The Lord Chancellor has approved the appointments 8 Court Examiners for 5 years from 1 April 2024.

The Lord Chancellor has approved the appointment of the following court examiners for 5 years from 1 April 2024:

  • Susie Alegre
  • Nicholas Cobill
  • Barbara Fontaine
  • Melissa Harrison
  • Bronia Hartley
  • Abigail Holt
  • Matt Jackson
  • Belinda McRae


Susie Alegre

A barrister and Associate at Garden Court Chambers specialising in digital rights and AI. She is a director and founder of Island Rights Initiative; a consultancy which supports and promotes human rights and rule of law in small island jurisdictions. She is a Deputy High Court Judge and has sat since 2021, in the King’s Bench Division, on civil law cases and, since 2022, has been a Member of the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files.

Nicholas Cobill

A Barrister specialising in high value and complex UK and international commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Until 2011, he was a senior commercial litigator in an international law firm where he managed junior lawyers on complex disputes often with an international focus. Recognised in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in commercial litigation. He is a governor of the Royal Russell School, director of Nazari Digar; a Down’s Syndrome charity and trustee of the Highgate Counselling Centre.

Barbara Fontaine

Senior Master of the Queen’s/King’s Bench Division from 2014-2023. From 2003 – 2014, a Queen’s Bench Master and from 1997 – 2003 a Deputy Queen’s Bench Master. Prior to this, a solicitor in City solicitors and then a partner in an international law firm, specialising in civil and commercial litigation. As Senior Master was Central Authority under the Hague Taking of Evidence Convention.

Melissa Harrison

Barrister, since 2012, based at Coram Chambers; a specialist family law set in London. Her practice has encompassed all areas of family law but she now specialises in children law; with particular expertise in matters involving child protection, domestic abuse and the arrangements for children of separated parents.

Bronia Hartley

A barrister of 17 years’ call who practises from Chambers in Leeds. She specialises in personal injury and inquest work. Bronia has been on the Attorney General’s Regional ‘B’ Panel of (Civil) Counsel for 5 years and is an Assistant Coroner for Greater Manchester West.

Abigail Holt

Since 1993, Ms Holt has been in private practice at the Bar. From 2006, she has been a fee paid First Tier Tribunal Judge; sitting in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber and, from 2021, in the Employment Tribunal. Her core practice has been personal injury litigation. She is on the Executive Committee of the European Circuit of the Bar (volunteer Treasurer since 2016) and she is a director of Manchester Incorporated Law Library Society (voluntary position since 2018). She has acted as a High Court Examiner on cases within the specialist High Court Asbestos list.

Matt Jackson

Mr Jackson was called to the bar in 2011, and practises primarily in employment & discrimination and public law from Cloisters Chambers. He is a member of the Industrial Law Society and Employment Lawyers association and has contributed to the Crown Court Compendium.

Belinda McRae

Ms McRae is a barrister and arbitrator at Twenty Essex; a commercial barristers’ chambers in London. Since 2015, she has focused on commercial and public law matters in both domestic and international courts and tribunals, specialising in private and public international law, civil fraud, jurisdiction challenges, complex contractual disputes, human rights and international arbitration. Before being called to the Bar, she worked as an Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, in Paris, and as an Associate to a High Court Justice in Australia. Ms McRae has also worked as an Assistant Legal Adviser at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Published 14 March 2024