Swansea University appoints top barrister to head College of Law

Swansea University has appointed one of the UK’s leading lawyers to head up its College of Law and Criminology

Elwen Evans QC has appeared in numerous high profile case: she led the prosecution in the April Jones murder case and the defence team in the Gleision mine disaster case. She is also a Crown Court Recorder (a part-time judge) and has been Head of a highly-regarded Barristers’ Chambers for many years.

Professor Evans QC, who is originally from Denbighshire, North Wales, takes up her new role at the University on August 1st and is looking forward to the challenge of helping to shape the future of the Welsh legal landscape and beyond.

Elwen Evans

'Golden opportunity'

She said: "I believe that there is a golden opportunity for the College to play a significant role in a national and global context and I am delighted to lead a team that will influence the next generation of law graduates and lawyers.

"We will build on the existing success of the College and the research excellence of the University. I want the College to be a provider of the highest quality teaching with an emphasis not only on research but also on the delivery of effective academic and practical training, skills and experience.

"It is an exciting move for the University to appoint a practitioner as Head of College. It shows the University's commitment to providing a modern, relevant and dynamic law school which helps set the agenda in a rapidly changing legal world. It also  emphasises the importance of close links between students and practitioners: the kind of links that can make a real difference to the quality of students' experience and to their employment prospects."

Professor Evans QC will continue to sit as a Recorder and  be available to accept instructions in some legal work but says that her new appointment is an exciting  opportunity to undertake a broader role: "I believe that as Head of College I can make a difference on a wider canvas than is possible on a case-by-case basis.

"We are facing key decisions in the legal world. These include the scope of legal education and scholarship, the content of legal teaching and research, the way future lawyers and other professionals qualify, the re-shaping of the legal sector nationally and globally, the specific demands of Wales' evolving law making jurisdiction and the impact of digital communications on legal services. This is all in addition to the ever changing  body of law and laws at every level of governance. It is important that we play our  part in these discussions. It is vital that we ensure that our students are fully equipped to deal with their future careers - and that they enjoy the experience of getting there."

'Outstanding contribution'

Professor Iwan Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and holder of the Hodge Chair in Law at Swansea University, welcomed the appointment of Professor Evans: “We are delighted to welcome Elwen as the incoming Head of our College of Law. Her expertise and insights into the development of Law both as an academic and also as an applied discipline will make an outstanding contribution to the future development of Law and Criminology in Swansea. Her knowledge and experience will be invaluable in taking the College of Law to greater heights.”