Who? Leticia Jennings, 32, senior associate, dispute resolution, at City firm Bates Wells Braithwaite.
Why is she in the news? She helped preserve the independence of the Warburg Institute, a London-based teaching and research centre specialising in cultural history, art history and the history of ideas.
Jennings acted for the institute’s advisory council in its defence of the University of London’s claim disputing its obligations as trustee to house, fund and maintain the institute.
Mrs Justice Proudman, sitting in the High Court, held that the university is obliged to provide funding for the activities of the institute and is not entitled to charge a proportion of the university’s total estate expenditure to it – which, the judge said, ‘would fly in the face’ of the terms of the trust.
The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Adrian Smith, said: ‘I am delighted that we now have clarification on the main issues raised before the court. The university has always maintained its desire to preserve the vision of Aby Warburg [who began the collection that became the institute].’
Thoughts on the case: ‘I am pleased this judgment clarified the university’s obligations and, importantly, made clear that the university is not entitled to use the name and prestige associated with the institute to obtain funds, and then spend those funds to the university’s general benefit. I hope the university will now concentrate on its duties as trustee so that the institute thrives.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I had always meant to become an English teacher, but my housemate at university suggested I apply to law school instead. I’ve never looked back.’
Career high: ‘Other than this, acting for the claimant in an acrimonious contested probate case, in which we secured an order for our client’s full entitlement under his late mother’s will.’
Career low: ‘Standing ankle deep in debris on a site visit to a client’s recycling plant. It took me days to recover.’