14 July 2008
This week Sir Bernard Rix, Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal, has been honoured by Queen Mary for his contribution to the College as Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Centre for Commercial Law Studies.
Professor Reed says: "Like all the best judges Sir Bernard wears his learning lightly. In a presentation last year to the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs he modestly disclaimed any specialist knowledge of European Community law. Honesty compelled him to add that he did have an understanding of the Brussels and Lugano Conventions and the Judgments Regulation, though without mentioning that these are matters which continue to puzzle the finest academic and practising authors."
Sir Bernard was born in 1944 and educated at St Paul's School and then at New College, Oxford, of which he is an honorary fellow. He then went to Harvard Law School as a Kennedy Scholar and was awarded his LLM in 1969. He practiced at the Bar, specialising in commercial and arbitration law, until he was appointed to the Bench in 1993. He became a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal in 2000. Sir Bernard has delivered judgments in a number of high profile cases, not least in the 2007 copyright litigation over the author Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
Sir Bernard's interests extend far beyond the legal domain. He is or has been a member of various boards or committees, acting as a director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a trustee of Bar Ilan University, president of the Harvard Law School Association of the UK, a trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, vice-chairman of the British Insurance Law Association and a patron of the Wiener Library.