Lord Wilson is a former Justice of the UK Supreme Court and joined Fountain Court as an arbitrator in 2020, having spent 27 years of his career on the Bench.
He was called to the Bar in 1967, after gaining the highest honours as a law student at Oxford and was appointed King’s Counsel in 1987. In 1993, he became a judge of the Family Division of the High Court and in 2005 was appointed to the Court of Appeal, before being appointed Justice of the UK Supreme Court in 2011.
Lord Reed, President of the Supreme Court, paid tribute to Lord Wilson on his retirement from the Supreme Court, referring to his “many important judgments” in family law and his “notable judgments on a range of subjects, including tax law, employment law, social security law, and the law of contract” and “important judgments raising issues of constitutional and administrative law”.
He also commented that “an outstanding lawyer such as Nicholas can use his skills in any area of the law”.
Nicholas accepts appointments as arbitrator across a range of areas, both in the UK and overseas.
In his published Diaries Lord Hope, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, explained the decision of the Appointments Committee:
‘On sheer merit … he was clearly well above the others. Such is the quality of his judgments and his engaging, caring personality.’
In his recorded Tribute Lord Reed, President of the Supreme Court, said:
‘At the time of his appointment to the court, Nicholas expressed the hope that he would contribute wisely to development of the law. That hope has been amply fulfilled. In the field of family law, he has delivered many important judgments, but he has also demonstrated time and again that what is important in this court is not so much specialised experience as outstanding legal ability. We have comparatively few cases concerned with his specialisation of matrimonial finance, or even with family law more widely. But an outstanding lawyer such as Nicholas can use his skills in any area of the law. And he has done exactly that. He has delivered notable judgments on a wide range of subjects, including tax law, employment law, social security law, and the law of contract. He has made a particular contribution to immigration law … He has also delivered a number of important judgments raising issues of constitutional and administrative law … He has also delivered some trenchant dissenting judgments, for example in Evans, the case concerned with the legality of a Government decision to override a judicial decision ordering the disclosure of the Prince of Wales’s letters to Government departments, and the case of Privacy International, which concerned the availability of judicial review in circumstances where an Act of Parliament had sought to exclude it.’
Leading judgments given by Lord Wilson in the UK Supreme Court (or Judicial Committee of the Privy Council if marked *), other than on family law, include:
Further decisions of the UK Supreme Court, other than on family law, in which Lord Wilson gave a judgment or otherwise participated, include: