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Sir David Michael Bean (born 25 March 1954) is a British judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

Lord Justice Bean
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14th Chairman of the Law Commission
Assumed office
August 2015
Preceded bySir David Lloyd Jones
Lord Justice of Appeal
Assumed office
October 2014
Personal details
David Michael Bean

(1954-02-25) 25 February 1954 (age 65)
EducationSt Paul's School, London
Alma materTrinity Hall, Cambridge


Early life and educationEdit

Bean was born on 25 March 1954. He was educated at St Paul's School, an all-boys independent school in Barnes, London. He studied law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, graduating from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.[1]

Legal careerEdit

On 29 July 1976, Bean was called to the bar at Middle Temple,[2] therefore qualifying as a barrister.[3] In 1997, he was appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC).[4] He was appointed a bencher by Middle Temple on 6 March 2001.[2] In 2002, he was Chairman of the General Council of the Bar, the professional association for barristers in England and Wales.[4] He became Deputy Treasurer of the Middle Temple in 2018.[5][6]


In 1992, Bean was appointed an Assistant Recorder.[3] On 11 March 1996, he was appointed as a Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit.[4][7]

On 19 July 2004, Bean was appointed a judge of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division).[3][8][9] From 2007 to 2010, he served as the presiding judge of the South Eastern Circuit.[4] From October 2010 to March 2014, he was a Commissioner of the Judicial Appointments Commission, the body that selects candidates for judicial office.[3]

In 2010, Bean presided over the trial of Jon Venables who had been accused of downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Venables was found guilty and Bean sentenced him to two years in prison. He also ruled that Venables' new identity, which had been granted after he murdered James Bulger as a teenager, was not to be published; Bulger's family criticised this decision.[9] He also presided over the murder trial of Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family, and over the trial of Asil Nadir for false accounting.[9]

On 1 October 2014, Bean was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal.[10] He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2014.[11] In August 2015, he was appointed Chairman of the Law Commission, succeeding Sir David Lloyd Jones.[12]

On 4 November 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of The Academy of Experts in recognition of his contribution to The Academy's Judicial Committee and work for Expert Witnesses.

In January 2019 he became Treasurer of Middle Temple Inn.[13]


On 8 April 1997, Bean was appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC).[14] As a High Court judge, he received the customary knighthood as a Knight Bachelor and as a Lord Justice of Appeal he was appointed to the Privy Council.


  1. ^ ‘BEAN, Hon. Sir David (Michael)’, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014
  2. ^ a b "The Rt Hon Lord Justice David Bean". Masters of the Bench. Middle Temple. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Lord Justice Bean". Biographies of the Court of Appeal judges. Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "David Michael Bean BEAN". People of Today. Debrett's. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  5. ^ News
  6. ^ Officers of the Inn
  7. ^ "No. 54346". The London Gazette. 15 March 1996. p. 3919.
  8. ^ "No. 57363". The London Gazette. 23 July 2004. p. 9228.
  9. ^ a b c Spence, Alex (21 December 2010). "Profile: Mr Justice Bean". The Times. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  10. ^ "No. 61009". The London Gazette. 3 October 2014. p. 19318.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The Rt Hon Lord Justice Bean appointed Chairman of the Law Commission and Professor David Ormerod QC re-appointed". Law Commission. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Officers of the Inn," Middle Temple website, retrieved 13 January 2019.
  14. ^ "No. 54736". The London Gazette. 15 April 1997. p. 4476.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bryan Gould
Chair of the Fabian Society
1989 – 1990
Succeeded by
Robin Cook