Masters of the Bench                                   

Elections for Masters of the Bench (also known as ‘Benchers’) are held during Michaelmas term each year. You can find details regarding the election procedure in part 1, section 4 of the Inn’s rules. Recent elections are also published in News

Application for Consideration to Become a Bencher of Gray’s Inn

2021 applications must be received by 4 June 2021.

  1. To make the system of electing Benchers fairer and more transparent and to encourage applications from all those who desire to contribute to the governance of the Inn, a new procedure has been introduced by Pension in which members of the Inn post 10 years’ Call apply for consideration to become a Bencher.  By completing the Application Form (editable document) and emailing it to elections you will be putting yourself forward to be considered by the Election Information Committee (EIC) who will select candidates to go to Pension for election based upon the number of Benchers to be elected plus 50%.   
  2. This process is applicable to Members of the Employed Bar; the Self-employed Bar (Juniors and Silks); Barristers who are members practising as solicitors whilst retaining their status as Barristers and Barristers who are practising as solicitors and under the previous rules had to give up their membership of the Inn.

    Standing Order 13 (PDF) sets out this process in greater detail.

  • In order to be considered as a candidate for election to the Bench, candidates must have been Called to the Bar for at least 10 years although it is unlikely that those less than 15 years’ post call will have the necessary experience to exercise the role of a Bencher. In considering candidates, the EIC will look at the following criteria:
  • Service to the Inn (past and prospective);
  • Service to the profession;
  • Merit;
  • Standing at the Bar or within their area of expertise;
  • Circuit, if applicable;
  • Speciality; and
  • An understanding of diversity issues.
  1. The candidate information provided on the Application Form if selected by the EIC for election will be circulated to and viewed by Pension according to Rule 4 (PDF) and only those candidates who provide a full application will be considered.

Please note that by completing and submitting the form you will be agreeing that should you be elected you will be fully committed to taking an active part in the life and work of the Inn.   Any queries relating to the above should be emailed to Carmel Walsh.

Recent Elections

Trinity election 2020

  • His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo
  • His Honour Judge Robert Egbuna
  • Nageena Khalique QC
  • Duncan Atkinson QC
  • Dr Louise Merrett
  • Shaheed Fatima QC              

Royal Benchers

Elections for Royal and Honorary Benchers are held during Michaelmas term each year. You can find details of the election procedure in Order 13 of the Inn’s Standing Orders

Honorary Benchers

Michaelmas 2020 election

  • Mr Peter Callens
  • Mr Justice Horner
  • Professor Douglas Jones AO
  • Alderman Vincent Keaveny,
  • Mrs Justice Keegan
  • Mr Justice Maguire

Elected by acclamation

  • Mr Justice Calver

Fast Track election 2019

Elected under the Fast Track procedure on 15 January 2019. 

  • Chief Justice of Malaysia Richard Malanjum

Find out more

  • Past Benchers

    Search a listing of all past Benchers

    Past Benchers

  • Past Honorary Benchers

    Search a listing of all past Honorary Benchers dating back to the first Honorary Benchers elected in 1883.

    Find out more

  • News

    Find out about the Inn's news and announcements