Property Lawyer Nigel McClea awarded honorary degree by Leeds Met
Publicly recognised for his work at law firm Pinsent Masons where, until his retirement in 2010, he was the head of the 350-strong Leeds office, Nigel led on some of the largest property projects in the region including the Jorvik Viking Centre (for York Archaeological Trust), Thorpe Park Business Park and the Royal Armouries Museum.
Nigel, who was born, raised and currently lives in, Harrogate, was awarded the Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to public life. He commented: "This award means a very great deal to me. I've enjoyed a very long relationship with this university, which is a relationship I've always been extremely proud of. To be recognised by a great university - what more could I possibly want?"
Speaking about his profession, Nigel added: "The highlight of my career has been the leadership of my firm in Leeds. I started with the same firm 40 years ago, when it was very small - yet in Leeds terms it was important. It grew to be a huge multinational and I was excited to be a part of that."
A figure at the forefront of the development of the city of Leeds, both in business and through his passion for the city and the arts, Nigel's contribution to charitable causes and the arts has been extensive. His firm was a founding sponsor of Leeds Legal while Nigel is a former Chair of Marketing Leeds and of Ahead Partnership, the Leeds based social enterprise organisation dedicated to boosting the social growth of cities, towns and communities.
Nigel was also a member of the Opera North task force and a founder Trustee of The Hepworth, Wakefield and is currently on the advisory board of the Harrogate International Centre and chairs the Board of Trustees that operates the multi million pound contemporary arts venue, The Tetley.
Others receiving honorary degrees from Leeds Metropolitan this week include: Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa and one of the world's foremost authorities on corporate governance, reporting and sustainability, Professor Mervyn King; Managing Director at the helm of the Wakefield-based organisation Group Rhodes, Mark Ridgway OBE, DL, who oversees the group's seven engineering companies; award-winning artist and Leeds Metropolitan graduate, Charlotte Harris, whose work is featured in the collection of London's National Portrait Gallery; Hanif Malik, founder and Chief Executive of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre - the largest ethnic minority organisation in the voluntary and community sector in Leeds and Chairman of the Leeds Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and champion of the city's Sikh community, Harbans Singh Sagoo, who has played a major part in supporting Sikhs in South Leeds to be a part of mainstream society.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "A highly respected Property Lawyer, Nigel has taken the legal lead on many major projects which we today know as some of our region's best-loved attractions. We are delighted to recognise Nigel's contribution to public life with this Honorary Doctorate and are very much looking forward to welcoming him to our Headingley Campus to celebrate with us as we honour the achievements of our graduating students."