Former army officer and barrister follows a family tradition to become the new High Sheriff of Norfolk

The new High Sheriff of Norfolk, James Bagge, centre, with the outgoing High Sheriff, Sir William Cu

The new High Sheriff of Norfolk, James Bagge, centre, with the outgoing High Sheriff, Sir William Cubitt, left, and Under Sheriff, Malcolm Savory. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A former army officer and barrister has been appointed 2017 High Sheriff of Norfolk.

James Bagge, 65, who was sworn in at the north Norfolk home of his predecessor, Major General Sir George Cubitt, will follow in the footsteps of both his late father, Sir John Bagge, and his brother, Sir Jeremy Bagge, both of whom are former county high sheriffs.

The Norfolk-born father of one, who lives with his wife Victoria at his family home on the Stradsett estate, near Downham Market, said he felt 'privileged' and 'excited' to take on the role.

'I am a Norfolk boy,' he added. 'And it is great to now be able to give something back to this lovely county.'

After serving for three years in the Household Cavalry, Mr Bagge was called to the bar in 1979.

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He spent the following eight years as a criminal law barrister before being seconded to the Serious Fraud Office, where he was a partner in the prosecuting team in the Guinness share-trading fraud.

As a partner and head of litigation at the London-based international firm of lawyers Norton Rose, he dealt with high profile cases including the collapse in 1995 of Barings Bank.

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Now semi-retired, he has carried out consultancy work for the Central Bank of Ireland and is a director of a firm of consultants that reviews the effectiveness of company boards.

Thirteen years ago, Mr Bagge, who, in his spare time, enjoys walking and 'Norfolk', completed the 1,000 mile trek across the pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago, in Spain, in aid of Tapping House Hospice, at Kings Lynn, which provides care to people with life-limiting illnesses.

In his role as Sheriff, he says his main focus will be to celebrate the unpaid work people do in communities and enabling 'early access to sound advice.'

He added: 'The need for strong community spirit and voluntary work within communities has never been greater, and if I can help to promote that in any way, then I am more than happy to do so.'

Mr Bagge will also attend royal visits to the county and a key aspect of his role will be supporting the judiciary and the Crown.

High Sheriffs, who are independent and non-political, are also expected to support crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector.

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