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"'Sir Peter Winston Smith"' , styled "'The Hon Mr Justice Peter Smith"', is a Judge of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales, appointed to that office on 15 April 2002 and assigned to the Chancery Division
After receiving a BA degree in 1974 and an MA degree in 1976, Smith briefly practised in Liverpool before becoming a law lecturer at Manchester University from 1977-1983
Upon his elevation to the High Court bench in 2002, Sir Peter was knighted as a matter of course
In 2003 he was voted most unpopular chancery judge in a survey by Legal Business magazine
However, it was later learned that the judge had given a series of email hints about the code, which was finally announced as cracked on 28 April 2006, by Daniel Tench, a lawyer and media journalist for "The Guardian" newspaper
But in July 2007, about a month after the conclusion of those negotiations, the judge refused to stand down from hearing a heavily contested case involving a partner in the same firm in his capacity as a trustee
In its unanimous judgments of 4 July 2007, the Court of Appeal described the judge's behaviour in part as "intemperate" and "somewhat extraordinary"
On 16 July 2007, it was announced in a press release from the Judicial Communications Office that the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, had referred the judge's behaviour in the case to the independent Office for Judicial Complaints
In 2008 he was reprimanded by the Lord Chief Justice for his misconduct in the "Addleshaw Goddard matter"
On 18 April 2008 it was announced in the following terms that the OJC had found that misconduct had been established against the judge
In 2010 Smith was replaced as judge at the last minute in the case between the Qatari royal family and Christian Candy, a property developer
In August 2013 the Court of Appeal held that Smith should have recused himself from hearing an application for wasted costs against a firm of solicitors
In July 2015, on application by the parties, Smith recused himself from being the judge in long running multi-party proceedings between various airlines
In September 2015, it was announced by a spokesman for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office that Smith's conduct in connection with the case was being investigated
"In his letter to the claimant's solicitors dated 12th February 2016, the judge accepted that he should not have written the Letter
On 2 August 2016, writing in "The Times" Frances Gibb reported that Smith had "been signed off sick and may never return to work", being mentally unfit to defend himself in a disciplinary inquiry, which could mean that a decision may not be made for several months
On 11 April 2017 Joshua Rozenberg returned to the topic of Smith's continued holding of judicial office
Rozenberg speculated that Smith would retire from the High Court once he attained 65 years of age in May 2017, qualifying for immediate payment of his judicial pension
On 2 October 2017 Rozenberg reported that a formal disciplinary tribunal was due to sit in private at the end of October 2017 in order to hear unspecified allegations against Smith, who had been effectively suspended on full pay since May 2016
Smith's retirement, with effect from 28 October 2017, was announced on 27 October 2017