Baroness Hale is to become the first female president of the UK’s Supreme Court, Downing Street announced.

The 72-year-old family law expert became the UK’s first woman Law Lord in 2004, and then the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court in 2009. Since 2013 she has been the court’s Deputy President and will succeed Lord Neuberger, who retires in September.

Lady Hale will be officially sworn in as president in October, along with three new justices – Lady Justice Black and Lords Justice Lloyd Jones and Briggs.

Lord Neuberger said her appointment was ‘a fitting pinnacle to a truly ground-breaking career’.

And Lady Hale said: ‘It is a great honour and a challenge.’