News archive 2002
Herbert Smith donation to King’s new library11 Dec 2001, PR 36/01
The international law firm Herbert Smith has made a significant donation to King’s College London. The money will be used to create the Herbert Smith Reading Room within the law wing of the College’s magnificent new library in Chancery Lane.
Herbert Smith has a longstanding relationship with King’s: most recently the firm funded the Herbert Smith Chair in European Law held by Professor Piet Eeckout.
The Chancery Lane Library of King’s College London, formerly the Public Record Office, is one of the most outstanding examples of neo-Gothic architecture in the country. It is currently undergoing a £25 million, two-year transformation into a modern library and information centre. With the capacity to house 1.4 million volumes it is believed to be the largest new university library project in Britain since the Second World War.
Tim Parkes, Executive Partner of Herbert Smith said: “ We are delighted to support King’s College London through the creation of the Herbert Smith Reading Room. As a firm we are committed to supporting legal education and are pleased to be able to achieve this with King’s.”
Professor Arthur Lucas, Principal of King’s College London, acknowledging the donation, said: “King’s is very grateful to Herbert Smith for their generosity in making the provision of this room possible. The Herbert Smith Reading Room will provide an enhanced study environment for students in our School of Law.”
Notes to editors
King's College London
King’s is one of the two oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with some 12,200 undergraduate students and over 4,500 postgraduates in ten schools of study. The College is among the country's top four higher education institutions for the number of highest-rated subject-areas for research quality. It is in the top group of five universities for research earnings and has an annual turnover of £285 million and research income from grants and contracts in excess of £80 million (1999-2000).
School of Law
The School of Law at King’s College London is the biggest in London and widely regarded as the leading law school in the capital. It has one of the UK’s most distinguished research (a 5 rating in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise) and teaching (an Excellent score) reputations.
Herbert Smith is an international broad-based law firm with offices in Europe and Asia. With some 188 partners and a total staff of more than 1,800, the firm advises its clients on corporate, finance and dispute resolution matters and offers a range of specialist services. Herbert Smith has a strategic alliance with leading German law firm Gleiss Lutz.
Chancery Lane Library
The building, designed by Sir James Pennethorne, originally opened in 1856 as ‘the strong-box of the Empire’ and was used to store the nation’s records. The building contains the former Rolls Chapel (which will be known as the Weston Room following a generous donation from the Weston Foundation) with its exquisite stained glass windows and a huge floor mosaic, discovered during the King’s refurbishment, as well as important Renaissance terracotta figures, including one by Torrigiano, currently on display at Tate Britain.
There are over 18,000 square metres of space in the building, with the capacity to house 1.4 million volumes, as well as the College’s Special Collection and Rare Books, most of which are pre-1800. The Library contains the books and journals of four of the College’s ten schools - Humanities, Law, Physical Sciences & Engineering and Social Science & Public Policy.
The refurbishment of the Library (by architects Gaunt Francis Associates and contractors Wallis Ltd) is a major transformation of a vast Victorian building into a modern library and information services centre. More than 48km of heavy slate shelving was removed during building work, and 1,250 networked reader places were installed, without major structural alterations. The Library will be officially opened in 2002.
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