Image of Mortar Boards being thrown in the air in celebration

Peter Bullivant

Oration

Presented by: Professor Frank Sanderson

Honorable Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Peter Bullivant for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.  

Peter is currently a partner at Hill Dickinson, one of the UK's top independent national law firms, and has been one of the city's leading property and private client lawyers since the 1960s, specialising in commercial work with a particular emphasis on commercial property and retailing.   

Peter Bullivant was born in Surrey and moved to the North-West in his early childhood, eventually settling with his family in West Kirby on the Wirral. He studied at Wrekin College where he became Head Boy - although with typical modesty, he doesn't know why he merited this honour. 

He describes his academic achievements at school as average, although there is no doubt about his sporting prowess - he was excellent at rugby to such an extent that he later played for the New Brighton First XV for 12 years, and also for Cheshire County for several seasons.  

After leaving school, Peter joined solicitors Pedder Weightman in Liverpool, completing his articles and becoming a Partner in 1967. After establishing himself in Liverpool, Peter founded Bullivant Jones and over the years became a key player in the region's property market. Under the leadership of Peter and senior partner Pamela Jones, the company developed a national reputation for its work in all aspects of commercial property and became highly regarded in property litigation, private client work, employment, and the retail industry. The ethos of the firm was founded on service to the client first and foremost.   

In 2004, his company merged with Hill Dickinson, thereby creating one of the largest property practices in the UK and playing a leading role in the development of the city. Following the merger, it is perhaps no coincidence that Hill Dickinson became Insider North West's Law Firm of the Year in 2006 and certainly no surprise that Peter was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Insider Liverpool Professional Awards in 2007 for his outstanding contribution to business life in Liverpool over so many years. Peter not only concerned himself with creating a highly successful legal practice but also actively involved himself in the region's business community.  

His leadership and far-reaching influence are evident from his many directorships including an eight-year stint as a non executive director of the Ethel Austin Retail Group  and his continuing directorship of the Ethel Austin Property Group. Now in semi retirement, Peter continues to work as a consultant for Hill Dickinson on property and private client matters.  

When time allows, he relaxes with reading, gardening, collecting art and sailing - although it's hard to see how sailing a boat with LJMU Fellow Malcolm Walker across the Atlantic constitutes relaxation. Peter is a keen collector of art and founded the Gorstella Art Gallery near Chester in 1990 where he specialises in the work of contemporary artists, particularly those working with watercolours. 

Liverpool John Moores University has greatly benefited from his enthusiasm for and expertise in art through his membership of our Art & Design Academy Fundraising Board.  

Peter is also a great supporter of the development and education of young people. He is a former secretary of Old Swan Boy's Club and many students in the region have benefited from his generosity. Notably, he is a supporter of Clwyd Special Riding School and founder in 2002 of the Bullivant Jones (now Hill Dickinson) scholarship scheme in partnership with our university. This annual scholarship is awarded to provide a local law student with the best possible opportunity to achieve success in the field of law.    

In recent years, Peter has supported the Alder Hey Rocking Horse Appeal which is raising money to fund the UK's first integrated treatment unit for children with cancer. He also champions Hill Dickinson's support of Clonter Opera and Tate Liverpool.     

Peter Bullivant has made an outstanding contribution not only to the legal profession in Liverpool but also to the wider business community for over forty years. He is greatly admired for his professional contribution, for his extensive charitable work and for his humanity - a high achiever noted for his generous nature and integrity - qualities which make Peter Bullivant a most worthy recipient of a fellowship today.     

Thus I have pleasure in presenting Peter Bullivant, this most distinguished son of our region, for admission to our highest honour of Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.