Skip to main content

Masters of the Bench

Back to the Bench Directory

The Rt Hon Lord Dyson

Full Title: The Rt Hon Lord Dyson
Category: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 13.3.1990
Call Date: 26.11.1968

Lord Dyson was Master of the Rolls (President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Head of Civil Justice) for four years until he retired in October 2016. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from April 2010 until October 2012. He was a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 2001 until 2010 (and Deputy Head of Civil Justice from 2003 until 2006). He was a judge of the High Court of England and Wales from 1993 until 2001 and the judge in charge of the Technology and Construction Court from 1998 until 2001. He was a Recorder from 1986 until 1993.

He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1968 and was awarded a Harmsworth Scholarship. He practised in Keating Chambers from 1968 and was appointed QC in 1982. In 1986 he accepted an invitation by 39 Essex Chambers to become Head of Chambers, a position he held until 1993 when he was appointed to the High Court.

In his long judicial career, he decided many cases across the whole range of civil law, including contract, construction and commercial law, general common law, international law, and public and human rights law. Many of his judgments are reported in the Law Reports and are frequently cited as precedents. At the Bar, whilst at Keating Chambers he practised mainly (but not exclusively) in the field of construction law. At 39 Essex Chambers, he had a more diversified practice including in the field of general common law, commercial law and sports law. He acted in many high profile cases. He also appeared as counsel in many arbitrations and was appointed as arbitrator on various occasions.

He has lectured extensively on a wide range of subjects in the UK and abroad, including in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, US, Australia and New Zealand.  He has given lectures to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on mediation and arbitration. He gave the Mustill lecture in 2013 on Arbitration and the Brussels 1 Reform. He has participated in legal exchanges with judges and lawyers from other jurisdictions, such as US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Israel, France and judges of the Court of Justice of the European Union and has contributed papers on these occasions.

He is an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He is a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary, London and UCL. He has honorary doctorates from University College, London and the Universities of Leeds and Essex.

Lord Dyson is married with a daughter and a son.

Lord Dyson was Treasurer of Middle Temple in 2017.