From Bench to Chair: Robin's new career

Sir Robin Jacob, pictured with a book
-- but he isn't actually reading it ...
This Friday, 18 March, is Sir Robin Jacob's final day as a Lord Justice of Appeal, before he leaves the Court of Appeal for England and Wales and exchanges the Bench for a Chair (explanation: Sir Robin is taking up the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair in Intellectual Property Law at University College London's Institute of Brand and Innovation Law, IBIL: click here for further details).

There have been lots of good judges over the years and many whose colourful form of expression has added greatly to the pleasure of reading their judgments.  But, in this Kat's opinion, there is one area in which Sir Robin has excelled: it is not a judicial quality but a human one, the quality of caring passionately about the law and its impact on litigants, lawyers and administrators.  While the quality of his legal analysis is by no means unique -- we are blessed in England and Wales with a strong and growing squad of gifted, articulate and analytical IP judges who are (unlike Sir Robin's beloved Arsenal FC) essentially home-grown -- Sir Robin's trade mark is his talent for caring, a talent which this weblog hopes will be reflected in IP decisions even following his departure.

While many of us have true stories to tell about Sir Robin, it's actually the ones that aren't true that most accurately reflect his character and his personality. Here are two, dating from his days at the Bar: (i) it has been said that. given any bundle of papers delivered to him as a barrister, he could just tap them and the relevant ones would come to the top; (ii) it is however said that to be quite untrue that he could spot the best point in the case -- instead, what he could do was to take any point at random and make it the best point in the case. The IPKat hopes that he will have cause to make use of these skills in academe, where many a student has demonstrated the opposite trend of taking good authorities and making them quite irrelevant ...
From Bench to Chair: Robin's new career From Bench to Chair: Robin's new career Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, March 17, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. You should speak to him about the UCL copyright infringement of your photo of him.

  2. Sir Hugh Laddie ignores the ECJ (as is it then was) in Arsenal v Reed and
    then leaves the bench.
    Sir Robin Jacob criticizes the same court in L'oreal v Bellure and then
    leaves the bench.



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