Briony Clarke becomes the UK’s youngest female judge at age 31

A solicitor who joined her local law firm as a 15-year-old work experience intern has become the youngest ever female judge.

Briony Clarke was sworn in as a deputy district judge after 16 years at Essex firm Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP (THB).

The 31-year-old took her judicial oaths this week, the day before International Women’s Day, in front of Chelmsford Crown Court resident judge Charles Gratwicke.

“It’s nice to have someone from our own community, embarking on the same career that we have all, at some stage, had to launch ourselves into,” said Mr Gratwicke.

Ms Clarke will not hit compulsory retirement age until January 2056.

“It’s a long time,” he said. “It just goes to show how young you are and how long a career you have.

“Many congratulations. Enjoy it.”

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