The Hon. Dame Linda Dobbs D.B.E. | 4-5 Gray's inn square

In October 2004, following a successful career at the Bar (where she specialised in serious fraud cases, together with some regulatory and disciplinary work) Dame Linda became the first black high court judge in the UK. She was appointed to the Queens’ Bench Division which includes the civil, commercial, administrative and divisional courts. She stepped down from the Bench in early 2013 to pursue other interests, both professional and charitable.

Dame Linda works in a variety of areas focussed on the legal and justice systems with particular, although not exclusive, reference to Africa and the Caribbean. Projects include: training of lawyers, judges, magistrates, registrars and police; advisory work; Inquiries and investigations; needs assessments and civil/commercial mediation. Dame Linda is an ADR Group accredited civil/commercial mediator and is a member of the ADR Group’s International faculty. She has recently concluded the Stuart Hall Inquiry (part of the Savile Inquiry) for the BBC and is currently, amongst other projects, assisting the Government of the Bahamas with its Swift Justice Programme. In March 2016 she was appointed the Independent Commissioner for Miscarriages of Justice Compensation.

In the past 20+ years Dame Linda has worked in/had working connections with - Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica, Guyana, St Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean Court, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, India, China, France, the ICTY in the Hague, Georgia, Russia, Tunisia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the Seychelles. She has recently become the Director of Training of the Judicial Institute for Africa.

At the Bar she was a member of, and chaired, a number of committees, including the Race Relations, Equal Opportunities, International, Professional Conduct and Professional Standard Committees. In 2003 she became the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association where she set up its first Equality and Diversity sub-committee. Whilst on the High Court Bench she was the Senior Liaison Judge for Diversity, Chair of the Magisterial Committee of the Judicial Studies Board, Chair of the International Committee of the Judicial College, a member of the European Committee of the Judges’ Council and a Fawcett Commissioner. Over the years, as a result of her leadership positions, Dame Linda has had working relationships with a number of government departments both in the UK and overseas.

Dame Linda is a Justice of Appeal for the Turks and Caicos. She is on the panel of judges for the Grand Court of the Grand Cayman. She is a contributing and consultant editor to a number of legal publications. She holds 5 honorary doctorates; she is a Fellow of the Judicial College; she was a member of the Court of Governors at the London School of Economics from 2006 – 2015 and chair of its Ethics Policy Committee from 2012 to 2015. She is a patron of a number of charities (including two in Sierra Leone and two in South Africa); she also sits on a number of boards and advisory committees including the Premier League Equality Standards Independent Panel.


Dame Linda is the current President of ILFA (International Lawyers for Africa). She has been named in the past one of Britain’s most powerful black women and one of the 100 Great Black Britons. She has featured regularly in the Power List 100 of Influential Black Britons and is currently chair of its judging panel. She continues to mentor and support many young people from BaME backgrounds.


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