TRIBUTES have been paid to Lord Phillips of Sudbury, who died on Easter Sunday. He was 84.

Lord Phillips served as the University’s Chancellor from 2003-2013 and in that time, he oversaw 11 graduation ceremonies and more than 20,000 graduates.

He was described in a statement from the university as “a pioneering solicitor, a dedicated supporter of many charities and a much-loved legal expert and broadcaster".

During his time as Chancellor, Lord Phillips escorted Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, around the Colchester campus during the Queen's visit for the university’s 40th anniversary.

He also took regular tours of academic departments throughout his tenure to learn about the research taking place and keenly shared his views on how to improve the student experience.

Previous chancellors included Rab Butler (1966-1982), Sir Patrick Nairne (1982-1997) and Michael Nolan, Baron Nolan (1997-2002)

Anthony Forster, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, said: “The University of Essex community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our fourth Chancellor, Lord Phillips.

“Lord Phillips made a significant contribution to the development of the University and served with distinction and enthusiasm, despite his many other commitments.

“He went out of his way to speak to staff and students. But perhaps most importantly, he acted as inspiration to the University of Essex community and championed so many of our values.

“It was a privilege to know and work with Lord Phillips. On behalf of everyone here at Essex, I would like to offer my condolences to his family.”

Before being made a life peer in 1998, Lord Phillips founded law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, London, in 1970 and served as a senior partner.

He was made a life peer in 1998 for his charitable work which included founding three national charities.

Lord Phillips co-founded and chaired the Legal Action Group, a legal aid charity, and co-founded and served as President of the Solicitors’ Pro Bono Group.

In addition, Lord Phillips also made regular appearances on BBC Radio 2’s Jimmy Young Show as “The Legal Eagle” for over two decades where he gave advice to listeners.