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Former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore joins Francis Taylor Building

Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore

Francis Taylor Building is delighted to announce that Brian Kerr (The Right Honourable The Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore) joins Chambers as an Associate Member with immediate effect.

Lord Kerr is available for appointment as an arbitrator, mediator and to conduct expert determinations. His expertise spans a wide range of commercial, environmental and public law disputes, in both domestic and international settings. He can be appointed directly by parties involved in litigation or through one of the ADR institutions.

Lord Kerr was educated at St Colman’s College, Newry and read law at Queen’s University, Belfast.  He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970 and to the Bar of England and Wales at Gray’s Inn in 1974. He served as Junior Crown Counsel from 1978 to 1983, at which point he took silk and served as Senior Crown Counsel from 1988 to 1993. In 1993 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Northern Ireland and was knighted.  From 1995 to 1999 he was Commercial Judge, Northern Ireland. He served as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 2004 to 2009 and joined the Privy Council in 2004. He was appointed as Northern Ireland’s Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in June 2009 (the last Lord of Appeal in Ordinary to be appointed before the creation of the Supreme Court). 

Other interests
Lord Kerr has many duties and interests away from the bench. He is a regular speaker at various British and Irish universities, and has been chairman of the Northern Ireland Mental Health Commission, chairman of the Distinction and Meritorious Service Awards Committee for Northern Ireland, a member of the Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland and a member of the Franco-British Judicial Co-operation Committee. In 1999, he was an Eisenhower Exchange Fellow, travelling extensively in the United States and studying the administration of justice and court practice in America, including a wide-ranging study of various species of ADR in a number of states. Between 2014 and 2020 Lord Kerr was President of the Expert Witness Institute. 

In addition to Lord Kerr’s numerous committee positions, in 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University at the Belfast School of Law.  He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Ulster in 2014.

Head of Chambers, Andrew Tait QC said “We are honoured that Lord Kerr has chosen to join us at FTB. He has long had a close connection with us, having presided over our Kingsland Cup Moot finals for many years and delivered the fifth Boydell Lecture. We are delighted to welcome him to Chambers as he continues his eminent career in the law.”

Senior Clerk, Paul Coveney said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming Lord Kerr to FTB and are delighted to have him join our existing team of arbitrators and mediators. Lord Kerr’s wealth of experience and expertise will significantly enhance our ADR client offering and I welcome enquires regarding his availability for appointment as an arbitrator or mediator across a broad range of topics, both domestic and international.”

If you would like to discuss Lord Kerr's availability or fees, please contact Paul Coveney, Senior Clerk on 07738 153898 or by email at