Former colleagues in the Law School and the wider University were saddened to learn of the death of Ian Grigg-Spall on Saturday 16 June 2018, one day short of his 75th birthday.
Ian was one of the first lecturers in law at the University, joining what was then the Board of Studies in Law in 1969. He was a mainstay and influential member of what became the Law School, until his eventual retirement in 2007. In that time he played a major role in the development of the distinctive critical orientation of the Law School at Kent, especially in relation to Marxist approaches to law. He also developed radically new approaches to teaching and research in Company Law, working closely with Professor Paddy Ireland, with whom he also edited the Critical Lawyers Handbook.
Ian was brought up in pre-independence Kenya, graduated with degrees from Cambridge and Harvard, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and qualified as a solicitor with a city firm before joining Kent. He made frequent trips to Africa throughout his life, including a spell as a visiting academic at the University of Dar es Salaam. In later years at the Law School he focussed on promoting recruitment and very successfully expanded the School’s number of overseas students. This took him on many international trips to Africa and further afield, where he became a well-known figure on the international university recruitment circuit.
Ian had an intensely political sense of the role of law and legal education, and is remembered by students as an inspiring and engaging teacher. He was instrumental in founding and steering the Critical Lawyers Group at Kent for students, which eventually became a national organisation holding regular conferences with major figures from the legal profession and academia. He was deeply committed to the transformative power of legal education and was one of a group of colleagues who shaped the Law School in a way which enabled it to become arguably the leading critical law school in the country.
John Wightman, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences
The funeral will be at Barham at 11.20 on Wednesday 4 July, followed by a wake at Boughton Golf Club.