Students Staff

14 June 2013

Chancellor to step down after ten years

Lord Phillips of Sudbury

Long-serving Chancellor of the University of Essex, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, is to step down in July after presiding over his eleventh Graduation.

Lord Phillips, who became Chancellor of the University in April 2003, has enjoyed a distinguished legal career spanning 54 years, specialising in charity law, and is also a well-known broadcaster.

He was made a life peer in 1998 in recognition of his charitable work which has included founding three national charities, including The Citizenship Foundation, of which he remains President. In Parliament, where he remains active, he has championed citizen/state relations and led opposition to the Identity Cards Bill.

Lord Phillips founded law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, London, in 1970 and served as a senior partner until 1998, although he continues as a consultant. From 1976 until 2002, he appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Jimmy Young Show as the “Legal Eagle”, giving advice to the show’s listeners. He also presented current affairs programmes for London Weekend Television and Anglia.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, said: “Lord Phillips has served the University with distinction, devoting considerable energy and commitment to the role of Chancellor, and making an outstanding contribution to the development of the University over the past decade.”
Lord Phillips said: “I have treasured greatly my role as Chancellor. This is an extraordinary University which, I am convinced, deserves to have, and will have, a distinguished future. Universities have never been so important. Indispensable as they certainly are to economic achievement, they have an even greater role in sustaining society’s ethical vitality and cultural richness.”

Lord Phillips is the University’s fourth Chancellor. Arrangements will now be put in place to appoint his successor. The Chancellor is the chief officer of the University, with a ceremonial role conferring degrees at University ceremonies, and presiding over the annual meeting of Court.

Notes to editors

1. A photo of Lord Phillips is available from the University’s Flickr account at: For more information, please contact the Communications Office, e-mail: or telephone: 01206 872400.
2. Lord Phillips’ last official duty as Chancellor will be to preside over the University’s Graduation ceremonies being held from 16 to 19 July for nearly 3,000 students.

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