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10 November 2022

Alumnus gives King's largest US donation to drive forward digital law research

A generous gift from a US-based alumnus will create the Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law.

An exterior shot of Somerset House East Wing - an old, white stone building - with a statue in the foreground

The donation to permanently endow this role will spearhead work that the faculty is already leading in this globally relevant and rapidly evolving area of practice.

Taming tech through law

In a world where technology changes at lightning pace and machines can often outperform humans, the frameworks and practices of law must keep pace to ensure digital innovation leads to true benefits for society.

Digital law aims to ethically regulate the world’s technologies, touching every aspect of our lives from banking and commerce to social connection and healthcare. But it also aims to harness the power of digital tools such as AI and machine learning to benefit regulators, policy makers, judges and lawyers in ways that will maximise efficiency and impact.

The new Chair will drive forward an expanded programme of research and education at King’s, delivering actionable global insights and building future generations of law practitioners with expertise in cyber security, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, criminal justice, biotechnology, online consumer law and more.

This is one of the largest, most international and highly regarded law schools in the world. We are perfectly placed to play a central role in shaping the future of legal practice in this age of massive technological disruption. The Jeff Price Chair in Digital Law will be critical to this journey, leading the evolution of a community of scholars driving extraordinary changes in the way we exploit, regulate and understand digital innovations in the context of the law. This is the critical area of legal study for King’s students and we are pleased to be able to expand our programmes thanks to this hugely generous donation.

Professor Dan Hunter, Executive Dean, The Dickson Poon School of Law

Giving back in honour of an inspiring educator

The gift is donated generously by alumnus Michael Abbott FKC and his family. The chair is named in honour of Jeff Price, a former staff member who passed away in 2001. Jeff joined King’s as a lecturer in law in 1978 and was promoted in 1989 to Senior Lecturer in Taxation. He was Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Laws from 1987–1989 and Associate Head for Admissions, Student Affairs and Staff Development in the School from 1989–1997. It was during his time as Associate Head that he crossed paths with then-student applicant, Michael Abbott. Jeff, along with then-Dean Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, were so impressed by Michael that despite his poor A Level grades and an unorthodox route to joining King’s as a mature student, they admitted him.

Michael Abbott FKC
Michael Abbott FKC

King’s unlocked my potential, helping me develop the skills to build my career. Recognising Jeff Price in this way is important to me – the positive impact of an inspiring teacher and mentor lasts a lifetime. My family and I are delighted to give back to support such an impactful area of research in honour of Jeff.

Michael Abbott

After graduating from King’s, Michael went on to work for an investment bank, developing a successful career in finance. Today he is the Executive Chairman of Columbia Care, one of the largest cannabis products and services companies worldwide.

For almost 200 years, contributing to society through our knowledge has been at the heart of our core mission at King’s. We inspire and support our students, staff and alumni to rise to the challenge of solving complex global challenges. The Jeff Price Chair will contribute significantly to our mission and will lead a new era of digital law research and teaching at King’s. I am delighted that Michael has chosen to honour his teacher and mentor in this way, underlining the power of education for all of us.

Professor Shitij Kapur, Principal & President of King’s College London

In this story

Dan Hunter

Executive Dean, The Dickson Poon School of Law

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London