Prestigious royal appointment for University of Nottingham law professor

 Sue Arrowsmith
11 Jan 2019 16:07:52.947

PA 07/18

Professor Sue Arrowsmith from the School of Law at the University of Nottingham has been appointed as an honorary QC (Queen’s Counsel) by Her Majesty the Queen.

These exceptional appointments are made to honour individuals who have made a “major contribution” to the law of England and Wales outside of practice in the courts.

Professor Arrowsmith, who is Director of the Public Procurement Research Group at the University, is one of just six individuals, and the only woman, to receive this recognition this year.

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She is the second academic to receive the title of QC while working in the School of Law at Nottingham, the other being the late Professor Sir J.C Smith.

Professor Sue Arrowsmith said: “I am delighted to receive this honour. I have always aimed at achieving a positive practical impact on legal development with my writing and research. This award is important recognition of that dimension of my work”.

Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit, Head of the School of Law at the University, said: “This award to Professor Arrowsmith reflects her great impact on the development of the law. She is acknowledged not only in the United Kingdom but also worldwide as the leading scholar in public procurement law. The School of Law is proud of this further recognition of her achievements.”

Speaking about the appointments, Lord Chancellor David Gauke said: “The award of the title of Queen’s Counsel is recognition of depth of expertise and eminence in their fields. It is this expertise that gives the English legal system its world-leading reputation.”

The awards of the status of Queen’s Counsel honoris causa will be conferred by by the Lord Chancellor at Westminster Hall on March 11, 2019, alongside the regular Queen’s Counsel awards made to practising advocates each year.

Professor Arrowsmith works on regulatory issues in the field of public procurement – that is, the purchase of goods and services for the public sector, ranging from pens and paper clips to missile systems, major infrastructure and complex services. She has been a pioneer in the field in the UK, EU and globally, and instrumental in the recognition of this area as distinct subject of legal study.

Her leading texts were the first to examine the topic in a rigorous way from a domestic, comparative and global perspective, not only establishing the theoretical foundations and frameworks for analysis but using them to offer solutions to complex legal problems. Her publications are cited in courts around the world and her major treatise, the Law of Public and Utilities Procurement, is formally recognised as having persuasive status in the UK courts. She founded the Public Procurement Law Review in 1992 and has remained General Editor since that time.

As well as being Director of the Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham, the pre-eminent European centre for public procurement research and teaching, where she introduced the innovative part time, distance-learning postgraduate programme in procurement law and policy for professionals, she has been instrumental in developing procurement research and teaching in universities round the world. In particular, as project leader of the EU’s Asia Link partnership on procurement from 2008-2011 and of two British Academy funded partnerships with Stellenbosch University in South Africa she has helped set up many teaching and research centres and programmes in Europe, Asia and Africa.

She has also played a major role in law reform at a global level, including as a member (for more than 20 years) the European Commission’s independent Advisory Committee on public procurement; as author of the study that led to the reform of the UNCITRAL Model Law on procurement in 2011 (and a member of the UNCITRAL Expert Committee during the reform process) and as a member the World Bank Advisory Group. She was also recently was appointed as Expert to the Task Force on procurement of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport. She is also author of the 2017 report for the European parliament on Brexit and public procurement.

In 2007 she was awarded the Swinbank Medal by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply for thought innovation in procurement, the first lawyer and first woman ever to receive this award.

For further information visit the website.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the  2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.



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More information is available from Professor Sue Arrowsmith from the School of Law at the University of Nottingham, by email at

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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