This is a special episode of The Fountain Court Podcast, recorded to mark International Women’s Day 2023. The episode is hosted by Stuart Ritchie KC, Head of the Wellbeing Committee at Fountain Court. The episode features a discussion with The Right Honourable Lady Justice Carr DBE, a Court of Appeal Judge and trailblazer at the Bar and on the Bench. Current or previous roles have included a silk, a Head of Chambers, a Chair of a specialist Bar Association and a member of the senior Judiciary; as a woman, many of these have been rare appointments.
Lady Justice Carr read modern languages and law at Trinity College Cambridge. She was called to the bar in 1987 where she practised from what became 4 New Square Chambers and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2003 and a Recorder in 2009.
She was chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association in 2007 and 2008 and Chair of the Conduct Committee of the Bar Standards Board from 2008 to 2010. In April 2011, she was appointed Disciplinary Commissioner in proceedings before the International Criminal Court. She also served as Head of Chambers at 4 New Square from 2012-2013. At all times she maintained a formidable practice principally in commercial law and professional indemnity work.
In June 2013 she was appointed a High Court Judge, assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division. At first instance she sat in all three jurisdictions in the Rolls Buildings. She was the first ever female High Court Judge to sit in the Technology & Construction Court and only the second to sit in the Commercial Court.
She has been a Judge of the Court of Appeal since April 2020, and was sworn of the Privy Council in April 2021. From August 2020 until the end of January 2023, Lady Justice Carr was also the Senior Judicial Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission. She is a Bencher of the Inner Temple and the mother of three grown-up children.
During this episode, Stuart speaks to Lady Justice Carr about her career to date, her experiences as one of the few – and sometimes only – female in her professional environment, as well as recent improvements in the representation of women across the legal sector and what more can be done to combat inequality. She shares her ‘top 10 tips’ for thriving in the profession and touches upon the pressures that come with being a ‘trailblazer’, as well as how the legal world can work together – across law firms, the Bar and the judiciary – to create a more mutually supportive working environment and an even higher performing profession.