When we travel by train, we shall normally claim the refunding of our expenses on the basis of the cheapest available standard fare. I hope you will do likewise.It's edifying, of course, to see the judges doing their bit for "Austerity Britain". But in fact they can still claim for first-class tickets if they have to work during a journey and require space and privacy. So it sounds as though the situation won't change much.
The argument about privacy is rather specious. It is true that first-class passengers are less likely to be sitting next to somebody, and so should enjoy more privacy, but seat companions are still common. And either the work is genuinely sensitive, in which case it should be kept out of sight in any class on a public train. Or it is not, in which case it can be done with hoi polloi in standard class. The space argument is only relevant if the standard-class carriage has five seats across. These can be uncomfortably tight if all five seats are occupied. But you only find such trains on shorter, commuter routes. On longer trips the configuration is usually four across, which offers space enough for work, albeit not for the spreading out of a complete set of case documentation.
Lord Judge seems to have come up with the right idea, but with the wrong escape clause. Perhaps he is mindful of the difficulties Britain's politicians got into earlier this year when considering this topic. Much embarrassment was caused by Sir Nicholas Winterton, now retired, who spoke against plans to make poor old MPs travel in standard class, where you find a “totally different type of people”.
Clearly we want our public servants to deliver value for money, and this requires them to work during business journeys. But in these straitened times, it's hard to see how the benefits of first-class travel can justify the added cost. Sorry chaps: you should learn to sit with the rest of us.