School of Law celebrates official opening of the Esther Simpson Building

On International Women’s Day 2022, the School of Law and Leeds University Business School (LUBS) officially opened the final building in the LUBS/Law Transformation Project.  

The Esther Simpson Building is named after a University of Leeds alumn who graduated from the University of Leeds in 1924 with first class honours in French and German, and went on to spend much of her life helping scholars flee totalitarian regimes. 

Esther Simpson played a leading role in helping some 1,500 academics flee Nazi Germany and, among the refuge seekers she helped throughout her career, she could count 74 Fellows of The Royal Society, 34 fellows of the British Academy and 16 Nobel Prize winners. 

Construction of the Esther Simpson Building was completed for Leeds University Business School and the School of Law last September.

In line with both the University’s determination to build a fairer future for all and to redefine the curriculum, it houses transformative and flexible teaching spaces that are designed help to better equip students for working collaboratively. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk unveiling a Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque dedicated to Esther Simpson during the opening ceremony of the Esther Simpson Building.


Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk, also unveiled a Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque dedicated to Esther during the opening ceremony. 

She said: “Esther Simpson’s achievements were truly incredible. We are so pleased to be able to honour her – an alumna of the University of Leeds – on International Women’s Day. 

“Her commitment to helping academics, wherever they were in the world, find refuge and keep sharing knowledge will continue to be a source of inspiration for future generations at the University of Leeds.”

Read The Guardian article about Esther Simpson 

Read more about Esther Simpson’s life and work