UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws pays tribute to Professor Norman Palmer QC CBE

17 November 2016

UCL Faculty of Laws is saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Norman Palmer QC, former Chair in Commercial Law at University College London, who died on 3rd October 2016, aged 68


Remembering Norman, Roger Halson, Professor of Contract and Commercial Law at the University of Leeds, said:

‘Norman Palmer was an eminent academic lawyer who made his reputation with the definitive work Palmer on Bailment. This interest was developed into a more general expertise in the law of cultural property in which area Norman advised governments, museums and collectors, most publicly as part of a team including Amal Clooney that met with the Greek Government in 2014 concerning the Elgin Marbles. In the tabloid pictures at that time Norman was always seen in the background saying thank you to the taxi driver. Norman did much public work including acting as an expert advisor to the Spoliation Advisory Panel and chairing the Treasure Valuation Committee. In 2010 Norman was appointed as an honorary Queen’s Counsel for his academic and public work. In 2006 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for ‘services to art and to law.

At UCL Norman will be remembered also as a very popular lecturer and raconteur who enlivened teaching with his easy wit. Few students will ever forget the de minimis rule after Norman illustrated it with the limerick:

There was a law student name of Rex

Who had incredibly small organs of sex

When charged with exposure

He replied with composure

De Minimis non curat lex’