Former No5 barrister is appointed as Circuit Judge

Fri, 13 Mar 2020

The Queen has appointed Fayyaz Afzal OBE, who practised at No5 Barristers’ Chambers, to be a Circuit Judge with effect from March 16.

The appointment is made on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable Robert Buckland QC MP and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Right Honourable The Lord Burnett of Maldon.

The Lord Chief Justice has deployed him to the Midland Circuit, based at Derby Combined Court Centre.

When he was called to the Bar in 1999, Dr Afzal was the only blind Asian barrister in the country, and in recognition won the BBC’s Asia Award. He went on to successfully practise in areas of crime, civil, family and immigration.

He has also served on Committees at the Advocacy Training Council, Bar Council and is still doing so at Lincoln’s Inn. He is a senior advocacy tutor and the President of the Midlands Asian Lawyers Association.

In 2008 he received the OBE and was made Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University.

In 2010 he was appointed as a Deputy District Judge and was then appointed as a Recorder in 2016.

He has also been a Legal Assessor and Legally Qualified Chair for a number of health and professional regulators.

In February 2017 he was appointed as a District Judge and deployed to the Midland Circuit, based at Derby and Coventry Combined Court Centres and also continued to sit as a Recorder on the Northern Circuit.

Dr Afzal has been shortlisted for and won various awards over the years both as a barrister and as a judge.

DJ Afzal, 42, said: “I am from a non-traditional background for judicial appointment, and was the first in my family to go to university. I hope that my appointments serve to confirm that hard work and determination pays off and roles such as this are awarded on merit.”

“I look forward to my new role as Circuit Judge with enthusiasm and pride.”

On hearing about DJ Afzal’s latest appointment Tony McDaid, CEO and Director of Clerking at No5, said: “I speak for everyone at No5 in offering our heartfelt congratulations to Dr Afzal.”

“He is an inspirational role model and demonstrates what can be achieved professionally even if you come from a non-traditional background.”

DJ Afzal will be known as His Honour Judge Afzal OBE.

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