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The Scotsman: High Court Judge to Join Firm of Solicitors: “An eminent judge is to take the unusual step of leaving the High Court bench to join a firm of solicitors, it was confirmed today.”: Wednesday 22 June 2005


By Jennifer Sym, PA


An eminent judge is to take the unusual step of leaving the High Court bench to join a firm of solicitors, it was confirmed today.


Mr Justice Laddie’s decision to join Willoughby and Partners/Rouse Legal means he will be the first to leave his judicial post for a law firm, the company said. 


He will have a consultancy role with the company after ten years sitting in the Chancery Division of the High Court.


According to The Daily Telegraph, Sir Hugh said he would be leaving “isolation” as a judge for more “fun” in a team role: “From the isolation of the Bench I will be returned to the fun and mutual support of working in a team.


“The firm’s practice covers a wide range of work in the field I am expert in, intellectual property law.”


During his High Court career, the Cambridge-educated 59-year-old blocked plans by Express Newspapers to call its new newspaper the London Evening Mail, and disclosed his knowledge of boy bands when sitting in the “name’s the same” battle between two groups called Blue.


He has also co-authored works on copyright and patent law, and been UK correspondent of the European Law Review, and editor of Supreme Court Practice.


A spokesman for the Lord Chief Justice said today: “As I understand it, he is due to retire in September and he will be taking on some consultancy role.”


Tony Willoughby, senior partner at Willoughby & Partners/Rouse Legal said: “Sir Hugh is the first High Court judge to leave the Bench to join a law firm.


“We are thrilled that he has chosen to join us.


“His energy and expertise will be a major asset to us in the continued development of our business – particularly in the areas of patents, which we have been developing over the last few years, and ADR (alternative dispute resolution).”


The company said his new role included work heading their intellectual property arbitration and mediation practice, and supporting its growing patent practice, as well as playing a more general role in its international intellectual property business.


Rupert Ross-Macdonald, chief executive of Rouse & Co International, said: “Sir Hugh is quite simply pre-eminent in his field.


“Given the very integrated and specialised nature of our business, I am certain that his knowledge and experience will play a very significant role – not just domestically but also internationally – in our future development as an innovative IP services provider.


“We are delighted to have him on board.”

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