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									                    THE BENTHAM CLUB
                                                                                     September 2005

                         BENTHAM CLUB DRINKS PARTY
  As part of our support for the Faculty of Laws we are once again sponsoring a current legal problems lecture.
  It is the first of the academic session this year.

  The lecture will be held on Thursday 29 September 2005 at 6pm in the Main Lecture Theatre, Bentham

                                            It will be given by
                                      Professor Robert Reiner, LSE

                                             On the topic
                                    `Law and Order: A 20:20 Vision’

  The lecture will analyse recent trends in crime and control in Britain, and a discussion of the implications for
  the future.

  There will be a drinks party after the lecture. Members are most welcome to attend either or both events. It is
  not necessary to book and CPD hours are accredited to the lecture. Information about other lectures in the series
  can be found on our website:

  FACULTY NEWS                                               Company Law and Securities Regulation. For many
                                                             years, he taught large and demanding classes in these
  Ben Pettet in Memoriam                                     subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  The untimely death of our colleague, Ben Pettet, has       His contribution as a teacher cannot be overestimated
  come as a great shock to his colleagues and to his stu-    and his former students are well aware of how much
  dents, present and past. Ben had spent his entire career   he did to educate them for the future and how much
  in higher education at UCL. He began as a lecturer in      he cared about them.
  1978, after qualifying in 1977 for the Bar at Grays Inn,
  where he was the Band scholar, and graduating in 1976      As for his research, the centrepiece of a productive
  with the Andrews medal. In 1990, Ben was promoted          career was the very fine book he wrote on Company
  to Senior Lecturer 1990 and in 2002 became Professor       Law, which recently went to a second edition in his
  of Company and Capital Markets Law.                        sabbatical year. Ben was a scholar and man of integrity
                                                             and a humane and dedicated teacher. We have lost a
  Ben performed effectively and conscientiously a            colleague and a thoroughly decent human being and
  number of administrative functions in the Faculty, the     we are diminished by it.
  most important of these functions being those of Fac-
  ulty Tutor and Graduate Admissions Tutor. He taught        Michael Bridge
  a number of subjects over the years but there is no        Dean, Faculty of Laws
  doubt that his major contribution fell with the field of

              Bentham House Endsleigh Gardens                          London WC1H 0EG
Fond memories of Ben Pettet                             a good sense of humour and often told with some
by Rodney Austin                                        relish the anecdote of unexpectedly encountering
                                                        a male colleague one weekend in the grounds of
I first met Ben in October 1973, when as a young         Blenheim Palace, accompanied by an attractive
lecturer, just starting my second year of teaching      female student, both of whose embarrassment
at UCL, I met my group of personal tutees on the        was the source of considerable amusement among
first day of the new academic year. Ben was one          other Faculty members for some time. Ben always
of that group and even now I remember he was            looked younger than his age, and as a young tutor,
wearing a cream Fairisle jersey, obviously lov-         was frequently mistaken by students as a fellow
ingly hand-knitted, and brown corduroy trousers,        student, so he was often privy to student views
almost a uniform which he wore for most of the          about colleagues, again frequently the source of
next few winter months.                                 entertainment in the Faculty common room.

Ben’s traditional dress epitomised his character, a     Ben’s commitment to the Faculty and its students
bright, committed and serious student who seemed        was exemplified by his taking over the role of Sub-
in many ways much older than his years. He was          Dean and Faculty Tutor following my stint in the
the original young fogey, a grammar school gradu-       same office. As a consequence we often talked
ate embodying all the old-fashioned values, which       about some of the problems we both encountered
those schools imbued in their pupils – discipline,      in that job. He was an outstanding admissions
hard work, respect for others, the desire to serve      tutor and at the same time was completing the
and the ambition to achieve. These same values          writing of his major book on Company law, an
he had also acquired from his family and their          incredible achievement given the onerous admin-
military background.                                    istrative duties his office demanded of him. That
                                                        he later took on also the task of post-graduate
Ben was a pleasure to teach and proved to be one        admissions tutor demonstrated his extraordinary
of the brightest students in his year. I enjoyed hav-   and totally unselfish commitment to the service
ing him in my Constitutional and Administrative         of others. He was an enormously popular teacher
law tutorial in that first year and he was frequently    whose course in Company law was invariably
a challenging student, with a good eye for flaws in      oversubscribed. Students spoke often of his
arguments and the willingness to stand up for his       clarity, his intellectual rigour and above all his
own views. But he also made the class lively and        commitment to their learning.
enjoyable for other students. He was that ideal
student, who raises the aspirations and perform-        Ben was also a man of the utmost integrity who
ance of his fellow students by example.                 had a very direct way of dealing with those
                                                        whose motives were less pure. I well remember
It was a great pleasure for me when Ben chose           his consulting me on how to deal with a trouble-
academia, joining the Faculty after graduating          some diplomatic educational counsellor from a
with the Andrews Prize for the best student in his      foreign country who liked to entertain admission
year and being admitted to the Bar. He quickly          tutors at the better British universities in order to
became a valued colleague who was always will-          persuade them to admit students from his country.
ing to take on extra tasks and contributed hugely       I advised Ben to do as I had done, to refuse the
to the collegial atmosphere of the Faculty. He          counsellor’s blandishments but to invite him to
also joined in the active student social life of the    an official College lunch to advise him of College
Faculty, as was the custom in those days before to-     admission requirements and policies. Ben had a
day’s excessive political correctness. Ben enjoyed      much better approach. He told the diplomatic
counsellor that he would be delighted to accept his    because the weather was hot. The reception was
generous invitation, but that as a consequence, he     again held in the North Cloisters with graduates
would never be able to admit any students from         wearing colour coded year badges. Great excite-
that country because otherwise his integrity would     ment was generated by the many reunions, often
be compromised. Unsurprisingly, the invitation         the first time since graduation. There was a buzz
was withdrawn and never repeated.                      of conversation at the reception which continued
One of Ben’s great loves was sailing and I had         right through the evening. Dinner was held in the
the pleasure of sailing with him on a friend and       Jeremy Bentham Room, the Upper Refectory.
colleague’s boat on the east coast. Like all else in
life, Ben insisted on doing sailing to the very best   Rodney Austin spoke after dinner and reminisced
of his ability, and so he became totally competent     about some of the characters on the staff in the
in boat handling, engines, navigation and every        80s and also talked about some of the lively and
other aspect of sailing. He was delighted when         memorable students of those years.
he was able to get his own boat on the south coast
and from time to time we shared anecdotes about        FORTHCOMING EVENTS
sailing adventures.
                                                       Young members’ party
My sailing colleague and I were, by some strange       Anastasia Karseras who is on the Bentham Club
coincidence, discussing Ben shortly before we          committee is organising a young members’ party
learnt of his sad and tragic death, and we both        in the autumn. Please contact her for details if
agreed that he was one of the good guys, a teacher     you are interested.
who cared about his students, his colleagues and       Email
his Faculty. An intensely private man, he was
immensely proud of his family but did not often        Denys Holland dinner
share with others his delight at their achievements.   This will be held on Thursday 27 October 2005
Ben was, above all, a man of absolute integrity,       in the Old Refectory UCL. The speaker will be
incapable of anything but the honest truth in his      Alexander Duma. If you are interested please
dealings with others. He was, we concluded, “a         contact Ashley Hill, 0208 878 2578.
good soldier and a straight arrow”. That seems to
me to be a very apt epitaph. I shall miss Ben and      Bentham Club Dinner 2006
our lives will be less full without him.               The Presidential Address and Dinner will be held
                                                       on Wednesday 22 March 2006.

MEMORIAL SERVICE                                       Our President for 2006 is the Rt Hon Lord Justice
A memorial service will be held on 3 October at        Laws. Please make a note of the date.
11.30am in the St Pancras Parish Church, Euston
Road London WC1


Dinner for 1980-1989 Graduates
There were fewer graduates at the dinner held in
June but the atmosphere generated by those who
did attend was warmer than ever and not just
A plea to those of you who live outside the UK, we
are trying to send the Bentham Club newsletters
by email overseas in order to save the high cost
of postage. The Bentham Club has to pay all the
costs of printing and postage. If you received this
newsletter by post and you have an email address
please send an email to Deborah Burns on

Thank you for your help.

A plea for help in finding contact details for the
following members. Many of these members are
paying but the post gets returned. If any of you
can help please do contact Deborah Burns in the


1958             Mr R Hayden
1960             Mr K K Chu
1982             Miss C M B O’Donnell
1983             Mr A Ho
1993             Mr J Hemming
1993             Mr Owain D Jones
1998 LLM         Ms E A Bower


1980             Ms Elizabeth J Parsons
1981             Miss J S Sparkes
1986             Miss K S Linney
1987             Miss Dominique S Garland
1987             Mr Richard Job
1988             Ms R J Lewis
1989             Mr M D Puhar
1990             Mr C J Tomlinson
1991             Mr Everton L Robertson
1991             Ms G Barker
1992             Mr A Odubeko
1994             Marcus Dougherty
1995             Mr R R Varoujian
1996             Mr J R E Eshkeri                     For information on the activities of The Bentham
1979             Mr R Brown                           Club please contact: Deborah Burns,
1999 LLM         Mr D P Dorai Raj
                                                      on      tel: 020 7679 1428
2001             Miss Rochelle Harris                 or      email:

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