The Supreme Court has just issued a press release announcing that Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court, will retire as the most senior judge in the UK at the end of this legal year (30 September 2012).  The announcement is not wholly a surprise given that Lord Phillips’ mandatory retirement age (75, under statutory rules applicable to all judges) falls on 21 January 2013.

Lord Phillips, who is the very first President of the Supreme Court, is quoted as saying:

“I have greatly enjoyed the challenge of presiding over the new Supreme Court and was tempted to continue right up to my retirement age in January 2013. I have decided, however, that it makes more sense to go at the end of the legal year, so that I can make an orderly hand-over to my successor in the course of the summer vacation.”

The process to appoint a successor as President of the Supreme Court will begin in the new year.

More information is available in the Supreme Court’s press release, which is accessible here.