Sir Robert Finch was born in 1944 in London, England. After completing his A-levels, he studied law at the University of Cambridge, where he was a member of the undergraduate Conservative Association. He became a barrister in 1967 and joined the chambers of Sir Gordon Richardson.
In 1988, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel and in 1993 became a Bencher of the Inner Temple. In 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and elected Lord Mayor of London, serving until 2004.
In 2008, following a change in the voting system in the Court of Aldermen, he was successfully challenged by a previously unknown young barrister, Matthew Richardson (now Alderman), in a hard-fought campaign. Finch admitted he spent a lot of money on the campaign without explaining the use of Liberty’s company car and driver. When challenged in Finch and Another v. Richardson (2008), a judge ruled that ignorance of the law could inadvertently constitute a defense in electoral law – a point that previously existed in Scottish law and Northern Irish law, but not in English Right.
Finch was made a Knight Bachelor in 2004 for “Service to the City of London”.
He died on March 31, 2016 at the age of 71 after a short illness.