Neuberger’s famous slouch
His reputation on the country’s highest bench is all but assured, but if there were any doubts over the legacy of Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, they were laid to rest by a Scandinavian body language expert.
It emerged during the valedictory tributes to the president of the UK’s Supreme Court last week that his name has been given to a new form of slouch. According to Karon Monaghan, QC, of Matrix Chambers in Gray’s Inn, advocates appearing before the court had noticed that Lord Neuberger has a habit of sinking lower and lower into his chair as legal arguments wore on. The unnamed Scandinavian specialist had dubbed this the “Neuberger theorem”, the silk continued, with a straight face.
Monaghan also told the assembled great and good that “there was sadness at the Bar” at Lord Neuberger’s decision to leave a full six months early. “The word on the barristerial street,” she said, “is that the lord chancellor whispered in your ear that if you didn’t get a few more women on the court in time for next term you were coming back in drag. This forced a hasty departure, so it’s said, though nobody has told me whether that was because you thought you wouldn’t suit a dress or that you would be barred from the Garrick.”