Lord Clarke, who was one of the first Supreme Court Justices, retired from the Supreme Court in October 2017 and is now accepting appointments as arbitrator in commercial disputes.Lord Clarke has had an illustrious career, first at the Admiralty and commercial bar, before being appointed a High Court Judge in 1993, sitting in the Admiralty, Commercial and Crown Court. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal and Privy Council in 1998 and was Master of the Rolls from 2005 to 2009. He was the first High Court judge to be appointed directly to the Supreme Court. He was appointed to the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in 2011 as a non-permanent judge.
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Having read economics and law at King’s College Cambridge he was called to the Bar in 1965 and practised at what was then 2 Essex Court, first as a junior until he took silk and became a QC in 1979 and thereafter until he became judge in 1993. He was head of chambers for a number of years in the 1980s. His practice was commercial and maritime and included both advocacy and, as time progressed, arbitration work as both counsel and arbitrator. He did a number of cases in Hong Kong and Singapore as a silk. Shipping inquiries were not uncommon in those years and he played a part in a good number, including the Herald of Free Enterprise, in which he was counsel for the owners. He also became a Recorder in 1985 and a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1987.