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School of Law

Sam Bannister


Teaching Fellow

Room Number: 216, Laws, Mile End


Sam joined Queen Mary’s Department of Law in September 2021 as a Teaching Fellow, alongside which he is completing his PhD at Durham University. Prior to this he obtained his LLM from Durham University and a BA in Law from Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge. He teaches and researches in the areas of Land Law and Equity & Trusts.


  • LAW4006 – Land Law
  • LAW5003/LAW6056 – Equity & Trusts


Sam’s research examines reform of cohabitation rights, particularly the judicial and private law responses to disputes between cohabiting couples when their relationship breaks down. Sam’s PhD thesis considers the use of unjust enrichment and restitutionary principles in developing the law, and the implications such an approach would have. In particular, the thesis examines the valuation of domestic contributions within the family home – which are still undertaken disproportionately by women – and the impacts of the concept of ‘enrichment’ on the commodification of this domestic work.

Sam is therefore broadly interested in how the operation of unjust enrichment (hitherto considered a commercial doctrine) could offer insights into domestic and family law problems. This would further test the boundaries of the relatively youthful doctrine of unjust enrichment and its interaction with other areas of law.

Conference papers

  • The Normative Significance of Intention for Asset Division in Cohabiting Relationships (Society of Legal Scholars Conference 2021)
  • Commodifying Domestic Work in the Cohabitation Context? The Common Intention Constructive Trust 50 Years On (Durham Law School PGR Conference 2021)
  • Comparing the Significance of Intention at Cohabitation Relationship Breakdown in Common Law Jurisdictions (Association of Law, Property and Society Virtual 24-Hour Conference 2021)
  • Claims for Homemaking and Unpaid Caring: Gifts, Love and Mercenary Considerations (Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2021)



Journal Articles:

  • ‘Domestic Contributions as Unjust Enrichments: Commodifying Love?’ (2021) 33(3) Child and Family Law Quarterly 257.
  • ‘Over-Acquiring and Under-Quantifying: Continuing Issues with the Common Intention Constructive Trust’ [2021] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 222.
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