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Thursday, 5 September 2019

Professor Bill CornishThe Squire Law Library and the Faculty of Law are pleased to announce that an entry for William Rodolph Cornish, Emeritus Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law, has been added to the Eminent Scholars Archive.

Bill Cornish was born in Adelaide in 1937, where he attended school and studied for his LLB at the University of Adelaide. He did his BCL studies at Wadham College Oxford in the early 60s, before taking an Assistant Lectureship at the London School of Economics and being called to the Bar (Grays Inn) during 1962-68. For a short period he was a Reader at Queen Mary College before returning to LSE on being awarded his first chair (Professor of English Law), where he stayed for two decades (1970-90).

This highly successful period saw Bill Cornish establish himself as a leading figure in Intellectual Property law and as a legal historian with the publication of two seminal volumes (1981 and 1989, respectively). In 1990 he became the inaugural Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Cambridge, a post in which he remained until his retirement in 2004.

In the ESA conversations, Bill Cornish provides a fascinating account of his early sojourns to postwar UK and Europe, and later insights into the development of IP law in Europe through his close association with the Max Planck Institute in Munich, where he first became a Visiting Researcher in 1978.

He also talks about the early days of the Centre for European Legal Studies (CELS) at Cambridge, of which he was Director from 1990-95, and his Presidency of Magdalene College (1998-2001).

(Professor Cornish was originally interviewed in January-May 2015 in the Squire Law Library but for technical reasons publication has been delayed.)