Following the announcement last week of Sir John Dyson as the twelfth Justice of the Supreme Court, we now take a look at Sir John’s career. As we reported here, Sir John is the second Justice to be appointed directly to the Supreme Court and his appointment will take effect from 13 April 2010.

Sir John Anthony Dyson was born on 31 July 1943, the son of Richard and Gisella Dyson. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School before attending Wadham College, Oxford, where he was the Open Classics Scholar. Sir John became an honorary fellow of Wadham College in 2001.

Sir John was called to the Bar, Middle Temple, in 1968 as a Harmsworth Law Scholar and he took tenancy at Keating Chambers in 1969. Keating’s website notes that Sir John “rapidly established a wide and varied practice“. Notably, during his first year of tenancy, Sir John appeared as the junior junior in the House of Lords for the appellant in the seminal conflict of laws case Chaplin v Boys [1969] 2 All ER 1085 (road accident in Malta, appropriate law to govern issue of recoverable damages). Fifteen years later, Sir John had risen up the ranks to represent the appellants as senior counsel in the equally notable House of Lords cases: Peabody Donation Fund v Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co Ltd [1984] 3 All ER 529 (negligence, duty of care owed pursuant to statutory powers); and Linden Gardens Trust Ltd v Lenasta Sludge Disposals Ltd [1994] 1 AC 85 (better known as St Martins v McAlpine) (prohibitions on assignments of contracts).

Sir John took silk in 1982 and in 1986 became Head of Chambers at 39 Essex Street. Sir John became a Recorder in 1986 and was appointed to the High Court Bench in 1993 (Queen’s Bench Division) and was knighted the same year. From 1998- 2001, Sir John was the Presiding Judge in the Technology and Construction Court. Sir John became a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2001.

Sir John has held the following notable positions:

Member of Council of Legal Education (1992- 1996);
Member of Judicial Studies Board (1994- 1998) (Chairman of Ethnic Minorities Advisory Committee);
Deputy Head of Civil Justice Council 2003-2006; and
Member of Civil Procedure Rule Committee 2002-2006.

Sir John also became an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies in 1998 and of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2004.

Sir John married Jacqueline Carmel Levy in 1970 and has one daughter (Michelle) and one son (Steven). His interests (according to Debrett’s) are music, walking, skiing and tennis.