Thursday, December 31, 2020

David Wolfson's life peerage gazetted as Baron Wolfson of Tredegar

 _. The life peerage awarded to David Wolfson, a newly appointed junior justice minister, has been gazetted in the name, style and title of Baron Wolfson of Tredegar. He is to be introduced into the House of Lords on 7 January, 2021.

One of the first decisions David Wolfson made on being elevated to the House of Lords was to honour his roots. For the Liverpool-raised barrister, who was this week made a life peer and appointed junior justice minister, will be known as Lord Wolfson of Tredegar. He chose the South Wales town as it was where his paternal great-grandfather, Aaron, emigrated to from what is now present-day Ukraine.

Mr Wolfson told the Jewish Telegraph: “As a Jewish community in Britain, we live in what the Talmudic rabbis called a ‘kingdom of kindness’.

“This is a tolerant country where we can practise our religion, and where we have full civil and religious rights.

“I wanted to take the name of a place which will remind me of — and also speak to — those issues.

“We came here as immigrants and British society enabled us to thrive as a community.

“It is important for me to remember those early days and where our roots are, which, in my case, is in South Wales.

“My great-grandfather is buried in Merthyr Tydfil and my great-uncle Jack was actually born in the middle of the 1911 anti-Jewish riots in Tredegar.”

His position at the Ministry of Justice — which puts him on leave of absence from his chambers at One Essex Court — sends him to the Lords, where he will sit as a Conservative peer.

Called to the Bar in 1992 and made a QC 11 years ago, London-based Mr Wolfson has worked on various matters for the Government over the past few years.

“I will be dealing with the Ministry of Justice brief in the Lords, introducing bills, answering questions and speaking on legislation,” he said.

“In particular, I will be focusing on civil justice and doing all I can to make sure London keeps its place as the pre-eminent litigation and arbitration centre that it is.”

Educated at Liverpool’s King David High School, Mr Wolfson is the son of Rosalind and Bernard Wolfson, who now live in Jerusalem.

His father was also a lawyer and district judge.

His sisters are Rina Wolfson in London and Hannah Cohn who, with his brother, Jonny, reside in Israel.

Mr Wolfson’s paternal grandfather was Rev Sam Wolfson, who served Liverpool’s Greenbank Drive Synagogue for more than 40 years.

“My grandfather was a formative influence on me,” he recalled. “I learned with him and he taught me how to leyn.”

Mr Wolfson studied at Jerusalem’s Yeshivat Ha-Kotel, before he read Oriental studies, specialising in Hebrew and Aramaic, at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

He started his law career at 3 Verulam Buildings, where he spent five years, before moving to One Essex Court.

Mr Wolfson, who is father to 18-year-old Sam, Zara, 16, and 13-year-old Abi, has represented banks, hedge funds and oligarchs — including acting for Russian-Israeli tycoon Arkady Gaydamak when he sued his former business partner Lev Leviev.


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