Top criminal lawyer scores Wadham wardenship

News

A leading UK criminal lawyer and former Director of Public Prosecutions is set to be Wadham’s Warden – but he’s no stranger to the laid-back look on life often associated with the college.

As a student reading PPE at St Edmund Hall, Lord Ken MacDonald of River Glaven was charged with supplying 0.1g cannabis through the post. He was found guilty and fined £75.

A second year Wadham student described Lord MacDonald as “a fairly solid but unoriginal appointment”: he “would not expect Wadham to pick someone who wasn’t ‘left-field’.”

MacDonald said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been selected as Wadham’s next Warden. The College has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its scholarship and research, and is well known for its determination to ensure that the very best students have every opportunity to study here, regardless of their background or means. I look forward to working with the fellowship to strengthen these values in the years ahead.”

Wadham’s SU President Jacob Haddad highlighted the college’s emphasis on electing a Warden whom the students would generally approve of: “a panel of current students was heavily involved in the entire recruitment process and interviewed each candidate separately”. Haddad continued: “Lord MacDonald joins Wadham at an exciting time with projects such as our access work really making strides this year and we are eager to learn of his plans for the college.”

MacDonald has had a fruitful career as a founder of Matrix Chambers and Director of Public Prosecutions from 2003 to 2008. He also received a knighthood for his services to the law in 2007, and in July 2010 became a Liberal Democrat Peer and House of Lords member. In January 2011, he became Chair of the human rights charity, Reprieve, succeeding the late Lord Bingham.

Lord MacDonald’s profile on Matrix Chambers reveals that he specialises in business and corporate crime and associated extraditions, financial regulatory work, market offences, export control violations, terrorism, human rights and media law. His clients include overseas governments, international media organisations, prominent British arms companies, major foreign defence corporations and many private individuals.

Aged 58, the Windsor-born Lord and his wife Linda Zuck have three children. The Fellows of Wadham College announced their intention to elect Macdonald – who will take up his post next year – in June 2011. The appointment follows the retirement of Sir Neil Chalmers.