It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr Catherine Seville

Dr Catherine Seville

Dr Catherine Seville
MA, BMus, LLM, PhD
Fellow and Director of Studies, Reader in Law

It is with great sadness I announce that Dr Catherine Seville died suddenly at home.

Catherine was an alumna, a Fellow, a Lecturer, an Assistant Tutor and, for eleven years, Vice-Principal.

She studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London University (1981-84) and then came to Newnham for an affiliated BA in English (1984-86) before proceeding to her MA. She worked in management consultancy and systems design in London before returning to Newnham to read Law (LLM 1989-90), during which time she was the MCR Representative on Council and Governing Body.

Catherine was elected a Fellow of Newnham in 1991 and appointed a College Lecturer in Law; in 1996 she was appointed Director of Studies in Law and in the same year received her PhD. The breadth and depth of her cultural range was an important resource in her approach to intellectual property issues, particularly the history of copyright.

Her commitment to her students both during and after their time at Newnham is reflected in the strength of the tributes paid to her for her support, wit, advice and teaching, and the delight she took in hearing from her former students.

Catherine served on innumerable College committees and bodies ranging from the College Council and the Roll Committee to Academic Planning and Investments, and the College Library, to the further development of which she was passionately committed. She particularly delighted in being High Table Steward and Wine Steward, and in serving as our Vice-Principal from 2004 until standing down in 2015.

Carol Black
5 February 2016

Words of appreciation for Dr Seville may be found on the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law website. The College will be producing a volume of tributes; if you wish to contribute, please email

Update, 29 February 2016:

The funeral will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Balsham, on 18 March at 2:30pm followed by refreshments at Sutton Hall, Balsham. There will be a a private cremation.

Flowers are welcome care of the funeral director, H J Paintin, 43 High Street Linton CB21 4HS.

A celebration of Dr Seville’s life will take place at Newnham College on Saturday 18 June 2016. Further details to follow.