Sir David Bean is Lord Justice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and is a supporter of Staffordshire University’s Teachers of Tomorrow scholarships.
Sir David’s career in law began in 1976, after completing a law degree at Cambridge University between 1972-75. He was called to the bar a year later and became a barrister. During the next three decades, Sir David worked in many areas of the law, including common law practice, criminal cases, personal injury, and small business disputes. After 10 years, he began to specialise in employment and discrimination law, and in 1997 he became a Queen’s Council (QC).
In 2002, Sir David was elected Chair of the Bar Council, a representative body for barristers. Then, in 2004, he became a High Court judge (Queen’s Bench Division). In 2014, he was promoted to the Court of Appeal, the highest court within the Senior Courts of England and Wales, and second in the legal system only to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Between 2015-18, he chaired The Law Commission, a body that makes proposals for law reform, and since then has been back in court full-time as Lord Justice of Appeal.
One of Sir David’s most recent high-profile cases regarded the Department for Health’s policy in relation to care homes in the early months of the pandemic. In contrast, Sir David also sits on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which hears appeals from some commonwealth countries. He recently sat on an appeal from Jamaica, on a murder where the defendant had been wrongly convicted, which had been brought to light by new evidence.
Sir David’s wife Dr Ruth Thompson was Director-General for Higher Education and a Governor of Staffordshire University before she passed away in 2016 – leaving a legacy gift that allowed the creation of the Teachers of Tomorrow scholarships. Following the success of the scholarships in transforming the lives of Staffordshire University students training to be teachers, Sir David made further donations to ensure its continuity.
He has also visited the Staffordshire University Law School, where he judged a mooting competition in the Law Court, run by the Law Society. Through his position at The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, Sir David also offers paid internship opportunities to law students training for and taking the bar throughout England and Wales.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Sir David in recognition of his exceptional distinction in the field of law and his outstanding contribution to the University as an ambassador, friend, and supporter.