Affiliate of the CSLS Swiss Re Programme for Civil Justice Systems

Expert Advisor, All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence

Law Faculty Athena SWAN website committee, Equal Treatment Bench Book committee.

One of the 100 Women (1919-2019) in the First 100 Years exhbit and archive.
Core interests: Law and Artificial Intelligence, Social Media Regulation, Ethical Business Regulation, Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and sustainable development especially in technological contexts.

In 2018 Victoria was honoured (but very surprised) to be chosen by the 'First 100 Years' project to be one of the 100 role model women in the legal field spanning the first century since women were permitted to practise law in the UK, whose lives are preserved biographically at the British Library for future generations. She actively promotes diversity at unversity and in the law, having previously served for many years on the Bar Council Equality and Diversity Committee and now serving on the Equal Treatment Bench Book committee setting the guidance for judges in relation to equal treatment in court. She also serves on the Law Faculty Athena SWAN committee in relation to the content of web materials relating to the Faculty.

Dr McCloud sits in London as a judge, specifically as a Queen's Bench Master in the High Court. She is also a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society (BPS), a Chartered Psychologist of the Psychological Society of Ireland and an international affiliate member of the American Psychological Association (APA). She has always rather split her life between judicial and academic and writing work. She was appointed in 2006 (part time) and then as a full time judge in 2010 having practised as a barrister for 15 years before that in general civil practice. She has experience of managing and hearing serious civil cases such as Historic Abuse cases, Mesothelioma-related death claims, severe personal injury work and others. Some of her judgments appear below. Her psychologically-informed ideas in relation to changing the procedural management of Historic Child Abuse cases have been described in the context of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) as being innovative.

In August 2018 she presented the second Annual Belfast Pride Law lecture at Queen's University Belfast: Rainbow Lives, Monochrome Laws – Reflections on law and identitySee also an interview with her at this link.

Research interests

Victoria is  currently studying for a part time (second) D.Phil, at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, and at Green Templeton College, on the socio-legal aspects of social media in the context of elections, applying an Actor-Network Theory approach to studying the ways in which messaging may affect how people identify on-line using symbols and 'digital totems'.

Victoria's first D.Phil. (1993) was funded by the Oxford University Christopher Welch Scholarship in Biological Sciences and was obtained by research in Experimental Psychology in human visual psychophysics, which focussed on the computational means by which the brain integrates sources of depth information received via the visual system. Her first degree was obtained in 1990 from Oxford University, in Experimental Psychology, including an undergraduate research project on human cell model neural networks.

Legal & Judicial

Victoria comes from a practising legal background. She holds a postgraduate Diploma in Law from City University and qualified as a barrister in 1995. She practised as a barrister from 1995 until her judicial appointment in 2010. She was appointed as a deputy Costs Judge in 2006 & then  as a Master of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2010, as the second female QB Master. In 2017 she was additionally re-appointed as a Deputy Costs Judge.

In 2015 she recieved judicial training at the Hague Institute for Global Justice, on the Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity, & War Crimes.

Surveillance, Intelligence, Privacy, Cyberwarfare and Security

Her books include 'The Surveillance & Intelligence Law Handbook' (OUP). See also ‘Suing in Cyberspace’ in ‘Publications’, and she has also acted as an expert witness to Parliament about the impact of surveillance on society, in 2007. She is  an Associate Member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) and a Member of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). She received Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) training on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in 2005.




Author/editorial team of “Civil Procedure” (Sweet & Maxwell) (2000- present).

The Civil Procedure Handbook (OUP, annual editions between 2004-2012).

The Jackson ADR Handbook (2013 onwards), OUP, Editorial Board.

Personal Injury Pleadings (co-author)(Sweet & Maxwell, 2008).

The Surveillance and Intelligence Law Handbook (OUP, 2006).

Contributor & General Editor, “Personal Injury Precedents & Pleadings” and “The Personal Injury Claims Manual” (Sweet & Maxwell, 2004-2006).

The Fast Track Practice (Sweet and Maxwell, 1999) (Sub Nom. Williams)

Civil and Criminal Procedure (Sweet and Maxwell, 1999) (Sub Nom. Williams)

Key papers and lectures/seminars

Judicial Early Neutral Evaluation’ (2010) in Amicus Curiae, Series 2, Vol 1, No 3, 497-510.

'Rainbow Lives, Monochrome Laws' (2018) Second Annual Queen's Belfast Pride Law Lecture.

'Court processes in Historic Child Sexual Abuse Claims: A view from the Bench '- seminar at Barts and the London Hospital, academic session for psychiatrists, 1 November 2017.

'Suing in Cyberspace',  (2017) 36(1) CJQ 34-50

'Privacy Impact & the Social Aspects of Public Surveillance,' [2007] Evidence for the House of Lords Committee on the Constitution inquiry into the impact of surveillance and data collection (written and oral evidence). Adopted in the final report of that committee.

'Privacy Impact Assessment and Public Space Surveillance', Covert Policing Review [2007] Vol. 2 p4-17.

Early work

D.Phil (Oxon) (1993) “An experimental investigation of Depth Cue Interaction”

Depth Cue Interaction, in Invest. Ophth. Vis. Sci (1992) (Abstract). (Sub Nom. Williams).




Judgments (as Judge)

Gannon and Warsama vs Sasha Wass QC, The Wass Inquiry and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [2018] EWHC 1461 (QB) claim in relation to the British Oversea Territory of St Helena “Wass” inquiry into alleged systematic child abuse. Issues which Victoria had to decide included in particular (1) the exact scope of the constitutional doctrine of Parliamentary Privilege under the Bill of Rights 1689, Article 9, and (2) the question whether a QC acting as the Tribunal head can be sued under the Human Rights Act 1998 as a limb of the State.

Ajayi v Abu and Abu [2017] EWHC 1946 (QB), judgment on liability for human trafficking and modern slavery/labour exploitation.

Woodburn v Thomas [2017] EWHC B16 (Costs), judgment as to best practice in drafting bills in cost budgeted cases.

Caretech Community Services Ltd v Oakden & Ors [2017] EWHC 1944 (QB), judgment on correct approach to issues as to validity of service of court claims.

Jones v Chichester Harbour Conservancy & Ors [2017] EWHC 2270 (QB), judgment on correct approach to issues as to validity of service of court claims.

Nadhim Zahawi MP v Press TV & Press TV Limited [2017] EWHC 695 (QB), claim against Iranian State media in respect of ‘fake news’ on the internet accusing a UK MP of involvement in selling oil to raise funds for ISIS terrorism.

Michael Foster v Iain McNicol, (Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP applying) [2016] EWHC 1836 (QB), decision to permit the Leader of the Opposition to joined to be heard in argument over the interpretation of Labour Party election rules.

Malik v Donald Trump [2016] EWHC 2011 (QB), judgment in relation to right of a Muslim man to sue for defamation in respect of statements made by Mr Donald Trump in the course of the US election campaign 2016 about Muslims in London.

Yates v Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs [2014] EWHC 2311 (QB). High Court procedure for HMRC to disclose employment histories in asbestos claims.

Andrew Mitchell MP v Express Group Newspapers [2013] EWHC 2355 (QB) Principles of relief from sanctions, and costs budgeting in civil cases.


Research Interests

Regulation of Autonomous/Artificially Intelligent Technologies with the power to affect human welfare.

Impact of Court procedure on victims of historic child abuse.

Ethical Business Regulation.

Future of Humanity.

Research projects