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Legendary advocate Michael Beloff QC is to receive an honorary degree from De Montfort University in Leicester.

The Honourable Michael Beloff QC, whose work as ethics commissioner helped secure the London 2012 Olympics, is to be made an Honorary Doctor of Laws during a ceremony on Wednesday 21 July 2010.

Mr Beloff said: “It is highly unusual for a practising barrister to receive an honorary degree and so I am particularly proud that an outstanding university with its impressive commitment to the study of law has chosen to honour me and, by implication, my profession, in this way.'

As ethics commissioner for the London 2012 Olympic bid, Mr Beloff made certain the city’s entry stuck to the strict rules set out by the sport’s governing body.

London was named as the venue for the 2012 Olympics, and Sebastian Coe asked Mr Beloff  if he would “stay on board”.

Now he is waiting to hear if he will be made an arbitrator at London 2012. If appointed it will be an unprecedented fifth Olympic Games in a row in which he will have held the title.

As Mr Beloff puts it, “I am the Matthew Pinsent of arbitrators, the only lawyer in the world to have done the job for four Olympics running. I could now aspire to become the Steve Redgrave.”

Since graduating from Oxford University, the achievements of the Honourable Michael J Beloff QC have been consistently outstanding.

He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1967, became a Queen’s Counsel in 1981, a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1984-95, a Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn in 1988, a Deputy High Court Judge from 1989 to 96, Senior Ordinary Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey from 2005,a Judge of the General Regulatory Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal from 2009 and a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport from 1996.

During that time he has not only been arbitrator for four Olympic Games, but also at three Commonwealth Games and sat on the arbitration panel for the UEFA Champions League in 2004 and the FIFA World Cup in 2006. He has been Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct Commission from 2002 and was on the main dispute resolution panel for the Cricket World Cup 2007 and the 20 Twenty cricket World Cup of 2009. He is a Steward of the Royal Automobile club

More than 420 of the cases in which he was counsel have been reported in various Law Reports. He has appeared more than 45 times in the House of Lords, 12 times in the Privy Council, ten times in the European Court of Justice and eight times in the European Court of Human Rights as well as in ten other Commonwealth jurisdictions throughout the world. He already has five cases pending in the new Supreme Court

His clients have included various departments of State, foreign governments, major national and international corporations, public authorities, sports bodies, trade unions, pressure groups and prominent politicians, writers and sportsmen.

He was one of six barristers to appear in the TIME magazine list of the 100 most influential lawyers in Great Britain and was named as one of the top ten barristers of the decade by Legal Business. He won the Women’s Defence League award for his contribution to women’s rights law and a lifetime achievement award at the Chambers Directory Annual Awards in 2010.

He was President of Trinity College, Oxford from 1996-2006 and Treasurer of Grays Inn in 2008.

He has been a prolific writer and lecturer here and abroad in Europe, America, Asia and Australasia.

Chambers UK 2010 perhaps best explains how highly regarded Mr Beloff is:

It refers to his “effortless advocacy beautifully delivered”; says how “in terms of being a sheer joy to listen to, he is out on his own” and adds that he “beats up the opposition with charm and style”.

Mr Beloff, nicknamed “the man with two brains” is also, according to Chambers, “a legendary advocate”.

Posted on Thursday 8th July 2010

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