He was educated at Bryanston School and University College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1968, was a Member of the Attorney-General's Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, Common Law from 1981 to 1990 and was Junior Counsel to the Inland Revenue, Common Law from 1985 to 1990. He took silk in 1990. He served as a High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division) from 1996-2005; Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit 1999-2002 and was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2005. In 2003 he was the judge in the high-profile Soham murders case which led to the imprisonment of Ian Huntley.
He retired from the Court of Appeal in May 2014 and was appointed as the first chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation which began work in September 2014.