Professor Bill Cornish was a legal scholar of vision, who was well ahead of his time in two widely disparate areas, and in both he became a recognised leader and authority: legal history and intellectual property law. In the former he applied what was then the novel approach of stressing the contemporary social conditions to which the extant law had to apply - something that modern commentators could well ponder, but which he was honest enough to acknowledge was also criticised by some of his peers at the time. As for intellectual property law, his place as the ‘father of intellectual property teaching and scholarship in the UK’ was acclaimed by his admission as a Fellow of the British Academy in 1984, and his place as the inaugural occupant of the Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law, at Cambridge (1995–2004). Both these activities had their origins in Bill's long stay (1970–1990) as professor of law at the London School of Economics, where he was influenced by their emphasis on societal tertiary education, and his friendship with the renowned Anglo-German scholar Otto Kahn-Freund, respectively. In reality, though, Bill's upbringing in the unique milieu of immediate post-War South Australia, which he describes as a backwater of tranquility, and his urge to see Europe were the roots of his expansive vision of the law. Lesley Dingle interviewed Bill for the Eminent Scholars Archive (ESA) in 2015, nine years after his retirement, and these observations of this remarkable scholar are based on those conversations, and her readings of his works.