The death was announced of sitting High Court Judge and former Recorder of Manchester Sir Andrew Gilbart QC, aged 68.

Sir Andrew was educated at Westminster School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was Called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1972, specialised in planning law and took Silk in 1991.

He became a Circuit Judge and Deputy High Court Judge in 2004, and was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge and the Honorary Recorder of Manchester in 2008 and was the Resident Judge at Manchester Crown Court from 2008 to 2013. In 2014 he was appointed to the High Court and assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division.

A statement on the judiciary’s website said: ‘The Lord Chief Justice wishes to record his admiration for Sir Andrew’s outstanding contribution to the administration of justice, which has been so tragically cut short.’

Sir Andrew was a member of Manchester’s Kings Chambers from 1973 until 2004. A statement from the set said: ‘He had a big personality, a quick intelligence and a deep well of kindness. He was a distinguished barrister and judge with whom we are immensely proud to be associated.

‘Andrew will be keenly missed by everyone at Kings Chambers and we extend our condolences to his wife Paula and his children, Tom and Ruth.’

His son Tom Gilbart, a barrister in Manchester, paid tribute to him on Twitter, calling him ‘the greatest man I will ever know’.