Lawyer becomes UK’s youngest ever female judge aged 31

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Sarah Biddlecombe

A 31-year-old lawyer has become the UK’s youngest ever female judge.

Briony Clarke, from Essex, was sworn in as a deputy district judge at Chelmsford Crown Court last Tuesday. 

Brilliantly, she is still working at the same firm where she completed a work experience placement when she was just 15 years old.

Clarke, who became a partner at Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP (THB) in 2014, has moved quickly up the career ladder, having been admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 2009 before becoming an accredited Duty Solicitor in 2010.

The Telegraph noted that Judge Charles Gratwicke, who took Clarke’s judicial oaths, said during the ceremony, “It's nice to have someone from our own community, embarking on the same career that we have all at some stage had to launch ourselves into."

And commenting that her compulsory retirement date won’t fall until January 2056, Judge Gratwicke added, "It's a long time. It just goes to show how young you are and how long a career you have. Many congratulations. Enjoy it.”

Social media users were quick to congratulate Clarke, with one writing “absolute goals!”, while another said she was “really inspired”.

The university she attended, Anglia Ruskin University, were also quick to add their congratulations (below)


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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