Masters of the Bench
The Hon Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing
Full Title: The Hon Mrs Justice Elisabeth LaingCategory: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 16.4.2013
Call Date: 24.7.1980
Elisabeth Laing went to King’s High School for Girls in Warwick and then to Newnham College, Cambridge, where she was a Scholar. She took Part I of the Classics Tripos and Part II of the Law Tripos, graduating in 1979 with a Double First.
She was a Harmsworth Exhibitioner and Scholar. She was Eldred Tabachnik’s pupil and then became a tenant in the Chambers of Alexander Irvine QC (as he then was) in 1982, where she began to specialise in employment law.
After a long maternity leave, she returned to practice in late 1995. She was appointed to the Attorney General’s B and A Panels in 1999 and 2005 respectively, and took Silk in 2008. After her return, the main area of her practice shifted to public law, specialising in judicial reviews, social services, public sector pensions, human rights and mental health.
Elisabeth was the first member of her Chambers to appear at the European Court of Justice. She has appeared in courts at all levels, from tribunals to the House of Lords and the Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Standards Committee of the Bar Council in 2011. In 2012, she was elected a Bencher, and in 2013 she was appointed to the Welsh Government’s Panel of Silks.
She became an Assistant Recorder in 1999, a Recorder in 2000 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2010; was authorised to sit in the Administrative Court in 2010; and was appointed a High Court Judge (in the Queen’s Bench Division) in 2014.
Elisabeth is authorised to sit in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, is a Nominated Judge for the Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office, and was appointed Chair of SIAC, POAC and PAAC with effect from 19 January 2017.
Apart from managing to produce three children, Elisabeth considers her greatest achievement to be finishing the London Marathon in under five hours.