He read Natural Sciences (physics) at Trinity College Cambridge (1960-1963) and law at the London School of Economics (1963-1967). He was called to the bar by Gray’s Inn in 1965 (Treasurer 2007). He was appointed a High Court Judge in 1993 and to the Court of Appeal in 2003.
His primary area of expertise is intellectual property rights. He was admitted to the IP Hall of Fame in 2006.
He retired from the Court of Appeal in March 2011 (acknowledged in a valedictory address before a court-room packed with well-wishers) to take up his current position as the Hugh Laddie Chair in intellectual property at University College London. However, in accordance with section 9 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, he has continued on occasion since that date to sit as a judge in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Jacob is currently a door tenant at 8 New Square Chambers.
Decisions of Jacob in the Court of Appeal include:
- Walton v Independent Living Organisation  EWCA Civ 199,  ICR 688,  IRLR 469 - UK labour law, regarding the National Minimum Wage Act 1998
- Judiciary of England and Wales, , 4 May 2011, not yet updated to reflect his retirement.
- "UK royal judge to head AIFC". Kazinform.
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