Helen Mountfield QC has been elected Principal of Mansfield College, and will take over from Baroness Helena Kennedy QC on September 1st 2018.
Mountfield is an experienced and award-winning barrister specialising in human rights, administrative, and education law, and a founding member of Matrix Chambers.
She is a qualified mediator, currently sits as a civil and criminal recorder and a deputy High Court judge, and has appeared frequently in the Supreme Court. She was a leading sponsor of the “People’s Challenge” group, which in a litigation in the Supreme Court prevented the Prime Minister from triggering Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union without first obtaining statutory authority from Parliament.
She said: “I am delighted to take up an exciting new role which enables me to combine my interests in law and human rights with my life-long interest in access to education … I am excited by the friendly, supportive and inclusive atmosphere; the dedication of the Fellows to high-level teaching, research and pastoral relationships; and the evident enthusiasm of the students for their College and the opportunities it offers them for personal and intellectual growth.”
Mountfield, who is state-educated, added: “I am impressed by the spirit of Mansfield College: founded to broaden access to Oxford in the nineteenth century, it is now visibly and successfully reinventing itself to meet the challenges of the twenty-first.” More than 90% of students at Mansfield College are from state schools.
The outgoing Principal, Baroness Helena Kennedy, said: “I am utterly thrilled that such a remarkable woman is coming to lead Mansfield in its next exciting period. Helen Mountfield is a brilliant lawyer, who has had a stellar career at the Bar … For me, it is time to return to full-time law, confident that Mansfield is in the best of hands.”
Mountfield was educated at Crown Woods Comprehensive Schools and Magdalen College, Oxford, where she obtained a first class degree in Modern History. She was called to the bar in 1991, and took silk in 2010.