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School of Law

Professor Rachael Mulheron, BCom, LLB (Hons), LLM (Adv) (UQ), DPhil (Oxon)


Professor of Tort Law and Civil Justice and Honorary King’s Counsel

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 3959
Room Number: 110, Law Building, Mile End Campus


Rachael Mulheron is Professor of Tort Law and Civil Justice at the Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London, where she has taught since 2004. Prior to this, she held academic positions at the Law Schools at Notre Dame Australia, and Warwick University.

Rachael’s principal fields of academic research concerns Class Actions jurisprudence, Civil Justice, Tort law, and Medical Negligence.

In June 2023, Rachael was appointed as an Ordinary (Non-Judicial) Member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal for a period of eight years.

Rachael also fulfils the role of Trustee of the Medico-Legal Society; and is an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn.

Prior to her academic career, Rachael practised law in Brisbane, Australia, both in general practice (as a trainee solicitor), and subsequently, specialising in the field of building and construction litigation.

Law reform research and engagement

Rachael undertakes extensive law reform and governmental implementation work in England, in her academic capacity. Rachael has advised a number of law reform commissions, government departments, and NGOs, on collective redress-related matters, and in numerous areas of tort-related litigation, and her publications have been judicially cited in several jurisdictions, including Australia, Canada, Chile, England, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa.

During 2019-20, Rachael was independent reviewer of the Damages-based Agreements Regulations 2013; and also acted as Official Monitor of the Disclosure Pilot in the Business and Property Courts. Further information about both projects is available under the ‘Public Engagement’ tab.

From 2009-2018, Rachael was the appointed academic member of the Civil Justice Council of England and Wales (CJC), the jurisdiction's civil justice law reform body. During that membership, Rachael was involved in numerous important projects of wide-ranging impact.

In December 2014, Rachael was appointed by Lord Dyson, then-Master of the Rolls and Chairman of the CJC, to chair the MOJ/CJC’s Civil Litigation Review Working Party, which reported to the Government across a number of issues from 2014–18. The projects included the following: making recommendations to the Government as to the redrafting of the current legislation governing damages-based agreements, via its report published in August 2015, entitled, ‘The Damages-based Agreements Reform Project: Drafting and Policy Issues’; recommending changes to the rules governing, concurrent expert evidence in England and Wales, via the report published in July 2016, entitled, ‘Concurrent Expert Evidence and “Hot-Tubbing” in English Litigation Since the “Jackson Reforms”’: A Legal and Empirical Analysis'; and analysing the role and practice of ‘before-the-event’ (BTE) insurance, published in November 2017, and entitled, ‘ The Law and Practicalities of Before-the-Event (BTE) Insurance: An Information Study’. By virtue of her role as Chair, Rachael was principal author of the aforementioned reports, drawing together and presenting the views, and recommendations, of the Working Group members.

Rachael regularly participates in other law reform work. On the class actions front, and in 2009, Rachael was a member of the Civil Procedure Rules Drafting Sub-Committee for the then-proposed class action regime for financial services claims which was contained in the Financial Services Bill 2009 (and which eventually ‘washed up’ due to the calling of the General Election in 2010). Subsequently, in 2014, Rachael was a member of the rules-drafting committee of the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which was tasked with the production of draft rules to implement a new collective proceedings regime for competition law grievances, which came into force in October 2015. This sectoral regime represents the first collective actions regime in England which is capable of catering for opt-out class actions. The implementation of a measured opt-out class action for England and Wales was a matter upon which Rachael had advocated, both in an academic capacity and as a CJC member, for over a decade.

In 2014 and in 2017, Rachael also acted as peer review of the Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders which operates in England and Wales as a voluntary code for third party funders. In 2012, Rachael was appointed to the CJC Working Party on Contingency Fees, and to the Law Society Working Party for the development of a model Damages-based Agreement (DBA), and in 2011, was a member of the drafting committee which drafted the aforementioned Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders. In 2011, Rachael was appointed as a member of the Working Group on the proposed Defamation Bill, and subsequently, was also a member of the Working Group formed to assist the Government on the implementation of Costs Protection in Defamation and Privacy Claims.

A more detailed list of Rachael’s law reform appointments is contained under the ‘Public Engagement’ tab.


Rachael has over 110 publications upon a broad range of legal topics, in several jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Europe and New Zealand), with a particular emphasis upon Class Actions jurisprudence, and Tort Law. These are listed, for convenience, under the ‘Publications’ tab.

Rachael’s most recent book is The Modern Doctrines of Champerty and Maintenance (OUP, 2023), which is the first dedicated study of those doctrines in over a century. Prior to that, published books included: Class Actions and Government (CUP, 2020), again, a book whose subject matter was the first in its field. Her textbook, Principles of Tort Law (now 2nd edn,Cambridge University Press, 2020), which analyses the law of Tort by way of a principles-based approach, was the first time that this type of analysis has been undertaken in English Tort Law. A third edition of that book will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2025.

Rachael’s publications have been cited in almost 80 cases, in both appellate and first instance decisions, in a number of jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa, and across a range of areas. A full list of judicial citations is available: judicial citations of the following published work [PDF 81KB].


Rachael has undertaken over 100 conference presentations over the period 2005–2020. These have been in the fast-emerging and controversial field of Class Actions, and have also dealt with Costs and Funding, Torts, and Medical Negligence topics.

These conference presentations have been undertaken in a range of international venues in England, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and Europe, and have been at the invitation of a number of organisations (Government, University, private law firms, research groups, Members of Parliament, and ‘think-tanks’).


Rachael teaches Tort Law, Class Actions Law and Practice, Advanced Tort Law, and Medical Negligence Law, on the Undergraduate LLB programme at Queen Mary. Further details of these subjects are provided under the ‘Teaching’ tab.

Depending upon capacity, Rachael has also taught Advanced Medical Negligence for the LLM.

She also, by invitation, lectured annually at Oriel College, University of Oxford, and at the Law Faculty, Catholic University of Lille, France, for several years.

In 2016, Rachael was appointed as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of England and Wales.

In 2017, Rachael was shortlisted for Law Lecturer of the Year 2017, as part of the Law Careers.Net Awards.

In 2019, Rachael was nominated by colleagues for OUP Law Lecturer of the Year.

Other academic work

Rachael has acted as an academic expert witness for a class actions-related air cargo cartel matter in Canada.

She has also undertaken various external administrative roles of interest, including: serving as External Member of the Adjudicating Panel for the Society of Legal Scholars’ Best Paper Prize arising from the SLS conference of 2019; acting as external assessor of promotions at various Universities in England and Wales; acting as an External Assessor for the Mock RQF for the University of Monash in Melbourne, Australia; and fulfilling the role of National Moot Adjudicator for UK Universities enrolled in the English Speaking Union/Essex Court National Moot Competition.

Rachael acted as General Editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, previously acted as Managing Editor of the University of Notre Dame Australia Law Review, and for many years served as an Editorial Member of the Civil Justice Quarterly, England's only specialist civil procedure journal. She also served on the Editorial Board of the Mass Claims Journal in 2022-23. Presently, Rachael serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Personal Injury Law.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • LAW5001 Tort Law
  • LAW6013 Medical Negligence Law
  • LAW6165 Class Actions Law and Practice



Professor Mulheron offers postgraduate supervision in the fields of class actions jurisprudence, tort law or medical negligence (although availability of supervision is subject to workload capacity).

Public Engagement

Professor Mulheron's public engagement work centres around law reform research, advisory and published work which, for over two decades, has been principally aimed at three different areas of law:

  • collective (class) actions jurisprudence;
  • the costs and funding of litigation (including third party, and contingency fee, funding); and
  • various areas of Tort law.


  • Jun 2023: Ordinary (Non-Judicial) Member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal
  • Jun 2023: Trustee of the Medico-Legal Society
  • Mar 2022–Jun 2023: appointment as academic consultant to the Class Representatives Network (UK)
  • Jan–May 2022: academic consultant to the New Zealand Law Commission, re the class actions and third party funding review and statutory reform
  • 2021–: appointment as academic member of the BIICL Core Climate Change Working Group (to assist with both Tort and Class Actions aspects of the project)
  • Jan 2019–: Official co-reviewer of the Damages-based Agreements Regulations 2013 (appointed by the Ministry of Justice as co-reviewer with Nicholas Bacon KC, with redrafted Regulations and report provided to the MOJ in November 2019)
  • Jan 2019–21: by appointment of the Lord Chancellor, official monitor of the ‘disclosure pilot’, commencing in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales for a 2-yr period
  • 2018–19: appointment as member of Academic Experts’ Panel, Australian Law Reform Commission, for Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third Party Litigation Funders (DP 85, 2018), and contributor of written advice for final report, Integrity, Fairness and Efficiency: An Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders (Rep 134, 2018)
  • May 2018–20: Research Consultant to the Civil Justice Council of England and Wales
  • May 2009– Apr 2018: appointment by Secretary of State to the Civil Justice Council of England and Wales (CJC), under the chairmanship of the Master of the Rolls (presently Sir Terence Etherton MR), and appointment renewed for further 3-year terms in April 2012, and in April 2015
  • Feb 2017: appointed by the CJC as peer reviewer of the Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders (as revised), prepared by the Association of Litigation Funders (with discussion at CJC meeting, 2017)
  • Nov 2014–Sep 2017: appointed by the Government as Chair of the MOJ/CJC Civil Litigation Review Working Group, tasked with reviewing aspects of the Jackson Costs and Funding reforms, advising the Ministry of Justice, and serving as principal author of the following reports: The Damages-based Agreements Reform Project: Drafting and Policy Issues (Aug 2015); Concurrent Expert Evidence and “Hot-tubbing” in English Litigation since the “Jackson Reforms”’: A Legal and Empirical Study (Jul 2016); A Review of Before-the-Event Insurance  Nov 2017)
  • Jul 2014 –Oct 2014: member of Working Group formed from the Ministry of Justice and the CJC, to review the implementation of the Jackson costs and funding reforms
  • Jan 2014 – May 2014: academic member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal Collective Actions Working Party (to advise and prepare draft CAT Rules of Court for the class action for competition law claims)
  • Jan 2014: appointed by the CJC as peer reviewer of the Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders (as revised) prepared by the Assn of Litigation Funders (report submitted to the CJC in Jan 2014)
  • Dec 2012–Apr 2013: member of Working Group formed from the Ministry of Justice and the CJC, to prepare a report for the implementation of the Leveson Enquiry’s recommendation for ‘Costs Protection for Defamation and Related Claims’
  • Dec 2012–: member of Working Group formed by the Law Society, and the CJC, to prepare a ‘Model Damages-Based Agreement’ for law firms’ use, to prepare for the introduction of DBAs in 2013
  • May 2012–: appointment as member of the Consultancy Board of Practical Law Company (publisher to the legal profession of England and Wales)
  • Apr–Oct 2012: member of Working Group formed from the Ministry of Justice, CJC, and CPR Committee, to prepare a report to Government on the law associated with ‘Damages-based Agreements’ (DBAs)
  • during 2012: research memos for the Department of Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS), regarding specific drafting points for Parliamentary Counsel, should a class action be introduced into English law
  • Sep 2011 – Feb 2012: research memo on Costs and Funding for Group Actions brought on behalf of victims of Human Rights Abuses by Transnational Companies (requested by UK Amnesty Intl and CAFOD
  • Jun 2011–Nov 2011: member of Working Group formed from the Ministry of Justice, CJC, and CPR Committee, to prepare a report to Government on, and a draft of, a ‘Code of Conduct for Litigation Funders’, as recommended by the Jackson Costs Enquiry (the final Code was published and in force Nov 2011)
  • Feb 2011: International Bar Assn, Class Action Working Group (e.g., author of Country Report)
  • Jan–Feb 2011: European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC), Brussels (commissioned research project on the options for managing the costs and funding of group actions)
  • Dec 2010: member of Working Group formed from the Ministry of Justice, CJC, and CPR Committee, to prepare a report to Government on ‘The Defamation Bill 2010'
  • Dec 2010: General Secretariat of the Supreme Court of Japan (Civil Affairs Bureau) (oral discussions)
  • Dec 2010 – Jun 2012: EU Collective Action Working Party of the Civil Justice Council (co-author of CJC response to DG-COMP consultation paper)
  • Feb 2010–2012: Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills (discussions and research memos for consultation on opt-out class actions, as and when requested); and similarly for the predecessor Department (BERR)
  • during 2009: Jackson Costs Inquiry (various written and oral assistance, as and when requested)
  • Oct 2009 – Mar 2010: member of Working Group formed from the Ministry of Justice, CJC, and CPR Committee, to prepare a draft of ‘Rules of Court for Collective Actions’
  • Oct 2008: Government Equalities Office, England and Wales (oral and written contributions)
  • Aug–Oct 2008: Dept for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (funded research report re opt-out class actions in competition law)
  • Nov 2007–9: Hong Kong LRC, Class Actions Reform Sub-Committee (written contributions)
  • 2007–9: Civil Justice Council of England and Wales, Comparative Law Sub-Committee on Collective Redress (reports, papers, and other contributions, as and when requested)
  • Nov 2007: Victorian LRC, Civil Justice Enquiry (written research memos, as and when requested)
  • Sep 2007: National UK Reporter, World Congress of the International Assn of Procedural Law
  • Sep 2007–9: The Intl Bar Assn Taskforce on International Procedures and Protocols for Collective Redress (re Guidelines) (oral and written contributions, as and when requested)
  • Apr 2005: Federal Court of Canada Rules Committee (research memo, as requested)

Landmark Series

Assistance Given for Court Matters

  • 2008–2014: Engagement as an academic expert witness, regarding the question of the enforceability of North American class action judgments/settlements in England (for McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto, Canada) (affidavits prepared, litigation ongoing in Toronto, Canada).

Parliamentary Citations of Published/Research Work

  • House of Lords Hansard, 26 February 2013, col GC128 (Grand Committee, Lord Beecham), regarding Damages-Based Agreements Regulations (‘I am particularly indebted to those who have briefed me, and no doubt other Members of your Lordships’ House and perhaps of this Committee, in relation to these matters, including ... especially, Professor Rachael Mulheron’)
  • House of Lords Hansard, 27 March 2012, col 1313 (Lord McNally), citing: R Mulheron, ‘Costs and Funding for Group Actions brought on behalf of Victims of Human Rights Abuses by Transnational Companies’ (September 2011) (produced at the request of UK Amnesty International and CAFOD, noted above).

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