Biography

Associate Fellow, Global Network on Extremism and Technology, GNET, King's College University of London.

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, Oxford

Equal Treatment Bench Book committee, HM Judiciary

One of the 100 Women (1919-2019) in the First 100 Years exhibit and archive

Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Chartered Psychologist of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PsSI)

International affiliate member of the American Psychological Association (APA)

 

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.

 

Headlines: 70s six year old meets mainframe and teleprinter. Becomes 80s geek game-coding trans nerd, then 90s neural net, distributed learning and cell simulation obsessive. Turns AI/brain researcher, millennial lawyer, author and judge but with feet (and other peripherals) still planted in academic things, the internet and the future of humanity.

I am currently working towards a 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'.

My 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. My first degree was obtained in 1990 from Oxford University, in Experimental Psychology, including an undergraduate research project on human cell model neural networks. I am thought to have been the first transgender practicing barrister in independent practice in the uk, and then first appointed judge from the transgender community when I was first appointed in early 2006 and I remain committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within the judiciary and legal professions and beyond.

My trial and case management work as a judge spans most civil claims proceeding in the High Court Queen's Bench Division ranging from serious and complex injury, including military death in service, and child abuse claims, complex contract claims and public procurement through to libel and slander, media, privacy, and human rights cases. There is a technolgical slant to much of what I do. My books include 'The Surveillance & Intelligence Law Handbook' (OUP). See also ‘Suing in Cyberspace’ in ‘Publications’, and I have also acted as an expert witness to Parliament about the impact of surveillance on society, in 2007. I am an Associate Member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) and a Member of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and also received Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) training on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in 2005.

 

Selected appearances, conferences and panels

2 December 2020 Industrial Law Society, "An evening in conversation with Master Victoria McCloud", with Lord Justice Elias.

30 November 2020 Interview text at Queer Lawyers of Tomorrow, here

13 November 2020 Speaker at the Advanced Global E-Discovery Institute 2020, University of Georgetown Law Centre, video presentation entitled "Emoji, HATE and Symbolic Online Identity". 

13 November 2020 Judicial speaker and panellist at the Annual Conference of the Association of Costs Lawyers, on the court's preferred approach to cost budgeting and variation of budgets.

24 September 2020 Judicial speaker and panellist at the Costs Law Reports Annual Conference in London, on the subject of recent changes to court procedures in relation to 'costs budgeting

22 September 2020 Judicial Panel at the annual RelativityFest conference in Chicago (held online this year, 21-23 September) on the subject of developments in the law relating to electronic disclosure/discovery and international privacy law, presenting in particular a discussion of the CJEU decision in 'Schrems II' relating to the 'privacy shield provisions' the GDPR and relationships between EU and US law in those fields. She appeared together with Judge Xavier Rodriguez (US District Judge, Texas), Justice Tanya Kennedy, New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Judge William Matthewman, US Magistrate, Florida, and Judge Joy F Conti, 49th Commissioned Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania.

18 September 2020 presenting the Annual National Paralegal Awards in London in relation to the annual best Civil Litigation Paralegal.

14 May 2020, RelativityFest 2020 London: "e-Disclosure and the Pilot Scheme: Judicial, Practitioner, and Technology Perspectives" together with Erica Albertson, Head of eDiscovery Solutions, Simmons & Simmons, Ed Crosse, Partner, Simmons & Simmons Kushal Gandhi, Partner, CMS and David Horrigan, Discovery Counsel & Legal Education Director, Relativity.

4 March 2020, The British Legal Technology Forum 2020 at Old Billingsgate, London. "Online Courts and the Transformation of Litigaton" moderated by Professor Richard Susskind OBE – President, Society for Computers & Law. Subjects covered included: Online courts & online dispute resolution, Online judging & decision-making, The impact on lawyers & law firms, Can AI replace judges.

3 March 2020, Celebrating 40 years of women at Christ Church: careers event for women - panellist, Christ Church, Oxford.

29 February 2020, Judge of the final of The LSE-Featherstone Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Moot - London School of Economics.

11 February 2020, "The Future of Legal Practice' lecture series: panel discussion on legal tech developments in the courts and in major law firms” panellist at King’s College London.

28 January 2020, "Gender Equality in the Legal Profession: Maintaining the momentum for change" - panel at King’s College London.

3 December 2019, “Judicial Diversity: Should LGBT+ representation matter?” panellist  at Gray’s Inn, London, together with the Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, and Deputy District Judge Dorothea Gartland, which was chaired by Her Honour Judge Judith Rowe QC.

6 November 2019,  "A Conversation with Master McCloud" in celebration of the 100th anniversary of legal changes which first allowed women to become lawyers in the UK, which included a live panel session in the City of London, and publication of a film interview.

2 August 2018, "Rainbow Lives, Monochrome Laws", Second Annual Pride Law Lecture, Queen's University, Belfast.

Selected publications

McCloud, Victoria, (2020) "Emoji, Hate and Online Symbolic Identity", Georgetown University here.

McCloud, Victoria, (2020), ‘Judicial Early Neutral Evaluation’  in Amicus Curiae, Series 2, Vol 1, No 3, 497-510.

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

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

McCloud, Victoria and others (2000- onwards annually), author/editorial team of “Civil Procedure” (aka The White Book), Sweet & Maxwell.

McCloud, Victoria and others (2013 onwards) editorial board of The Jackson ADR Handbook (2013 onwards), OUP.

McCloud, Victoria (2004-2012) The Civil Procedure Handbook, OUP.

McCloud, Victoria (2007) '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.

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

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

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

(sub. nom.) Williams, J., The Fast Track Practice, Sweet and Maxwell, 1999.

(sub. nom.) Williams, J., Civil and Criminal Procedure, Sweet and Maxwell, 1997.

Williams, JS, (1993) 'An experimental investigation of Depth Cue Interaction', D.Phil  Thesis (Oxon) (1993).

Williams, JS (1993) 'Depth Cue Interaction', in Invest. Ophth. Vis. Sci (1992) (Abstract for conference poster presentation).

Interview, podcast and other media

Queen's University Belfast Podcast Interview 2018

First 100 Years project, interview

Wikipedia entry


Selected judgments (as judge)

Nair v Lagardere, [2020] EWHC 2608 (QB), judgment on the scope of the implied term as to trust and confidence in employment contracts.

In Re W, F, C and D (minors) (name changes disclosing gender reassignment and other matters), [2020] EWHC 279 (QB), Children's rights to privacy in relation to the publication of name changes after gender reassignment.

Telecom Centre (UK) Ltd v Thomas Sanderson Ltd [2020] EWHC 368 (QB) - Judgment on the principles and practice of Judicial Early Neutral Evaulation in Civil claims in the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court.

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.

Dring vs Cape Asbestos [2017] EWHC 3154, first instance judgment holding that in principle the common law permits public access to court documents ant not solely those permitted expressly by court rules. Reversed by the Court of Appeal but affirmed on that point at Supreme Court level.

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.

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