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Obituary: Joseph Rayner Atkinson

It is sad to have to report that Mr Joseph Rayner Atkinson, CBE, LLB, a former member of staff in the Department of Law, died on 22 October 2004.

Born and brought up in Leeds, Mr Atkinson was admitted as a Solicitor in 1950. He then worked in private practice before taking the somewhat unusual step of giving up practice in 1962 in order to read for the LLB at Leeds. In 1964 - before he had formally graduated - he was appointed to a Temporary Lectureship in the Department, and to a permanent post in the following year.

Not least by dint of his previous experience, Mr Atkinson soon established himself as a tower of strength in the Department. He was a popular teacher, much appreciated by his students for the practical knowledge he brought to bear on his subject. He also invested a considerable amount of time and energy in advising students interested in becoming solicitors, and in operating a highly successful scheme, in conjunction with the Leeds Law Society, for placing students in articles. He also provided advice and assistance to a number of sub-committees concerned with student accommodation.

The extent of Mr Atkinsons participation in the life and work of the Department was constrained to a degree, however, by his appointment in 1965 as President of the Yorkshire Rent Assessment Panel. Initially involving a notional half-time commitment, the responsibilities associated with this post proved to be so demanding that he was seconded full-time from his lectureship from April 1972, eventually resigning from his University post in 1975. His work with the Rent Assessment Panel was regarded as outstanding and he was later appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Fair Rents. In 1981, Mr Atkinson was awarded a CBE.

An obituary of Mr Atkinson was published in the Yorkshire Post on 30 October 2004.

Published: 4 November 2004