New Principal of Mansfield elected

News

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.