Sir Terence Etherton has been appointed Master of the Rolls following the retirement of Lord Dyson after four years.
The Master of the Rolls is the second most senior judicial post, after the Lord Chief Justice. The position is an ancient one, dating back to at least the 13th Century. The name refer to the ‘rolls’ or records of the Court of Chancery, a forerunner of the High Court abolished in the 1870s. Originally Masters of the Rolls were senior clerks but the position became a judicial one over the centuries.
Sir Terence was called to the Bar (qualified as a barrister) in 1974 and became a QC in 1990. His progression continued 11 years later when he was appointed a High Court Judge, working in the Chancery Division.
In 2006 he became Chairman of the Law Commission and two years later a Lord Justice of Appeal. In 2013, he was appointed ‘Chancellor of the High Court’ – the ambiguously-named head of the Chancery Division of the High Court.