Tributes paid to late Law Fellow also known for his love of bicycles and photography

“Malcolm was an outstanding scholar in his field – modest about his achievements – and a supportive and kind colleague”

Professor Malcolm Alistair Clarke, an alumnus and Fellow of St John’s College who taught Law to generations of students, has died at the age of 81.

Professor Clarke, Professor Emeritus of Commercial Contract Law, first came to St John’s as an undergraduate to study Law in 1961. After graduating, he began his academic career as a Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College from 1966-1968.

He spent two years teaching at the University of Singapore and in 1970 he was made a Fellow of St John’s when he took up a post as lecturer at the University of Cambridge. He died on 5 April.

Professor Albertina Albors-Llorens, Professor of European Union Law, Director of Studies in Law (Part II) and Fellow of St John’s College, said Professor Clarke had taught and directed studies in Law ‘for generations of students’.

“He was much loved and, to this day, alumni regularly ask after him with great affection at the Winfield Society [College law society] annual dinners, remembering his dedication and how he valued both effort and excellent academic performance,” she said.

“On his part, he always wanted to know about former students and was very happy to see them making their way in the world. Malcolm was an outstanding scholar in his field – and modest about his achievements – and a supportive and kind colleague. He will be greatly missed.”

Professor Malcolm A Clarke

An expert in the law of obligations, in particular the law relating to insurance and to the carriage of goods and passengers, Professor Clarke wrote about the topics for Lloyd’s of London. His books include Contracts of Carriage by Land and Air (Wildy), The Law of Insurance Contracts (Informa), Contracts of Carriage by Air (Informa), The Law of Liability Insurance (Informa), International Carriage of Goods by Road (Informa) and Contractual Duties: Performance, Breach, Termination and Remedies (Sweet & Maxwell).

A keen cyclist in his younger days, Professor Clarke rode a tricycle in later life and has been remembered by friends and colleagues at the Faculty of Law for his ‘legendary’ bikes. Professor John Spencer, a Faculty colleague and old friend, remembers jointly buying a triplet with him, which they used in turn to take their children cycling on the backs.

An enthusiasm for photography also saw Professor Clarke capture many Faculty events and occasions during his years in the department. He donated an album of his photographs from the 1970s onwards to the Faculty, which forms part of the Eminent Scholars Archive.

Professor Clarke leaves wife, Eva, and family. His funeral will be held at Great St Mary’s Church, Cambridge, at 11.30am on Thursday 2 May. The service can be watched live online for those who wish to attend but cannot do so in person.

The funeral service will be followed by a reception in Hall at St John's. The committal for family and close friends will take place on Friday 3 May at 11am at The Arbory Trust Woodland Burial Ground, Comberton Road, Barton, Cambridge.

Published: 18/4/24

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