New Zealand Law Society - UK's youngest woman judge at 31

UK's youngest woman judge at 31

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

Briony Clarke has become the youngest female judge in the United Kingdom at the age of 31.

Ms Clarke has been sworn in as a deputy district judge at Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex. 

A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Justice says they are not aware of a female judge younger than Ms Clark.

She began working for Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP in Chelmsford as an administrative assistant at just 15, and still works there.

The firm said it was “delighted to announce” Ms Clarke’s appointment.

“This is a prestigious appointment that reflects her ability as a Criminal Advocate,” its website says.

“It is without doubt an extraordinary personal achievement and the partnership are absolutely delighted for her. Briony will continue her practice and sit as a Deputy District Judge part time.”

Her practice profile notes she “was admitted to the roll of Solicitors in 2009, became a Duty Solicitor in 2010 and in 2013 became an Associate. In 2014 Briony became a Partner at THB recognising her hard work, loyalty and dedication to both the firm and her clients.”

The youngest lawyer in the UK to be appointed a judge was Richard Wright at the age of 29. Mr Wright, a barrister in Leeds, Yorkshire, applied and was appointed a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates' Court) in 2006, virtually as soon as he had become eligible.

Ms Clarke’s compulsory retirement date would be in January 2056.