Bentham House, the historic home of UCL Laws, is an inspiring environment to develop our world-leading research, teaching and social enterprise.
UCL Laws is based in Bentham House, located in the heart of London - a global legal capital. In March 2018, UCL Laws reopened the doors to our historic home of Bentham House following a major three-year redevelopment project, developing and enhancing our range of facilities ideal for teaching, learning, research and our varied programme of events.
Facilities at Bentham House
- Three state-of-the-art lecture theatres, including the new Gideon Schreier Lecture Theatre
- 12 tutorial rooms and seven seminar rooms
- A specialist study suite for graduate research students
- A large reception area, linking directly to a bright and spacious social hub and cafe
- Better connections between the buildings on all upper floors
- Increased accessibility for wheelchair users
- Cutting-edge teaching and event spaces with greater capacity
- New student and staff common rooms, including the Cissy Chu Common Room
- The Moot Court - a mock courtroom where students can take part in mooting competitions and develop their skills
- New offices, meeting spaces and a computer cluster room
Home to the UCL Laws community
Today, our Faculty has 109 members of staff and over 1000 students. Alongside lectures and tutorials, we host a range of specialist research and pro bono initiatives at Bentham House, including the Bentham Project, the UCL Centre for Access to Justice, as well as numerous research centres, and the UK’s only Notarial Practice Course. We also welcome legal professionals and members of the public to our events, which cover the full gamut of legal and regulatory issues and thinking.
Since its reopening, Bentham House has played host to a range high-profile events - such as Karon Monaghan QC in conversation with Zelda Perkins; and the annual student Prizewinners Ceremony. The UCL Law Society also organises a range of networking, careers and social events in Bentham House, and won Best Society for First-Year Students at the LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards in March 2019.
During the Christmas holidays in 1965, the Faculty of Laws moved into Bentham House. As one of the oldest, as well as the largest, faculties at UCL, the new building provided our 35 members of staff and almost 500 students with valuable extra space.
35 years later, we were bursting at the seams of Bentham House, and in 2001 the Faculty took advantage of the opportunity to purchase neighbouring building, Hillel House. After renovations to the building’s upper floors, the Gideon Schreier Wing was completed in October 2001, and in 2011, following extensive works to drain the River Fleet’s waters from what is now the Denys Holland Lecture Theatre, the ground and basement floors were opened.
In response to an ageing building, modern methods of learning, and a growing student and faculty body, the Faculty had a critical need for more and better quality space for the UCL Laws community. In October 2014, UCL received planning approval and Listed Building Consent for a £18.5m redevelopment project from architects Levitt Bernstein to extend and enhance the building.
The building was re-planned to create additional space, improving accessibility and integrating all existing parts of the Faculty, while maintaining and protecting our much-loved home for the future. The new Bentham House will us see us through the next stage of the Faculty and UCL’s strategy to 2034 and beyond in grand style.
The project to develop Bentham House has created extra space for teaching, support services, and new social and common areas. Bentham House has also incorporated green features including bio-diverse roofs with photovoltaic arrays, and in support of UCL’s sustainability agenda, the new building has achieved an ‘Excellent’ certification under BREEAM.
These crucial developments would not have been possible without the generosity and continuing support of our alumni, donors and sponsors, and we owe particular thanks to the late Sir Bernard Schreier for the Gideon Schreier Wing, to Vincent Cheung (LLB 1965) for the Denys Holland Lecture Theatre, and to Winston Chu (LLB, 1960) for the Cissy Chu Common room.