Ex-Spalding Grammar School student appointed as High Court judge after 'open competition' process
A former Spalding Grammar School student whose late father spent 15 years there as headmaster has been named as a new High Court judge.
Michael Fordham QC, who attended the school from 1976 until 1983, was one of 15 new judges to be confirmed by the Judicial Appointments Commission today (Monday).
Mr Fordham, whose father John passed away in March this year at the age of 87, will now hear decisions on some of the most serious criminal cases, as well as important civil cases and appeals.
Both of Mr Fordham's parents were teachers, with his mother Margaret having worked at what is now Pinchbeck East Primary School, Mr Fordham worked on a farm in the school holidays.
Following his education in Spalding, Mr Fordham went on to read Law at Hertford College, Oxford, graduating with a first class degree and achieving a Hockey Blue.
He stayed on for graduate law degrees at Oxford, as well as the University of Virginia for which he was sponsored by Spalding Rotary Club of Spalding.
Mr Fordham became a barrister in 1990, arguing more than 50 cases at the UK Supreme Court and House of Lords, including the prorogation (dissolving) of Parliament case that was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in September this year.
For more than a decade, Mr Fordham has represented the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in leading asylum cases.
He also wrote a legal textbook, Judicial Review Handbook (currently in its sixth edition) and won several awards, including Human Rights Lawyer of the Year and Public Law QC of the Year.
Appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2006, known in legal circles as "taking silk", Mr Fordham became a Civil Recorder in 2010, a Criminal Recorder and an Upper Tribunal Deputy Judge in 2012, and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2013.
His journey to becoming a High Court judge started in November when the JAC invited applicants to be considered for a so-called "open competition process".
Mr Fordham's was among 64 applications to be received from which 17 recommendations were made for appointment by the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, in June 2019.
As well as being educated in Spalding, Mr Fordham also has ties with Broad Street Methodist Church where his family were heavily involved.
He was also a "proud" member of Spalding Hockey Club and Pinchbeck Cricket Club.