Stephen Richards (judge)

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Sir Stephen Price Richards (born 8 December 1950) is a former Lord Justice of Appeal.


Stephen Price Richards was born in Wales on 8 December 1950.

He was educated at King's College School and St John's College, Oxford (BA, MA).[1]

Having been called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1975, Richards was Second Junior Counsel to the Director General of Fair Trading 1987–89 and Standing Counsel 1989–91. He was Junior Counsel to the Crown 1990–91 and First Junior Treasury Counsel 1992–97 (elected as a Bencher of Gray's Inn on taking up the latter appointment). The First Junior Treasury Counsel is known colloquially as the "Treasury Devil" and represents Her Majesty's Government in the civil courts. Traditionally the First Junior Treasury Counsel is not appointed Queen's Counsel but it is nonetheless one of the most prestigious of legal appointments and almost inevitably leads to appointment as a High Court Judge. In 1997 Richards was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division), having been appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court the previous year. He was automatically appointed Knight Bachelor. From 2000 until 2003 he served as Presiding Judge for Wales.

On 4 November 2005 HM The Queen approved his appointment as a Lord Justice of Appeal and a member of the Privy Council. Since becoming a Lord Justice of Appeal he has heard several high-profile appeals, including those on behalf of the late Jean Charles de Menezes,[2] and by Mr and Mrs Ian Gay.

On 1 November 2012 he was appointed Deputy Head of Civil Justice and took up his post on 1 January 2013.[3]

Richards retired on 17 February 2016.[4]

In 2018, Richards took up the post of a Justice at the Astana International Financial Centre Court in Astana, Kazakhstan.[5]

Trial and acquittal[edit]

In June 2007, Richards was tried at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on two charges of indecent exposure on trains in 2006.[6] He said that it was a case of mistaken identity, and was acquitted on both charges.[7]

Style and title[edit]

  • 1997–2005: The Hon Sir Stephen Richards, The Hon Mr Justice Richards
  • 2005–: The Rt Hon Sir Stephen Richards, The Rt Hon Lord Justice Richards


  1. ^ Biography Stephen Price Richards, Debrett's Archived 26 April 2014 at
  2. ^ "Lords could hear Menezes appeal". BBC. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 11 November 2007.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Court of Appeal: Retirement of Lord Justice Richards", Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 17 February 2016
  5. ^ "UK royal judge to head AIFC". Kazinform.
  6. ^ "Woman 'shocked by flashing judge'". BBC News Online. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Profile: Lord Justice Richards". BBC News Online. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2012.

Sources and further information[edit]