Barrister Bobbie Cheema-Grubb becomes first Asian woman to be High Court judge


A barrister has become the first Asian woman to be appointed as a High Court judge.

Bobbie Cheema-Grubb QC will be assigned to the Queen's Bench Division next month.

The 49-year-old was called to the Bar in 1989 and took silk in 2013. She was appointed as a recorder in 2007 and is approved to sit as a deputy High Court judge.

She recently prosecuted the case of Peter Ball, a retired bishop who was jailed for 32 months for sexually abusing aspiring priests, 22 years after allegations first came to light.

Mrs Cheema-Grubb's chambers 2 Hare Court congratulated her on her appointment.

Her biography states: "Described as 'a wonderful performer in court' and 'quietly brilliant' outside court, her well-deserved reputation for hard work and an astute tactical sense make her, for many, the first choice for the most serious criminal trials and quasi-criminal public law work."

It was also announced that Judge Juliet Mary May QC, who is currently a circuit judge, will be appointed to the High Court.

The 54-year-old was called to the Bar in 1988 and took silk in 2008.

The women will take up the posts following the retirement of Justice Kenneth Parker in November and Mr Justice Akenhead in December respectively.

Once sworn in their appointments will take the number of female High Court judges to 23 out of  a total of 108 (21%) which is the highest ever.

The number has more than doubled compared to a decade ago, when there were 10.