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Message from Sir Andrew McFarlane

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has asked for the following message to be passed on to our members:

Sir Andrew is currently on the waiting list for open-heart surgery (a valve sparing aortic root replacement). The operation is likely to take place in late March or early April, but the date may change due to pressure of work in the NHS. After the operation it is likely that Sir Andrew will need a period of some three months for recovery before he can return fully to his normal duties. 

In the President’s absence, Mrs Justice Theis, as the Senior Family Division Liaison Judge, will stand in as his deputy and be responsible for the day-to-day discharge of the PFD role. Theis J will be assisted by Keehan J and Cobb J, who will continue to take the lead in developing and implementing reform of the Public and Private Law relating to children, Hayden J as Vice President of the Court of Protection and Mostyn J as judge in charge of the Financial Remedy Court. Lady Justice King will attend meetings of the Judicial Executive Board and other meetings at Heads of Division level.

Sir Andrew is extremely grateful to these leadership judges and all others who will be required to take on an additional burden during his absence.

The need for an operation has been discovered as a result of routine testing. The condition is currently largely asymptomatic and prior to the surgery The President intends to continue to work as he has done throughout his Presidency.

The President is giving this advance notice of his absence to explain the situation and set out the arrangements that are in place to meet the need for all of those who deliver Family Justice to remain supported and informed.

Sir Andrew McFarlane