Helen Mountfield QC elected as Principal of Mansfield College Oxford


Matrix is delighted to announce that Helen Mountfield QC has been elected as Principal of Mansfield College Oxford and will succeed Baroness Helena Kennedy QC from 1 September 2018.

Helen is a founder member of Matrix Chambers, a mediator, recorder and deputy High Court judge.   She is a prominent specialist in administrative, human rights and education law, and has appeared frequently in the Supreme Court. Helen was leading advocate for the “People’s Challenge” group in the litigation brought in the Supreme Court by Gina Miller and others, which successfully challenged the Prime Minister’s power to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union without first obtaining statutory authority from Parliament.

Mansfield College was founded to allow non-conformists to study at Oxford in the nineteenth century, and is Oxford’s leading College for outreach and access. (This year, 96% of its offers of UK undergraduate places were awarded, on merit, to applicants from the state sector). It is also the home to the new Bonavero Human Rights Institute, whose inaugural director is Professor Catherine O’Regan, a former Justice of the South African Constitutional Court.

Helen Mountfield QC 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, and to retain my links to Matrix, of which I am so proud. 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. 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.

It is a great honour to take over from Helena Kennedy, who has brought such energy to the College, and to support the work of the Bonavero Human Rights Institute, in the beautiful new Hands Building in the College grounds. I am greatly looking forward to joining the College in September, to meeting its members past and present, and to contributing to its future.”

Hugh Southey QC, Chair of the Management Committee at Matrix, said:

“We are delighted that Helen has been appointed Principal of Mansfield College. This will further strengthen our unique ties with academia. It is particularly pleasing that Helen is joining Mansfield College, an institution that shares many of Matrix’s values.”

Please click here to view the statement by Mansfield College Oxford.