Liz Gloster was a Lady Justice of the Court of Appeal, until her retirement in May 2018, when she returned to the Chambers of Lord Grabiner QC, at One Essex Court, Temple, to practise as an international commercial arbitrator. She was the first woman to be appointed as a Commercial Court judge in 2004, where she presided over numerous important commercial and financial markets cases, including JP Morgan Chase Bank v Springwell Navigation Corporation, Masri v Consolidated Contractors and the notable Berezovsky v Abramovitch trial. She was Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court from 2010-2012 and oversaw the important move of the Court into the modern, state-of-the-art Rolls Building.
She was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2013 and was Vice-President of the Civil Division of the Court from 2016 until her retirement from the court. in May 2018. As a Lady Justice, she sat on numerous important commercial and Chancery cases, ranging from capital markets, arbitration, shipping, insurance, tax, trust and insolvency to LIBOR fixing. These included LBG Capital No. 1 Plc v BNY Mellon Corporate Services Limited, Burlington Loan Management Ltd v Lomas (a Lehman’s case), British Airways Plc v Emerald Supplies Limited and Gard Marine v China National Chartering Co. Ltd. As a judge she was in the forefront of promoting the use of digital technology in the conduct of trials, filing of claims and presentation of evidence.
She was appointed in 2016 by the Master of the Rolls as the Chair of the Disclosure Working Party whose task has been to recommend proposals for making disclosure more efficient and cost-proportionate. Her drafting committee (consisting of Ed Crosse from Simmons and Simmons, Mr Justice Robin Knowles and Chief Master Marsh) has produced a suggested pilot practice direction for a radical reform of disclosure procedures. It has just been accepted in principle by the Civil Procedure Rules Committee.
As a QC, Liz had a high-profile City practice as a QC at the Commercial and Chancery Bars, specialising in corporate, insurance and reinsurance, energy and insolvency/reconstruction cases. For example, she acted for the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the disqualifications of the Barings directors, the Blue Arrow directors, and Terry Venables, as director of Tottenham Hotspur. She acted as leading counsel for the Inland Revenue in a number of complex anti-tax avoidance cases and acted for creditors and/or office holders in cases arising out of major international insolvencies such as: Barlow Clowes, Maxwell, Canary Wharf (Olympia & York), Heron, Garuda Airways, Enron, Telewest, Parmalat, Marconi, TXU, Barings etc. She was part of the prosecution team in the Guinness prosecutions. She acted as counsel in major international arbitrations involving oil and gas industry disputes in Russia, the US and elsewhere, as well as in insurance and reinsurance disputes. She appeared in corporate and insurance insolvency cases in the Supreme Court of Bermuda. she sat (part time) as a Justice of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey. She was a non-executive director of the Civil Aviation Authority for two years.
She was Treasurer of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple for the year 2018.