Lord Toulson was called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1969, after which he joined the Western Circuit. After working as a barrister for a number of years, he became a QC in 1986 and a bencher of Inner Temple in 1995. .
In 1996, Lord Toulson was promoted to the High Court of Justice in the Queen’s Bench Division. He was thereafter made the presiding judge on the Western Circuit, until being appointed in 2002 as the Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales.
Following his promotion to the Court of Appeal in 2007, Lord Toulson was also appointed as a member of the Privy Council and the Judicial Appointments Commission, the panel which is charged with selecting new judges in England and Wales.
In 2006 he co-authored a textbook on the English law of confidentiality with Charles Phipps, a colleague from his days at 4 New Square (the Chambers which Lord Toulson used to head).
Lord Toulson gave the leading High Court judgment in the widely reported ‘right to die’ joined cases of R (on the application of Nicklinson) v Ministry Of Justice; and R (on the application of AM) v Director of Public Prosecutions and Others  EWHC 2381 (Admin) (2012) PLLR 120. In the judgment he commented “Tony’s and Martin’s circumstances are deeply moving. Their desire to have control over the ending of their lives demands the most careful and sympathetic consideration, but there are also other important issues to consider. A decision to allow their claims would have consequences far beyond the present cases… It is not for the court to decide whether the law about assisted dying should be changed and, if so, what safeguards should be put in place. Under our system of government these are matters for Parliament to decide, representing society as a whole, after Parliamentary scrutiny, and not for the court on the facts of an individual case or cases.”