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Honorary graduates 2022

Patrick Swaffer (DLitt)

Tuesday 21 June 2022 3:00pm

Patrick was born and brought up in London and continues to live there. In September 1970 he arrived at the University of Exeter and spent a pleasant three years studying intermittently for a law degree, graduating in 1973.

On graduation he joined the law firm Goodman Derrick LLP which acted for many politicians, arts organisations and media companies. The clients were diverse, their problems challenging and interesting and in practice he found the law far more enjoyable than its academic pursuit. He spent his entire legal career at Goodman Derrick working mainly in media regulation particularly with broadcasters and book publishers, frequently defending their freedom to publish. For a number of years he was the senior and managing partner of the firm but some 15 years ago felt the need for a change.

He is now President of the British Board of Film Classification, sits part time as a judge in the Crown Court, was a founder director of the press regulator Independent Monitor for the Press (IMPRESS), is a partner in Media Compliance Services and currently Chairs the Board of Trustees for The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and the Public Interest News Foundation. Patrick married his wife, Niroo, in 1986 and they have three great sons – Andrew, Matthew and Nicholas. He has taken great pleasure in seeing them blossom – separate individuals, independent, settled careers and responsible for themselves but still attached to and part of the family. Patrick continues to enjoy playing and watching sports. Playing tennis, squash and golf and supporting Arsenal. He regularly takes in the cinema and theatre, sings in a choir and enjoys long walks.