Sir Thayne Forbes has joined Atkin Chambers as a door tenant following his retirement from the High Court and will be accepting arbitration and other ADR appointments.
Following a successful career at the Bar from 1966 to 1990, becoming Queen’s Counsel in 1984, he was made Official Referee from 1990 to 1993. He was then appointed as a High Court Judge and assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division and 2 years later as Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit until 1999. It was during this time that he conducted the high profile trial of Dr Harold Shipman on fifteen separate counts of murder. None of the convictions of the many criminal trials conducted by Sir Thayne during his long judicial career have ever been successfully appealed.
From 2001 to 2004 he was the Judge in charge of the Technology and Construction Court. He was then Chair to the Working Group set up by the Judges’ Council to report on Judicial Welfare and Support in 2005/6 and following the Working Group’s report was asked to Chair the Judges’ Council’s Standing Committee on Judicial Welfare and Support. This committee has produced two further reports. At the request of the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Thayne continues to act as the chair of the Standing Committee and as the person with portfolio responsibility for judicial welfare for England and Wales.
He finally retired from the High Court Bench in January 2009.