30-year hiatus.[26]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

From September 2016, Rinder competed in the fourteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing, stating that he was doing so to make his grandmother proud of him.[27] Rinder was partnered with Ukrainian-born professional dancer Oksana Platero.[28] Prior to the competition, he commented on one of the judges, Craig Revel Horwood: "I'm sure Craig and I will get on brilliantly. He’s very similar to me – thoughtful, honest, clever and modest, and has a good eye".[29]

In his first week, the couple danced a Cha-Cha-Cha to "Mercy" by Duffy and were awarded 25 points. In the second week, when Rinder's grandparents appeared, he and his partner danced an American Smooth to "Marvin Gaye" by Charlie Puth and scored 27. In week 7 the couple danced a classic quickstep to "It Don’t Mean a Thing" by Chantz Powell, earning them 33 points.

Rinder was eliminated in week 11 after scoring 31 points dancing a samba to "Oh, What a Night". He ended the competition in fifth place.


In 2014, Rinder started to write a legal-based discussion column in the newspaper The Sun[30], and in 2015, he released a book called Rinder Rules.[23] Rinder became a columnist for the London Evening Standard in 2017.

Charitable work[edit]

Rinder is the patron of Buttle UK and, in this capacity, has run The London Marathon and will be launching[31] The Italian Job (charity event) 2018 at The NEC, Birmingham on 10 November 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Rinder became the civil partner of barrister Seth Cumming at a ceremony on the island of Ibiza in 2013, conducted by Rinder's friend, actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who had studied as one of Rinder's peers at Manchester University. Cumberbatch was legally entitled to conduct the civil partnership ceremony because of his online Universal Life Church ministerial ordination,[2][30] and Rinder later became one of three best men at Cumberbatch's wedding to Sophie Hunter in 2015.[32] It was reported in January 2018 that Robert Rinder and his civil partner Seth had split. Robert was reported to be very upset but claimed no one else was involved.[33]


  1. ^ "'Judge Rinder': 9 Facts In 90 Seconds On ITV Daytime's Barrister Robert Rinder". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Interview: Judge Rinder, Jewish Chronicle, 21 August 2014
  3. ^ a b Robert Rinder: the UK's answer to American chat-show host Judge Judy! Jewish News Online, 29 January 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  4. ^ Battson, Francesca. "Judge Rinder: Everything you need to know". Closer. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Who Do You Think You Are?". 13 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  6. ^ Jewish Community To Mark Yom HaShoah And VE Day In Their Thousands This Sunday Archived 26 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Jewish Leadership Council website, Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  7. ^ Jacobs, Ellie (9 August 2018). "Judge Rinder explores his history". The Jewish Chronicleaccessdate=13 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "The children who swapped the death camps for the Lake District". The Jewish Chronicle. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  9. ^ a b c "Judge Rinder and QE". Queen Elizabeth's School. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Hunt, Julia (14 June 2016). "'Benedict Cumberbatch made me give up acting because he was so good' admits Judge Rinder". The Mirror. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Big Interview: Judge Rinder". Chambers Student. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Catherine Baksi (21 April 2016). "Legal Hackette Lunches with Robert Rinder". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Robert Rinder, 2 Hare Court
  14. ^ John, Judge (25 June 2014). "2 Hare Court barrister set to be UK's telly Judge Judy". Legal Cheek. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  15. ^ a b CV, 2 Hare Court
  16. ^ a b Foxton, Hannah (2 September 2016). "Interview: Judge Rinder". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c "Read the FLN's review of ITV's Judge Rinder". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  18. ^ Percival, Ash (8 August 2014). "Judge Rinder sticks the boot into Judge Judy". Daily Star. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  19. ^ a b John, Judge (15 August 2014). "Exclusive interview: Judge Rinder on life as Britain's newest reality TV star". Legal Cheek. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  20. ^ John, Judge (25 June 2014). "2 Hare Court barrister set to be UK's telly Judge Judy". Legal Cheek. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  21. ^ Buerk, Michael (20 June 2016). "Who is Judge Rinder? Meet ITV's reality TV judge and Britain's answer to Judge Judy". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  22. ^ "I'm going to USA to take on Judge Judy". The Sun. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  23. ^ a b Connelly, Thomas (13 October 2015). "TV barrister Judge Rinder urges 'serious' law students to lighten up in order to succeed". Legal Cheek. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  24. ^ "BBC Radio 5 live – Raising the Bar with Rob Rinder". BBC. 28 August 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  25. ^ Connelly, Thomas (25 July 2016). "Judge Rinder lifts lid on judicial life in new radio show". Legal Cheek. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  26. ^ "Judge Rinder's Crown Court Episode 1". Retrieved 13 August 2018. 
  27. ^ "TV's Judge Rinder wants to 'make grandmother proud' on Strictly Come Dancing". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  28. ^ Hogan, Michael (3 September 2016). "Strictly Come Dancing launch: don't rule out Ed 'Disco' Balls's stompy dancing yet – plus 10 more things that happened". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  29. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Judge Rinder just made his feelings about Craig Revel Horwood very clear…". Metro. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Fairbairn, Emily (7 November 2014). "Too many lawyers spout jargon ... I'm here to cut the bulls**t – The Sun". The Sun. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  31. ^ "Interview with Italian Job and Rob 'Judge' Rinder". NEC Classic Motor Show. 8 November 2017. 
  32. ^ "Benedict Cumberbatch's best man revealed as Judge Robert Rinder". The Telegraph. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  33. ^ Newman, Vicki (2018-01-17). "Judge Rinder 'splits from husband Seth Cummings after 11 years together'". mirror. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 

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