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School of Law

Professor Lord Hoffmann


Honorary Professor of Intellectual Property Law


Lord Hoffmann joined Queen Mary in June 2009 as Honorary Professor of Intellectual Property Law, following his retirement as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

The last fourteen years of his judicial career were spent as a Law Lord, prior to which he was a member of the Court of Appeal between 1992 and 1995 and a High Court Judge in the Chancery Division between 1985-1992. He remains an active arbitrator and mediator and continues to be a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong.

He attended the University of Cape Town and then Queen's College, Oxford, as a Rhodes scholar and won the Vinerian Scholarship. He was called to the bar by Gray’s Inn in 1964 and became Queen’s Counsel in 1977.

In his judicial career he gave judgments which have shaped modern English law, ranging from the reading of arbitration clauses and patent specifications to the scope of the Convention rights under the Human Rights Act. His unrivalled knowledge and experience of law means that his contribution is felt across the whole of the School of Law.



  • “The universality of human rights” (2009) 125 LQR 416
  • “Patent Construction” (2006) 35 CIPA J 727
  • “Tax Avoidance” (2005) BTR 197
  • “Causation” (2005) 121 LQR 592
  • “Separation of Powers” (2002) 7 JR 137
  • “Bentham and Human Rights” (2001) 54 CLP 61


He is happy to supervise doctoral research in intellectual property.

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