Temporary High Court Judge Appointments

24 January 2020 - 10.30 am

NIJAC has appointed the following six persons as Temporary High Court Judges in Northern Ireland.

- Mr David Alister Scoffield QC
- Mr Stephen James Shaw QC
- Mr Michael Robert Humphreys QC
- Mr Danny Friedman QC
- Ms Karen Quinlivan QC
- Mr Gerald Eric John Simpson QC

The judges were sworn into office before Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, on 24 January 2020.

NIJAC has responsibility for the selection of persons for recommendation for appointment to the judicial offices listed in Schedule 1 to the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002, as amended by the Northern Ireland Act 2009. The office of Temporary High Court judge falls within the list of statutory offices in the Schedule and therefore within the remit of NIJAC.

Please see below pen pictures for each of the six new appointees:

  • Mr David Alister Scoffield QC

Mr David Scoffield QC completed his law degree at University College, Oxford, where he was awarded a First Class Honours BA in Jurisprudence in August 1998, later converted to an MA. Whilst at Oxford, Mr Scoffield QC also obtained a distinction in Law Moderations; was awarded a college scholarship and the Alan Urbach prize for Jurisprudence; and won a University award for a meritorious work (the Winter Williams Law Prize).

Mr Scoffield QC then went on to complete his Certificate in Professional Legal Studies at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast and graduated with a distinction in June 1999. He was awarded the Sir Eoin Higgins Prize for the Top Bar Student and the Williamson Trust Fund Prize for the Highest Achiever in the Exit Examination.

Mr Scoffield QC later obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Discrimination Law from Queens University, Belfast in 2003.

Mr Scoffield QC was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in September 1999 and the Bar of Ireland in July 2014. He was appointed to Silk in 2011. He is currently in independent practice, specialising in public, administrative and constitutional law but also practises in the Commercial Court.

Mr Scoffield QC has held a number of previous roles including:

  • Senior Counsel to the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry;
  • Special Advocate appointed by the Advocate General for Northern Ireland; and
  • Independent Assessor of Compensation for Miscarriages of Justice appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Mr Scoffield QC is also:


  • A Member of the Education Committee of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland;
  • A Member of the Bar Council's Exemption Committee; and
  • The Bar-nominated module reviewer / course advisor for the IPLS Public Law module.


- Mr Stephen James Shaw QC

Mr Stephen Shaw QC graduated from Queens University Belfast with a Bachelor’s degree in Law in 1979. He then went on to complete his professional degree as a Barrister at Law from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queens University Belfast in 1980.

Mr Shaw QC was also a part time law lecturer in the University of Ulster, Jordanstown in his early years after qualifying.
In December 2001 Mr Shaw QC took Silk and became a Queen Counsel at the Bar of Northern Ireland, where he continues to practise as a full-time independent QC. His practice lies in civil law with particular interests in the fields of commercial, chancery and public law.

Mr Shaw QC also holds other roles including:

  • Member of the Council of Law Reporting for Northern Ireland
  • Member of the Chancery Court Liaison Committee
  • Member of the Disciplinary Panel of the all-Ireland Chartered Accounts Ireland

Mr Shaw QC also holds the following positions:

  • Board Member for Belfast Bible College
  • Member of the Board of Trustees for Echoes International
  • Member of the Board of Trustees for OPAL Trust Limited


- Mr Michael Robert Humphreys QC

Mr Michael Humphrey’s QC graduated with the degrees of BA and BCL from Oxford University in 1993 and was called to the Bar in 1994. Mr Humphreys QC took Silk in 2011.

Mr Humphreys QC currently works as a self-employed Barrister and mainly practices in the field of commercial law. He also practices in Chancery and public law, usually in the commercial context.

His particular specialisms are construction litigation, public procurement, professional negligence, defamation and contractual claims.

Other roles Mr Humphreys QC holds are:

  • Chair of the Commercial Bar Association
  • Member of the Commercial Court Liaison Committee
  • Member of the Government Civil Senior Panel
  • Assessor Miscarriage of Justice Compensation Cases
  • Chair of the Board of Governors for Methodist College Belfast
  • Independent Director of Northern Cricket Union


- Mr Danny Friedman QC

Danny Friedman QC graduated with a BA in Modern History from Wadham College Oxford in 1991. He did the Common Professional Examination at the School of Law, London in 1994. He obtained a Master of Law at London School of Economics in 1995. He completed the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in 1996.

Mr Friedman QC was called to the Bar (England and Wales) in 1996 and the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2001. He was appointed to Silk in 2013.

Mr Friedman QC is a self-employed barrister tenant practicing at Matrix Chambers in London. He specialises in crime, human rights and public law, and related state and corporate liability in private law. He further specialises in the law of armed conflict under domestic and public international law. His practice also includes inquests and public inquiries.

Mr Friedman QC is a member of the Matrix Integrity team, with experience in assisting companies and state agencies to develop cultures of rule of law and human rights compliance.

Mr Friedman QC has co-authored publications on inquest law, human rights law and crime, including the human rights chapter in Archbold Criminal Pleadings Evidence and Practice and INQUESTS – A Practitioners Guide (Third Edition LAG 2014). He is an A-Panel member of the England Wales Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Preferred Counsel and an ADR Group Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator.


- Ms Karen Quinlivan QC

Ms Karen Quinlivan QC graduated with a Law Degree from University College Dublin in 1986. She attained a LLM from Queens University Belfast in Human Rights and Emergency Law in 1993. Ms Quinlivan QC also completed her certificate in Professional Legal Studies from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in 1993.

Ms Quinlivan QC was called to the Bar in September 1993 and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in November 2011. Ms Quinlivan QC has been a self-employed barrister since 1994. As a self-employed barrister she is instructed by solicitors to appear on behalf of lay clients. As a barrister she represents lay clients by providing expert legal advice and by providing clients with representation before the Courts. Ms Quinlivan QC is the leader in the team of lawyers, usually solicitor and junior counsel, representing clients, and is responsible for settling legal documents and takes the lead role in oral advocacy in Court.

Ms Quinlivan QC is currently the chair of the Bar’s Equality and Diversity Committee and was involved in the organising the Bar Councils Inaugural International Women’s Day Lecture.


- Mr Gerald Eric John Simpson QC

Mr Gerald Simpson QC was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1974. He practised as a self-employed Barrister until 1999 when he took Silk.

Since 1999 Mr Simpson QC has practised as a Self Employed QC. In this role he provides written advice to clients, representing clients, usually in cases of significant value or considerable complexity, in proceedings and acting as advocate in court.

Between 2013 and 2015, Mr Simpson QC studied under the auspices of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, to achieve Membership of the Institute (2014) and finally Fellowship of the Institute (2015).

In addition to being awarded Fellowship, Mr Simpson QC was also awarded the Diploma in Domestic Arbitration.