Barbara graduated from the University of Glasgow and qualified as a solicitor in Scotland before moving to Hong Kong and being admitted to practice there. After 9 years in Hong Kong, specialising in Intellectual Property, she returned to London as a partner in Denton Hall and then in Willoughby & Partners.  She also served as an executive of Rouse and Co International, an intellectual property law consultancy.  She joined the University of Southampton in July 2003 and remained at the University until her retirement in July 2022.

She was Director of Legal Services at the University from July 2003 until February 2019 during which time she set up an in-house legal and advisory service for the University with a broad remit covering commercial; procurement; employment; property and construction law; litigation/mediation/ dispute resolution; intellectual property; data protection/freedom of information; education and student issues; charity law and other University issues.  She provided training for the University on legal and governance issues.  She also acted as University’s Data Protection Officer.

In February 2019, Barbara was promoted to role of General Counsel and University Secretary acting as the University’s principal legal advisor, leading Legal Services and responsible for advising the University Executive, members of the University Council and colleagues in academic and professional services in relation to issues of strategic relevance to the University.

Barbara is also a Trustee of the HMS Victory Preservation Company.