rollonfriday.com: High Court judge resigns to join law firm: For the first time in 35 years a High Court judge has voluntarily stepped down from his post.: “Mr Justice Laddie - from now on to be known as plain old Sir Hugh - will hang up his red dressing gown next month” 23 June 2005
Mr Justice Laddie - from now on to be known as plain old Sir Hugh - will hang up his red dressing gown next month and join IP specialists Willoughby and Partners. After ten years as the senior judge of the Patents Court, Laddie has apparently had enough of the "isolation" of the bench. Independent observers shuddered to think of the loneliness inherent in long lunches at the Garrick with your chums, colossal holidays with your family and the ability to control court hours so you can slip away for agreeable weekends at friends' country houses.
Still, ours not to reason why. Laddie misses the "fun" in working for a team, and W&P is understandably cock-a-hoop at having bagged him. Senior partner Tony Willoughby said that he was "thrilled", pointing out that "Sir Hugh is the first High Court judge [ever] to leave the Bench to join a law firm".
The Lord Chancellor's department is rather less delighted. Although officially maintaining the line that "we don't comment on judges' resignations", insiders report that they are terrified that a precedent has been set. Although Laddie clearly isn't motivated by money - he won't be earning any more than his current judicial salary - plenty of other senior judges may be tempted by the lure of half a million plus at the Magic Circle.
As Laddie says, "my move may bring home the message that taking a judicial appointment is not a dead end". So there you go - accept a seat on the bench, get your knighthood and a copper-bottomed pension, then bail out to make a fortune in the City.
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