William Blair (judge)

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Sir William Blair
High Court Judge
Queen's Bench Division
In office
27 February 2008 – 1 December 2017
Appointed by Elizabeth II
Personal details
Born William James Lynton Blair
(1950-03-31) 31 March 1950 (age 68)
Nationality British
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Inns of Court School of Law
Occupation Judge
Profession Lawyer, professor

Sir William James Lynton Blair (born 31 March 1950) is a retired British judge. He was previously a Queen's Counsel, specialising in domestic and international banking and finance law. He is the elder brother of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Blair was born in Scotland to Leo Charles Lynton Blair, a barrister and later a lecturer in law, and Hazel Corscadden.[citation needed]

Like his brother Tony, the future Prime Minister, he was educated at the independent Choristers School in Durham and Fettes College in Edinburgh, before studying Jurisprudence (Law) at Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).[citation needed]

Blair was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1972.[citation needed]


Blair took Silk in 1994 and was appointed a Recorder in 1998.[citation needed] He became a Deputy High Court Judge in 2003 and was in the same year admitted as a Barrister of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the Territory of the Virgin Islands.[citation needed]

On 4 February 2008 it was announced that the Queen had approved his appointment as a High Court Judge, assigned to the Queen's Bench Division.[2] He was sworn in on 28 February.[3] In 2016 he became Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court.[4]

He became a member of London's Financial Markets Law Committee in 2008.[5]

In 2012, he became President of the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities.[6]

He is Visiting Professor of Law at the London School of Economics (since 1994) and at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London (since 1999). He has also been, since 1999, an Honorary Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies (1997), and an academic adviser to the Asian Institute of International Financial Law.

From 2001 to 2008 he served, part-time, as a Chairman of the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal (Finsmat) and from 2003 to 2005 he was Chairman of the Commercial Bar Association (Combar). He was also Chairman of the International Monetary Law Committee of the International Law Association (2004) and of the Qatar Financial Centre Appeals Body (2006).

Along with Lord Woolf, the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, he served as the Co-Convener of the inaugural Qatar Law Forum of Global Leaders in Law, held in Doha, Qatar, from 29–31 May 2009.[citation needed]

He retired as a High Court Judge on 1 December 2017 to take up a position as Professor of Financial Law and Ethics at Queen Mary, University of London.[7][8]

In 2018, he was appointed to sit part-time as a Deputy Judge of the High Court of Hong Kong[9]


  • Co-consultant editor of Butterworths Banking Law Handbook, 8th edition (December 2010)
  • Co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Banking Law, Butterworths, London
  • Co-author of Banking and Financial Services Regulation, 3rd edition, Butterworths, London, 2002
  • Editor of Banks and Remedies, LLP, London, 1999
  • General editor of Bullen, Leake & Jacob's Precedents of Pleadings, 14th edition, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2001
  • Editor of Banks, Liability and Risk, 3rd edition, LLP, London, 2001


  1. ^ Dyer, Clare (17 February 2007). "Blair's brainy brother, in law". The Guardian. London. 
  2. ^ "Judicial Appointments". News Distribution Services. Ministry of Justice. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ The London Paper, 28 February 2008
  4. ^ "Mr Justice Blair". judiciary.gov.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Members". "tackling issues of legal uncertainty, domestic, pan-European and international, present and future, in the wholesale financial markets". Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Joint Board of Appeal – European Banking Authority". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  7. ^ https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/announcements/high-court-retirement-of-the-honourable-sir-william-james-lynton-blair/
  8. ^ Sir William Blair appointed as Professor of Financial Law and Ethics at Queen Mary
  9. ^ "G.N. 1375" Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 9, Vol. 22, 2 March 2018)

External links[edit]