Solicitor appointed new Lord Chancellor

In an unexpected move, Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed David Gauke MP to be the next Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, as part of her cabinet reshuffle. Mr Gauke replaces David Lidington MP, who was appointed Lord Chancellor last June, and is the sixth holder of the post in the last six years.

Mr Gauke is the first solicitor to take up the role of Lord Chancellor. Traditionally, the Lord Chancellor has been a barrister, although the last four occupants of the post were not lawyers (it has not been necessary for the Lord Chancellor to be a lawyer since the judicial functions of the post were removed by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005).

Mr Gauke qualified as a solicitor in 1997. He later worked for a City firm, until he was elected as an MP in 2005. His previous role in government was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

In a statement following his appointment, Mr Gauke said:

“Justice is the cornerstone of our democracy and a key part of a fairer society. That is why I am delighted to be taking up the position of secretary of state for justice and the vital role of Lord Chancellor. I am looking forward to meeting experts and front-line staff to drive the crucial work started by my predecessors, to reform our prisons and courts, uphold the rule of law, and promote our world-leading legal services.”

As with his predecessor, Family Law Cafe welcomes Mr Gauke’s appointment, and hopes that he has a constructive relationship with the legal profession.

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Image of David Gauke: Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons