Cambridge college names first female head in its 700-year history, and she’s an international and company law lecturer

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She did her training contract at Clifford Chance

Dr Pippa Rogerson – image via Twitter (@CaiusCollege)

A top University of Cambridge college has announced its first ever female head, and she’s a law lecturer who used to work at Clifford Chance.

Dr Pippa Rogerson will be the 43rd person and the first woman to hold the acclaimed ‘master’ title in Gonville and Caius College’s 669-year history. The college’s famous alumni include Stephen Hawking and Jimmy Carr — and of course law student turned Maitland Chambers pupil Ted Loveday, who led Cambridge to victory in 2015’s University Challenge final.

Ted Loveday pictured with Legal Cheek’s Katie King

Gonville and Caius students will recognise their new head from private international law and company law lectures, and she is the college’s director of studies for law too. She believes she has about 500 past law students around the world — including many working in London.

Before working at Cambridge, Rogerson completed a training contract at Coward Chance, a forerunner to magic circle giant Clifford Chance, in the 1980s. Reflecting on this time in her life, she told us:

I’d hope the City is now a very different world to then, just running up to ‘Big Bang’. Coward Chance had an excellent record on appointing women partners for the time and was a meritocratic firm. Nevertheless, the City was a hard place to be a woman. The experience instilled in me a certain tenacity and I learned to work very long hours.

Aside from her outstanding academic achievements, she has raised five daughters as a single mother and widow.

Rogerson will take up her new post in 2018 — when chemist Sir Alan Fersht retires — and will then be one of 11 females heading up Cambridge colleges. There are 20 colleges run by men, so the new appointment means women will make up a third of masters. At Oxford, there are 11 female masters out of 38 colleges.

Legal Cheek has been told the law department is “very pleased” about Rogerson’s appointment, and so are the students. Final year lawyer Hephzibah Adeosun was among many students to praise Rogerson. She said:

She’s a legend. Very pleased for her and I know she’ll do an excellent job.

Rogerson is not the first Clifford Chance alumnus to have a glittering career at Cambridge. Both Professor Richard Fentiman — head of the faculty of law — and company and securities law expert Professor Eilis Ferran practised at the firm.

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Jones Day Partner

The City is the same. I’m always running up to a Big Bang, as far as my trainee is concerned anyway.



Coward Chance?



One of two firms that merged to form Clifford Chance in the late 1980s



Yay, one Oxbridge college has its first female master.

And in other news:

21 other college masters are female.

The Prime Minister is female.

The First Minister of Scotland is female.

The monarch is female.

The Chancellor of Germany – and de facto leader of Europe – is female.

If there really is a patriarchy designed to keep women from the top positions, then it’s doing a terrible job…



Yet Parliament is ~70% male…


Not Amused

And what percentage of bin men are women?

It seems to me that the elementcof choice is simply ignored. Being an MP is a rubbish job.



What percentage of male refuse collectors are female?

Hmm, I think I’m going to have to go with 0% on that one.

Was that the right answer?



Christ, you are so insecure, aren’t you?



“A top University of Cambridge college”

I know what you’re doing. You’re trolling us.



KK and TL would make a good couple.


Tom C

They wouldn’t. *sobs*



I’ve noticed something about the jobs where the most fanfare is made about appointing women in the top positions. Banking, law, politics… They all pay top lolly!

Nobody is agitating for more female garbage collectors, more female bouncers, more female construction labourers…



Of course, feminists love to cherry pick on what they want equality in.


all men on legal cheek comments section

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah i hate it when women threaten my position



Well done to this woman, and it’s great that things are becoming more equal in the way. This is an example of progress, not the opposite, so I’m not sure why people are complaining.

Regarding more female “bin men” (!), construction workers and so on – I don’t think that anyone would be against this, nor more male nursery and care workers. I think you’ll find that lots of vocational course providers and professional organisations are trying hard to get young men and women to consider options that are stereotypically connected with the opposite gender. (And the feminazis are indeed exercised about this issue because stereotypically male jobs like bricklaying tend to pay more than stereotypically female jobs like care work.)


Shirley June Watkins

Typical racist appointment. More minorities and LGBTIQ and less privileged white wankers please.


Charlotte Proudman

Correct. Two wrongs don’t make a right; minorities losing out at the expense of gender equality is a grave misjustice.


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