In September 2018, Helen Mountfield joined Mansfield College to become the third female Head of House in a row. Helen is an experienced and award-winning barrister, with over 26 years of expertise in constitutional law, human rights and equality law, including particular experience of the higher education sector. She has appeared in many cases in the Supreme Court, European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights, and recently featured on the ‘First Hundred Years’ website, which celebrates the history of women in law. Helen is a founder member of Matrix Chambers, an accredited mediator, a Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn, a Recorder and a deputy High Court Judge.
Helen also plays an active role in public policy. She was co-chair, with Tom Watson MP, of the Independent Commission on the Future of Work in the Digital Economy; a member of the Royal Society of Arts’ Commission on Drugs Policy; and part of the Disability Rights Commission’s review of barriers to access to the professions. She is a trustee of the Institute for the Future of Work, the Equal Rights Trust and the National Campaign for the Arts, and has been a school governor.
Helen went to Crown Woods School in south-east London (which, by coincidence, is one of Mansfield’s partner schools). From there she read Modern History at Magdalen College Oxford, where she obtained a first-class degree, directed plays and was one of the first ‘Target Schools’ officers.
She is married to Dr Damian Tambini, a political scientist at the London School of Economics, and they have three school-age daughters.