Judge Alison McKenna began sitting as a fee paid Tribunal Judge in 2002 and took up full-time appointment as the first President of the Charity Tribunal in June 2008. Her title was changed to Principal Judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Charity) in September 2009, as a result of reforms under the Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
She was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1988 and her subsequent legal career included practice at the independent Bar, several different roles in the Government Legal Service (including that of an in-house legal adviser to the Charity Commission 1997 - 2002), and (following her re-qualification as a solicitor in 2003) as a partner in private practice, specialising in charity law.
Alison sits as a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal in both the Tax and Chancery Chamber and the Administrative Appeals Chamber. She was assigned to the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal in 2011. Alison takes an active interest in Tribunals justice, as a member of the Tribunals Judiciary Executive Board and Chair of its Communications Sub-Group. She was appointed as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner in February 2012.