HHJ Jeffrey Pegden QC has practised in crime all his life. He was made silk in 1996 and appointed a Circuit Judge in 2007. He sits permanently at Southwark Crown Court. He has been Joint Course Director at the Judicial College for the criminal continuation seminars since 2010 and this year he was appointed to sit as a Circuit Judge in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). He is a Bencher of Inner Temple.
His Honour Judge Abbas Mithani QC is a Circuit Judge. He was awarded QC, honoris causa, in March 2009 in recognition of the substantial contribution he had made to the development of Succession, Company and Insolvency Law in England and Wales and for his academic work.
Judge Mithani started his undergraduate degree at Newcastle University in 1975 at the age of just 17, qualifying as a Solicitor in 1981 and owning his own practice by the time he was 26, doing extremely high-powered company, commercial, chancery and insolvency work. In 1993, he was appointed to the Bench on a part-time basis and in 1999 on a full-time basis.
Judge Mithani is also involved with several UK Universities reflecting his position as the leading authority on company and insolvency law in the UK. He was previously an Honorary Professor of Law at Birmingham University and is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Newcastle and Kingston Universities. He was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) by Kingston University in July 2015.
Judge Mithani has written many articles and papers and numerous legal works. He has also written various volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents and Atkin’s Court Forms and has contributed to Kelly’s Draftsman and to the ‘Civil Court Practice’. His principal work is “Mithani: Directors’ Disqualification”, a loose-leaf publication. The work is regarded as the most authoritative on the subject and aspects of it have contributed to changes being made in the law.
In 2006, Judge Mithani wrote a practitioner work on “Shia Wills” in order to enable a Shia Muslim to dispose of his estate in a tax-effective, efficient and convenient way, while at the same time ensuring that he complied with his obligations under Islamic Law. This work has been described as ‘seminal’ and is recognised as a work of authority on the drafting by a Shia Muslim of an Islamic Will in this country. The third edition of this work is due to be published this year.
In January 2003, Judge Mithani was awarded the ‘Asian Jewel Award for Legal Excellence’ for Central Britain, sponsored by the West Midlands Police. In March 2009, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Society of Asian Lawyers.
DJ Mason went to Leicester De Montfort University and then onto York College of Law. De Montfort University has offered an Honorary doctorate which will be awarded to her in the summer of 2017. She qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and became a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel in 1998 specialising in acting for children in Public Law cases working in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
In 2005 she was appointed a Deputy District Judge on the North Eastern Circuit and changed jobs in 2007 to become the Legal Director of NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) a Children’s Charity that specialise in acting for children in intractable court cases.
DJ Mason was also appointed Chair of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee in 2008 and started doing lots of policy work in this role.
In 2009 DJ Mason made a career change and whilst still sitting as a Deputy District Judge, she was appointed as an Independent Advisor to the Home Secretary for Criminality Information. This entailed advising and writing 5 reports for Government which were published both in England and Wales and Northern Ireland and entailed changes in law under the Protection Freedom Act. She was awarded a CBE for this work in the Queens Birthday Honours list in June 2014.
DJ Mason became a full time District Judge in October 2012, and spent 18 months working in Cambridgeshire before being appointed to the specialist Family Court in London where she is currently.
In December 2015 Judge Mason was seconded by the Child Sex Abuse Inquiry to assist them in their work on the Truth Project which gives all victims and survivors a voice to share their experiences and she is currently working there trying to ensure that everyone, including those of minorities and hard to reach, are given an opportunity to be listened to.