Obituary: Helen Reece

Lecturer and Reader in Law

Helen Reece, who died on 26 October 2016 aged 48, was a lecturer, and subsequently Reader, in the School of Law at Birkbeck from 1998 until 2009, when she left to take up a position at the LSE.

Internationally acknowledged as one of the most original family law scholars of her generation, and the recipient of numerous prizes, Helen Reece's work has been essential reading for students across the country for more than 20 years. Her intellectual rigour and fearlessness in challenging orthodoxies and conventions, wherever they came from, was legendary.

Her research, which was deeply principled, explored the regulation of intimacy. Helen Reece pushed forward debates about divorce, adoption, parenthood, domestic violence and the law of sexual offences. A writer of great clarity and a passionate defender of free speech, she was that rare thing - a genuine public
intellectual.

Her former colleague, Birkbeck Reader in Law Daniel Monk, said: "As a teacher and colleague Helen was admired and valued for her kindness, generosity and integrity. Her early death is a tragedy and she will be greatly missed."