Rinder conducting a choir in March 2017
31 May 1978|
|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. 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".
Rinder was born into a Jewish family in London on 31 May 1978. 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. The grandson of a Holocaust survivor, 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. 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.
Rinder was raised in Southgate, London, and was educated at Queen Elizabeth's School for Boys and the National Youth Theatre. He later gave up acting because his peer and later close friend, Benedict Cumberbatch, "was so good". Rinder studied politics, modern history, and art at the University of Manchester, graduating with double first class honours.
Rinder was called to the bar in 2001 after graduating from the University of Manchester, starting his pupillage at 2 Paper Buildings. He then became a tenant at 2 Hare Court. 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. 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.
While practising as a barrister, Rinder wrote television scripts in his spare time. Upon attempting to sell one, he met producer Tom McLennan. 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. 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.
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". 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. As such, he wears his normal barrister's court dress but without the barrister's wig. Rinder received praise for his cross-examination abilities and acerbic comments. 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". In 2015, Rinder was in discussions to create an American version of Judge Rinder to be broadcast to directly compete with Judge Judy.
In 2015, Rinder released a book called Rinder Rules. 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, which he started with a discussion with former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge. 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.
Strictly Come Dancing
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. Rinder was partnered with Ukrainian-born professional dancer Oksana Platero. 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".
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.
In 2014, Rinder started to write a legal-based discussion column in the newspaper The Sun, and in 2015, he released a book called Rinder Rules. Rinder became a columnist for the London Evening Standard in 2017.
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, and Rinder later became one of three best men at Cumberbatch's wedding to Sophie Hunter in 2015. 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.
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- CV, 2 Hare Court
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