Richard Sykes QC, a former Head of Erskine Chambers, was the leading company lawyer of his generation.

Having studied law at Pembroke College, Cambridge in the 1950s, he established a successful practice at Erskine, being appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1981 and Head of Chambers in 1991. His contribution to the reform of company law as a member for over twenty years of the Law Society Company Law Committee and as an influential member of the Company Law Steering Group for the Review of Company Law established by the DTI in 1998 was immense.

The Richard Sykes QC Studentship in Corporate Law (to be held at Pembroke College, Cambridge) has been established by his family in his memory. It will provide full fees and maintenance for a student undertaking the Masters Degree in Corporate Law (MCL) at the University of Cambridge. The aim of the studentship is to offer a student from a financially disadvantaged background who would not otherwise be able to afford it the opportunity to undertake the MCL at Cambridge.

The studentship will also include the opportunity to participate in a short period of work experience at Erskine Chambers. Michael Todd QC, current Head of Erskine Chambers said “We are delighted to support the Studentship, which has the potential to be a life-changing experience for such a student starting out in a corporate law career, whether as a barrister, solicitor or in another role ”.

For more details about the studentship and an application form, please visit the MCL page of the Pembroke College website at