Election of Master and Wardens 2018-2019
His Honour Peter William Birts QC, Master 2018-2019
Peter was born in Brighton and educated at Lancing College before winning a choral scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge where he studied economics and law. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1968 and practised as a barrister in a wide range of civil and criminal law for 35 years before being appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in 2000 and Circuit Judge in 2005. He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and elected a bencher of Gray’s Inn in 1998. He served on the Bar Council and the Judicial Studies Board and spent 10 years chairing Parole Board panels. He has been a judge of Mental Health Tribunals presiding on ‘restricted’ cases since 1994. He retired from the Crown Court in 2016 – no doubt to the relief of miscreants in the London area.
Peter was admitted as a Liveryman of the Carpenters’ Company in 1967, following his father’s, grandfather’s and great grandfather’s footsteps. None of these possessed woodworking skills so far as is known, and Peter certainly doesn’t, but his great-great uncle William T Birts was elected Master a century ago in 1919.
Peter lives with his wife, Angela, in Fulham and they have six children and 11 grandchildren between them. His interests away from the Carpenters’ Company include music (he sang tenor for many years in the Chorus of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields touring abroad and recording with Sir Neville Marriner), tennis, skiing and travelling. He is a member of the Hurlingham Club.
The Senior Warden for the year is Lord Howard Flight, the Middle Warden is Mr Michael Morrison and the Junior Warden is Brigadier M J Meardon. The Company’s Clerk is Brigadier Tim Gregson, MBE.