Famous British Lawyers & Judges

Find out more about the greatest British Lawyers & Judges, including Thomas Cromwell, John Winthrop, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., H. H. Asquith and Amal Alamuddin.
Vote for Your Favourite British Lawyers & Judges

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

 1 
Thomas Cromwell
(English statesman)
Thomas Cromwell
8
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Putney
Died: July 28, 1540
Thomas Cromwell was the 1st Earl of Essex and the chief minister to King Henry VIII from 1532 to 1540. He supported the English Reformation. He helped Henry leave Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, and later Anne of Cleves. He was eventually beheaded for treason and heresy. 
 2 
Amal Clooney
(Lebanese-British Barrister Specialising in International Law and Human Rights & the Wife of Actor George Clooney)
Amal Clooney
18
Birthdate: February 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

Amal Clooney is a Lebanese-British barrister, specializing in human rights and international law. Her clients include popular and influential personalities like Yulia Tymoshenko, Nadia Murad, and Julian Assange. Her work and philanthropic activities gained media coverage after her wedding to actor George Clooney. The Clooneys are well-known philanthropists and are founders of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

 3 
Carrie Lam
(Politician)
Carrie Lam
7
Birthdate: May 13, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wan Chai, Hong Kong, England

Carrie Lam is a Hong Kong politician who has been serving as the Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 2017. From 2007 to 2012, she served as the Secretary for Development. From 2012 to 2017, Lam was the Chief Secretary for Administration. A controversial leader, Carrie Lam's administration witnessed the criminalization of the Hong Kong National Party.

 4 
Max Mosley
(Racecar driver, Lawyer, Politician, Directeur sportif)
Max Mosley
7
Birthdate: April 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London

Max Mosley was a British lawyer and racing driver. He is credited with founding the Formula One racing team and racing car constructor, March Engineering. He also served as the president of a non-profit association named Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), which represents the interests of car users and motoring organizations around the world.

 5 
John Winthrop
(Politician, Theologian)
John Winthrop
3
Birthdate: January 12, 1588
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edwardstone, Suffolk, England
Died: March 26, 1649

John Winthrop was a British Puritan lawyer who played a major role in the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The colony was the second major settlement after Plymouth Colony in New England. A respected political figure, Winthrop has been cited by many modern-day politicians like Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Sarah Palin.

 6 
Dominic Raab
(Politician)
Dominic Raab
5
Birthdate: February 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Buckinghamshire, England

Apart from being the current deputy prime minister of the UK, Dominic Raab has also previously been the secretary of state for Brexit, foreign affairs, and justice. A black belt in karate, too, he has often been in the middle of controversies for his barbed comments against his opponents.

 7 
Cherie Blair
(Wife of Former British Prime Minister 'Tony Blair')
Cherie Blair
10
Birthdate: September 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bury, England

Apart from being the wife of former UK prime minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair is also a successful attorney in her own right. The daughter of actor Tony Booth, she is has also taught at the University of Westminster. She is associated with charitable campaigns on breast cancer and other causes, too.

 8 
Anna Soubry
(British Barrister, Journalist and Member of Parliament for Broxtowe (2010 - 2019))
Anna Soubry
12
Birthdate: December 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England

Anna Soubry is a British journalist, barrister, and former politician. A vocal critic of Brexit, Soubry left the Conservative Party in February 2019 in order to join the Independent Group for Change (Change UK). Subsequently, Anna Soubry was appointed as the party's leader before the disbandment of Change UK following the party's failure at the December 2019 general election.

 9 
Robin Cavendish
(British Advocate for Disabled People, Medical Aid Developer, and One of the Longest-Lived Responauts in Britain)
Robin Cavendish
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Middleton, Derbyshire, England
Died: August 8, 1994

Robin Cavendish was an English medical aid developer and advocate for disabled people. He is credited with aiding the development of medical devices aimed at providing independence to paralyzed people. One of Britain's longest-lived responauts, Cavendish was given three months to live at the age of 28. He lived for 64 years and his story inspired the 2017 film Breathe.

 10 
Spencer Perceval
(Politician, Lawyer)
Spencer Perceval
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1762
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London
Died: May 11, 1812

Spencer Perceval was an English barrister and statesman who served as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister from 1809 to 1812. The only solicitor-general to have served as UK's prime minister, Perceval was also the only British PM to have been murdered. His assassination inspired poems like Universal sympathy on the martyr'd statesman, which was published in 1812.

 11 
Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal
Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dominica

Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, is a British barrister, diplomat, and politician. In 2016, Patricia started serving as the Commonwealth secretary-general, becoming the first woman to hold the post. As a Labour Party politician, Patricia Scotland has served in several ministerial positions, such as the Advocate General for Northern Ireland and Attorney General for England and Wales.

 12 
Harriet Harman
(Politician, Lawyer, Solicitor)
Harriet Harman
8
Birthdate: July 30, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

Harriet Harman is an English solicitor and politician who has been serving as a Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham since 1982. An influential and popular politician, Harman has served in several Shadow Cabinet as well as Cabinet positions. Under Tony Blair, Harman served as the Secretary of State for Employment, Shadow Social Security Secretary, and Shadow Health Secretary.

 13 
Jonathan Sumption, Lord Sumption
(British Author and Former Senior Judge Who Sat on the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom)
Jonathan Sumption, Lord Sumption
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: England

Jonathan Sumption is a British medieval historian, author, and former senior judge. Between 2012 and 2018, Sumption served as a judge of the United Kingdom's Supreme Court. A former barrister, Jonathan Sumption is well known for his involvement in several legal cases, including the Three Rivers case. 

 14 
William Blackstone
(British Jurist and Judge Known for Writing the 'Commentaries on the Laws of England')
William Blackstone
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1723
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 14, 1780

William Blackstone was a British politician, jurist, and judge of the 18th century. Best remembered for authoring the Commentaries on the Laws of England, Blackstone is credited with influencing prominent American personalities like Abraham Lincoln, James Kent, Alexander Hamilton, and John Marshall among others. His Commentaries, which were cited often in Supreme Court cases, were repeatedly republished throughout the 1770s.

 15 
Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond
(British Judge Who Served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom)
Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leeds, England

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, is a British judge. In 2004, she became the first woman to be appointed as a Law Lord in the House of Lords. In 2017, Brenda Hale became the first woman to serve as the president of the United Kingdom's Supreme Court, a position which she served until her retirement in 2020.

 16 
Edward Coke
(English Barrister, Judge, and Politician Who is Considered the Greatest Jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean Eras)
Edward Coke
3
Birthdate: February 1, 1552
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mileham, Breckland, Norfolk, England
Died: September 3, 1634

Edward Coke was an English politician, barrister, and judge. He is regarded as the greatest jurist of the Jacobean and Elizabethan eras. As a barrister, Coke took up important cases like Slade's Case. As a Member of Parliament, Coke campaigned for the Statute of Monopolies 1623. He also played a key role in the passage of the Petition of Right.

 17 
Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich
(Chancellor)
Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1496
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 12, 1567

Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich was a Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain who served during the reign of King Edward VI of England. He played important roles in the trials of Protestant martyr Anne Askew as well as that of Catholic martyrs John Fisher and Thomas More. Richard Rich is also credited with founding Felsted School.  

 18 
Ophelia Dahl
(Social justice and health care advocate)
Ophelia Dahl
4
Birthdate: May 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oxford, England
 19 
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
(British Advocate, Independent Whig Politician and Former Secretary of State for War (1794 - 1801))
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
6
Birthdate: April 28, 1742
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 28, 1811

His mastery of Scottish politics earned Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville the nickname King Harry the Ninth. Apart from serving as the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for War, he also played a significant role in the British expansion in India. He was also a successful lawyer initially.

 20 
George Carman
(British Barrister)
George Carman
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Died: January 2, 2001

George Carman was a British barrister best remembered for his involvement in several high profile cases during the 1980s and 1990s. He is best remembered for successfully defending Jeremy Thorpe in 1979 when the latter was accused of conspiracy to murder. George Carman's life and career inspired the 2002 BBC drama Get Carman: The Trials of George Carman QC.

 21 
Tom Denning, Baron Denning
(Lawyer)
Tom Denning, Baron Denning
2
Birthdate: January 23, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Whitchurch, Hampshire, England
Died: March 5, 1999

Tom Denning, Baron Denning was a British lawyer and judge. In 1938, Denning was appointed a King's Counsel before becoming a judge in the High Court of Justice in 1944. In 1962, he was appointed Master of the Rolls, a position which he held for two decades. Denning was called the greatest British judge of modern times by Margaret Thatcher.

 22 
Henry Fielding Dickens
(Lawyer and Son of novelist Charles Dickens)
Henry Fielding Dickens
5
Birthdate: January 16, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 21, 1933

One of the 10 children of legendary English author Charles Dickens, Henry Fielding Dickens was named after author Henry Fielding. A Cambridge alumnus, he had initially studied math. However, he later took up law and became a successful barrister. He had also been a Liberal Party member.

 23 
F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead
(British Conservative Politician and Secretary of State for India)
F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birkenhead, Cheshire, England
Died: September 30, 1930

F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead was a British barrister and Conservative politician who was appointed as the Lord Chancellor in the early 20th century. A skilled orator, Smith is best remembered as one of Winston Churchill's greatest political friends. F. E. Smith died at the age of 58 due to pneumonia.

 24 
A. V. Dicey
(British Whig Jurist and Constitutional Theorist)
A. V. Dicey
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: April 7, 1922

British jurist A. V. Dicey is best known for his Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, which forms the basis of the modern British constitution. Apart from teaching law at Oxford, he also served as the principal of the Working Men’s College of London.

 25 
Robert Aske
(Lawyer)
Robert Aske
0
Birthdate: 1500 AD
Birthplace: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Died: July 12, 1537
 26 
Michael Mansfield
(Barrister, Lawyer)
Michael Mansfield
11
Birthdate: October 12, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London
 27 
Charlie Elphicke
(British Politician and Convicted Sex Offender)
Charlie Elphicke
6
Birthdate: March 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England

Charlie Elphicke is an English politician and former solicitor. He served as the Lord Commissioner of the Treasury from 2015 to 2016. A controversial politician, Elphicke was charged with sexual offenses against two women and was sentenced to two years in an open prison in 2020.

 28 
Thomas McKean
(Lawyer, Politician, Judge)
Thomas McKean
5
Birthdate: March 19, 1734
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Province of Pennsylvania
Died: June 24, 1817

One of the Founding Fathers of the US, Thomas McKean was the son of a tavern keeper and later became a successful barrister and politician. He simultaneously served in the Continental Congress of Delaware while he was also the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

 29 
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
(Barrister)
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
6
Birthdate: March 2, 1705
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Scone Palace, Scotland
Died: March 20, 1793

British jurist William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield is remembered for his significant contribution to the English commercial law. He had been the chief justice of the King’s Bench. Though he brough in new reforms in areas of finance, he mostly avoided dealing with issues such as slavery.

 30 
Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading
(Viceroy)
Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1860
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tower Hamlets, London, England
Died: December 30, 1935

Apart from being a Liberal Party politician, Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading had also held positions such as those of the chief justice of England and the Viceroy of India, among others. He had initially also been part of his family’s fruit import business. He had eventually received 5 knighthoods.

 31 
David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury
(Judge, Politician)
David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury
5
Birthdate: January 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn

English judge David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury was born to a pathology professor and grew up with three brothers, who all worked as professors later. He rose to be the President of the Supreme Court of the UK. He has also been associated with causes such as mental health research.

 32 
Peter Benenson
(British Lawyer, Human Rights Activist and the Founder of Human Rights Group Amnesty International (AI))
Peter Benenson
3
Birthdate: July 31, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 25, 2005

Peter Benenson was a British human rights activist and lawyer. He is credited with establishing the popular human rights group and an international non-governmental organization Amnesty International (AI). In 2001, Peter Benenson agreed to receive the prestigious Pride of Britain Award after refusing to accept all honors throughout his career.

 33 
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
(British Barrister and Former Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain (1979 - 1987))
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 12, 2001

The son of Lord Chancellor Douglas Hogg, Quintin McGarel Hogg was educated at Eton and Oxford and later fought in World War II. A barrister and a Conservative politician, he was the First Lord of the Admiralty. He renounced his hereditary peerage to become an MP. He was also a 2-time Lord Chancellor.

 34 
George Darwin
(British Barrister, Astronomer and the Second Son of Naturalist Charles Darwin)
George Darwin
2
Birthdate: July 9, 1845
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Down House, Downe, Kent, England
Died: December 7, 1912

Born to legendary biologist Charles Darwin, George Darwin initially studied law and became a barrister. However, his interest in science made him deviate to astronomy. He believed the Moon was one part of the Earth. He later also taught at Cambridge and was made a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 35 
Norman Birkett, 1st Baron Birkett
(Judge, Politician, Lawyer, Barrister)
Norman Birkett, 1st Baron Birkett
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1883
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ulverston
Died: February 10, 1962

Initially a Methodist preacher and a cloth merchant, Norman Birkett later became a successful barrister and even served as the King’s Counsel. A Liberal Party politician, he had also been an MP from Nottingham East. Apart from being a High Court judge, he was also an alternate judge at the Nuremberg Trials

 36 
Geoffrey Elton
(Writer, Historian of the modern age, Historian, University teacher, Lawyer)
Geoffrey Elton
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tübingen
Died: December 3, 1994

Born to Jewish scholars in Germany, Geoffrey Elton later moved with his family, first to Czechoslovakia and then to Britain. He grew up to become a renowned historian who specialized in the Tudor period. He also taught history at Cambridge and penned books such as England Under the Tudors.

 37 
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss
(Judge, Politician, Lawyer)
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Buckinghamshire

Born into a family of lawyers and being the daughter of a High Court judge, Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was destined to take up law as a profession. She not only became the fourth female High Court judge but was also the first female Lord Justice of Appeal.

 38 
Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
(Lawyer)
Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
2
Birthdate: September 14, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 24, 1958

The son of three-time prime minister of the UK Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Robert Cecil enjoyed an elite education at Eton and Oxford. Apart from being a lawyer, he was a Conservative politician like his father and also won the Nobel Prize for his efforts in the formation of the League of Nations.

 39 
Jacqueline Bhabha
(She is the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. lecturer in law at Harvard Law School and teaches public policy at Harvard Kennedy School)
Jacqueline Bhabha
0
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
 40 
Margaret Mountford
(Lawyer, Businessperson)
Margaret Mountford
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Holywood

Initially a lawyer, Margaret Mountford was also associated with the companies Amstrad and Georgica. She gained popularity as a TV personality after her appearance in The Apprentice UK. She has also presented several documentaries and has worked for causes such as the promotion of Hellenic studies and Egypt exploration.

 41 
George Edalji
(solicitor)
George Edalji
3
Birthdate: 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Midlands
Died: June 17, 1953

The son of an Indian-origin English vicar, solicitor George Edalji made headlines when he was convicted of mutilating a horse and writing anonymous threatening letters. Though acquitted later, Edalji had a tough time clearing his name and took the help of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to campaign for him.

 42 
G. A. H. Branson
(English Barrister and High Court Judge)
G. A. H. Branson
2
Birthdate: July 11, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Great Yarmouth, England
Died: April 23, 1951

During his time at Cambridge, G. A. H. Branson was a talented rower. He later rose through the ranks of the legal profession, becoming a successful barrister and eventually the judge of the High Court. He is also known as the grandfather of business tycoon and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

 43 
Michael Young, Baron Young of Dartington
(Sociologist)
Michael Young, Baron Young of Dartington
2
Birthdate: August 9, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: January 14, 2002

British sociologist Michael Young, also known as Lord Young, or Baron Young of Dartington, not only helped shape the manifesto of the Labour Party but also coined the term meritocracy. A qualified barrister, he was also instrumental in forming the Consumers’ Association and a prototype of the modern Open University system.

 44 
Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden
(Former Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain)
Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden
2
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: Earls Colne, England
Died: April 30, 1544

Apart from being a barrister, Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden had served as the Lord Chancellor of England. He is remembered for his contribution to King Henry VIII’s break with the papal authorities, eventually leading to the king being declared the head of the English church.

 45 
Brian Leveson
(Judge)
Brian Leveson
5
Birthdate: June 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Liverpool

Called a “legal giant,” Brian Leveson is known for chairing an inquiry into the ethics and practices of the British press. Apart from presiding over the Queen’s Bench Division, he had also been the Head of Criminal Justice. He had also served the Liverpool John Moores University as its Chancellor.

 46 
Samuel Sewall
(Jurist, Judge)
Samuel Sewall
2
Birthdate: March 28, 1652
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hampshire
Died: January 1, 1730

British-American merchant Samuel Sewall is best remembered for a diary that he had penned and which threw light on the infamous Salem witch trials, which he had judged. He was the only judge to have publicly regretted the decision of the trials. A Harvard alumnus, he initially also managed a printing press.

 47 
Constance Briscoe
(Barrister)
Constance Briscoe
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: England

Born to Jamaican immigrants in the UK, Constance Briscoe had an inspiring rags-to-riches story of growing up in an abusive household and then financing her education to become one of the first Black female judicial officers in the UK. She, however, was later jailed for lying to the police.

 48 
Montague Druitt
(English Barrister and Educator)
Montague Druitt
0
Birthdate: August 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England
Died: December 31, 1888
 49 
Thomas Hughes
(British Lawyer, Judge, Politician and Author Famous for His Novel 'Tom Brown’s School Days')
Thomas Hughes
2
Birthdate: October 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Uffington, Berkshire,England
Died: March 22, 1896

A qualified jurist, Thomas Hughes was also a renowned author, known for his iconic semi-autobiographical novel Tom Brown’s School Days. He also co-founded the Working Men’s College, as a result of his association with the Christian Socialist movement. He was also a Liberal Party MP, representing Lambeth and Frome.

 50 
Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux
(Politician)
Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1778
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 7, 1868