John Brightman, Baron Brightman
John Anson Brightman, Baron Brightman (20 June 1911–6 February 2006) was an English Chancery
Court of equity
A chancery court, equity court or court of equity is a court that is authorized to apply principles of equity, as opposed to law, to cases brought before it.These courts began with petitions to the Lord Chancellor of England...

A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

 and judge, ultimately of the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....


Early life and career

Brightman was the son of a country solicitor
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. In the United Kingdom, a few Australian states and the Republic of Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers , and a lawyer will usually only hold one title...

. He was educated at Marlborough College
Marlborough College
Marlborough College is a British co-educational independent school for day and boarding pupils, located in Marlborough, Wiltshire.Founded in 1843 for the education of the sons of Church of England clergy, the school now accepts both boys and girls of all beliefs. Currently there are just over 800...

 and St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college's alumni include nine Nobel Prize winners, six Prime Ministers, three archbishops, at least two princes, and three Saints....

. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond...

 in 1932.

In the Second World War, he was an able seaman
Able Seaman (occupation)
An able seaman is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.-Watchstander:...

 in the Merchant Navy from 1939 to 1940, then joined the RNVR as a commissioned officer. By 1944, he had attended the Royal Naval staff course at Greenwich and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 to become assistant naval attaché in Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....


He returned to the Bar in 1946, practising mainly in tax law, taking silk
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

 in 1961, and was pupil master
Pupil master
A pupil master is an experienced barrister who takes charge of the training of a newly called barrister. Barristers are called to the Bar at an early stage in their career, after completing the Bar Vocational Course and undertaking a required number of "dinners" in their chosen Inn of Court...

 to Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...


Judicial career

He was appointed a High Court
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 judge in 1970 and assigned to the Chancery Division, also receiving the usual knighthood. In 1971, he joined John Donaldson, Baron Donaldson and Lord Thomson as the three judges of the National Industrial Relations Court
National Industrial Relations Court
The National Industrial Relations Court was established on 1 December 1971 under Section 99 of the Industrial Relations Act 1971. The NIRC was created by the Conservative government of Ted Heath as a way to limit the power of trades union in the United Kingdom...

 (NIRC), set up by the government of Ted Heath to reign in the power of the trades unions. In 1972, he decided that Bobby Moore
Bobby Moore
Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE was an English footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup...

 and Geoff Hurst
Geoff Hurst
Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst MBE is a retired England footballer best remembered for his years with West Ham. He made his mark in World Cup history as the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final. His three goals came in the 1966 final for England in their 4–2 win over West...

 need not pay income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 on bonuses and cash gifts received following the victory of the England football team in the 1966 World Cup.

In 1974, while still a High Court judge, he refused Anton Piller KG the court order
Court order
A court order is an official proclamation by a judge that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case...

 that it requested to search the premises of a defendant to prevent the defendant from destroying potential evidence. He was overruled by Lord Denning's Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal of England and Wales
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom above it...

, giving rise to the Anton Piller order
Anton Piller order
In English and English-derived legal systems, an Anton Piller order is a court order that provides the right to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning...

 that remains in use today.

Like his colleague on the NIRC, John Donaldson, Brightman had to wait until shortly after Thatcher won the 1979 UK general election in 1979 to be appointed as Lord Justice
Lord Justice of Appeal
A Lord Justice of Appeal is an ordinary judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, the court that hears appeals from the High Court of Justice, and represents the second highest level of judge in the courts of England and Wales-Appointment:...

 of the Court of Appeal. Brightman became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, commonly known as Law Lords, were appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 to the House of Lords of the United Kingdom in order to exercise its judicial functions, which included acting as the highest court of appeal for most domestic matters...

 and life peer
Life peer
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles cannot be inherited. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as...

, sitting in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 as Baron Brightman, of Ibthorpe in the County of Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, from 12 March 1982, the same year that Donaldson was promoted to become Master of the Rolls
Master of the Rolls
The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the second most senior judge in England and Wales, after the Lord Chief Justice. The Master of the Rolls is the presiding officer of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal...

. One of Brightman's first judgments, in 1983, was to decide that Ann Mallalieu
Ann Mallalieu, Baroness Mallalieu
Ann Mallalieu, Baroness Mallalieu QC is a British lawyer, Labour Party politician and president of the Countryside Alliance....

 (now Baroness Mallalieu) was not entitled to a tax deduction for the cost of her court dress. He also ruled against the taxpayer in the famous tax case of Furniss v. Dawson
Furniss v. Dawson
Furniss v. Dawson is an important House of Lords case in the field of UK tax. Its full name is "Furniss v. Dawson D.E.R., Furniss v. Dawson G.E., Murdoch v. Dawson R.S.", and its citation is [1984] A.C. 474, or alternatively [1984] 2 W.L.R...

; upheld the manslaughter
Manslaughter in English law
In the English law of homicide, manslaughter is a less serious offence than murder, the differential being between levels of fault based on the mens rea . In England and Wales, the usual practice is to prefer a charge of murder, with the judge or defence able to introduce manslaughter as an option...

 verdict in R v Hancock and Shankland, the case of a taxi driver killed during the 1984 miners' strike, modifying the test of intent required for a conviction of murder
Murder in English law
Murder is an offence under the common law of England and Wales. It is considered the most serious form of homicide, in which one person kills another either intending to cause death or intending to cause serious injury .-Actus reus:The definition of the actus reus Murder is an offence under the...

; and joined the judgment that refused to grant the government an order banning on newspaper articles about Spycatcher
Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer , is a book written by Peter Wright, former MI5 officer and Assistant Director, and co-author Paul Greengrass. It was published first in Australia...

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