Obituary - John Adams, 1939-2012

By Reisz, Matthew | Times Higher Education, June 21, 2012 | Go to article overview

Obituary - John Adams, 1939-2012


Reisz, Matthew, Times Higher Education


An "affable and amusing" scholar whose expertise ranged from 18th- century legal treatises to the latest developments in intellectual property law has died.

John Adams was born on 24 December 1939, grew up in the North East of England and took a law degree at what is now Newcastle University.

After qualifying as a solicitor, he worked in private practice from 1965 to 1971 before deciding to make a sideways shift into the academy.

Although he was called to the Bar in 1984 and eventually worked for Hogarth Chambers, his most important contribution was as a teacher and scholar of exceptionally broad interests.

Professor Adams' academic career was largely divided between two institutions. He was employed at the University of Sheffield as a lecturer in law from 1971 to 1979 and as professor of intellectual property from 1994, gaining emeritus status on retirement in 2005.

The intervening period was spent at the University of Kent, first as a senior lecturer in law (1979-87) and then as professor of commercial law (1987-94).

He also had shorter-term positions at the University of Maryland, the National Law Center in Washington DC and Universite Paris X Nanterre. Even after formal retirement he continued as an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame's London base.

A leading expert on intellectual property, Professor Adams played an important role in developing the University of Sheffield's holdings in this area and in establishing Intellectual Property Quarterly. …

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