Gary Hickinbottom



020 7832 1111

Sir Gary Hickinbottom, a former Judge of the Court of Appeal, accepts appointments as arbitrator, mediator and the chair of disciplinary or safeguarding proceedings, and also conducts independent investigations and inquiries.

Following a double First from Oxford, where he also later tutored, Gary became a solicitor and was a partner in McKenna & Co (later CMS Cameron McKenna) until 2000, when he was made a full-time judge.

As a solicitor, for many years he acted in construction disputes, before focusing on complex litigation notably pharmaceutical product liability group claims.

As a judge, Gary was appointed to a succession of judicial posts in both the court and tribunal systems including Designated Civil Judge for Wales, Chief Social Security and Child Support Commissioner, Chief Pensions Appeal Commissioner, President of the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal and Deputy Senior President of Tribunals, before being made a High Court Judge and then a Judge of the Court of Appeal.  He also sat as a High Court Judge in the Falkland Islands.  From April 2023, he has been appointed President of Welsh Tribunals.  He has chaired a variety of committees and working parties including the project board on judicial training which resulted in the formation of the Judicial College; and the working party on litigants-in-person resulting in “The Hickinbottom Report” which was the basis for reforms in the way in which unrepresented parties were engaged in claims in which they were involved.

As a judge, he case managed and determined the most complex fact-finding exercises.  He case managed the Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement claims – and heard the first claim – shortly before being appointed to the Court of Appeal.  In all courts and tribunals, he spent a substantial amount of his time on public law claims of all types including claims involving governance, and regulatory and disciplinary decisions.

A significant amount of his work was sport-orientated with a wide range of subjects: for example, R (Sky Blue Sports and Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council which concerned the funding of a football club (and, in particular, whether the local council’s support of the club was unlawful state aid) and Hamed v Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (which concerned liability for a professional footballer who suffered a cardiac arrest and consequent severe brain damage whilst playing football).  He also determined a number of claims concerning the development of sports stadiums.

He retired from the Bench in 2021 to conduct a Commission of Inquiry into corruption and governance in the British Virgin Islands.

Gary holds a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration, has been a registered mediator since 1991 and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since 1995.  He is a Past Master Arbitrator of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.  He is a member of the FA Safeguarding Panel, and of the Sports Resolutions Arbitrators’ Panel and National Safeguarding Panel regularly chairing hearings relating to a wide variety of sports.

He has written widely in academic and professional periodicals and books on procedural and substantive law and dispute resolution, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Blackstone’s Civil Practice.

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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