Lord Justice Etherton has been appointed the Chancellor of the High Court, a position which makes him head of its Chancery division.
A High Court judge since 2001, he is a former head of the Law Commission and was made an Appeal Court judge five years ago.
Lord Justice Etherton, 62, who is a member of West London Synagogue, is a great grand-nephew of Chaim Zundel Maccoby, the East End preacher known as the Kamenetzer Maggid.
A fencing international in his younger days, he turned down the chance to represent Great Britain in the Moscow Olympics in 1980. According to Modern British Fencing, he was among the athletes who pulled out after an international boycott of the games caused by the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.