High-profile judge suspended from judiciary following arrest

High-profile judge Constance Briscoe has been suspended from the judiciary pending a police investigation into allegations against her.

Briscoe is understood to have been arrested in Clapham last weekend by officers from Kent police service and is currently released on bail.

Briscoe, who was called to the Bar in 1983 and is a member of 9-12 Bell Yard chambers, is one of the few black female members of the UK judiciary. She was appointed as a recorder of the Crown Court in 1996 and is also known for her memoirs, Ugly and Beyond Ugly, published in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Her criminal practice focuses on fraud, serious violence, murder and serious sexual offences.

A spokeswoman for the Office for Judicial Complaints said: “The Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor have suspended Constance Briscoe from the judiciary pending the outcome of the police investigation into the allegations against her. It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst the investigation is active.”

Kent Police said in a statement: “A 55-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday in Clapham, south London, interviewed by officers and bailed pending further inquiries.” The police declined to give the name of the woman arrested or provide a reason for the arrest.

The news comes after a number of arrests and prosecutions of senior lawyers this year, including former Hogan Lovells litigation partner Christopher Grierson, who was sentenced to three years in prison this May for defrauding the firm of £1.3m in false travel expenses.