Barbara Thomas Judge

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Barbara Thomas Judge
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Barbara Thomas, Lady Judge, (born 1946) CBE, is an American-English lawyer, businesswoman, lobbyist and nuclear expert. She has been described as one of Britain's 100 most powerful and best connected women. [1]

Lady Judge was awarded a CBE in 2010 for her services to the nuclear and financial industries.

Current roles

Lady Judge is Chairman Emeritus of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), chairman of the Pension Protection Fund, and UK Business Ambassador on behalf of UK Trade and Investment.[2][3][4] She is also on the board of Statoil.

In September 2012 she was appointed deputy chairman of TEPCO's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee.[5] The group's task is to 'strictly observe and supervise nuclear reform activities of Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant that was at the centre of Japan's worst nuclear plant accident, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

'Japan's nuclear saviour'

Lady Judge has been hired by TEPCO as a 'safety czar'. In a July 2013 interview with the Telegraph (at which bottled water from Fukushima was served at the table), she explained that:

Our goal is to make Tepco the safest nuclear operator in the world. But I don't see my role as just helping Tepco, it's about helping the industry and helping the country. Whatever we do for Tepco is going to get mirrored elsewhere."
...Referring to Tepco's handling of the 2011 crisis, she added: "I think there have to be clear lines of authority in a crisis. And clear plans of how to handle a crisis before it ever happens. It wasn't as well prepared as it should have been. There's no question that there were no clear lines of authority – that's why there was confusion and it had to go up to the prime minister who didn't know very much about nuclear. [6]

'Very low risks' from nuclear power radiation - less than day-to-day activities

Lady Judge told the Telegraph 'that she is also convinced that the public can be persuaded that the need for nuclear energy outweighs what she insists are very low risks - partly by explaining that radiation from nuclear power is less than from other day-to-day activities'.

'All of us have MRIs and other X-rays and there are far more traffic deaths every year than anything relating to power plants," she said. 'Radiation is just something that we don't understand and are therefore afraid of it.'
..We all grew up with the Simpsons, a cartoon that said for 20 years that the owner of the power plant was the evil person," she said. "It's in our psyche to be worried about nuclear.
Nuclear sells news, it's an emotional issue. And radiation is scary. It's like magic - it's mystical, invisible. You can't see it. You don't know how to hide from it.
But frankly you get less radiation walking through a nuclear power plant than around an aeroplane.'[7]


Lady Judge started out as a corporate lawyer for Kaye Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler in 1973, becoming a partner in the organisation in 1978. She went on to hold a number of senior roles in the banking industry.[1]

Judge is a former executive director of Rupert Murdoch's News International and has served on the US Securities & Exchange Commission. She was a former director at merchant bank Samuel Montagu and a former adviser to Express newspaper boss Richard Desmond. [8][9][10],[11]


Judge has held numerous non-executive directorships. According to her official biographies and records from Companies House, these include:


Personal life

She is married to Sir Paul Judge and has a son from her second marriage to Allen L. Thomas, an American lawyer.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Woman's Hour Power list, BBC Radio 4, February 2013
  2. Lady Judge appointed Chair of Pension Protection fund. DWP. Retrieved on 2011-04-13.
  3. PM announces new Business Ambassadors. (2010-11-09). Retrieved on 2011-04-13.
  4. NIA – The Nuclear Industry Association – Judge to chair UKAEA. (2004-07-30). Retrieved on 2011-04-13.
  5. Document Related to the First Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee Meeting TEPCO News >Press Releases>Press Release (Oct 12,2012) and Framework for the Nuclear Reform, TEPCO News, Press Release, 11 Sep 2012)
  6. Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo, British woman trying to save Japan's nuclear power industry says: 'Radiation is scary', The Telegraph, 05 Jul 2013 6:30PM BST, acc Oct 2013
  7. Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo, British woman trying to save Japan's nuclear power industry says: 'Radiation is scary', The Telegraph, 05 Jul 2013 6:30PM BST, acc Oct 2013
  8. Andrew Davidson, UK Nuclear Power Boss Radiates Boundless Energy, The Sunday Times, June 26, 2005
  9. Financial Reporting Council, Barbara Thomas Judge Biography
  10. London Capital Club, Advisory Board
  11. Wharton Business School
  12. UKAEA, Board of Directors