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School of Law


Our experts undertake ground breaking research and advocacy work which helps shape the policy and practice nationally and internationally.

water droplet creating wavesWe identify opportunities to engage with a wide range of external users in specific areas of expertise that are particularly relevant to influencing policy as well as in areas where our research can have an influence on a wider community.

We have a strong, though not exclusive focus, on developing links with policy-making bodies, at both governmental and non-governmental (NGO) level, as well as developing links with commerce and industry.

Our researchers influence the legislative process where there is a current programme of reform in place, such as the reform of criminal law (both domestic and European) and the reform of civil procedure.

Our researchers also have an influence in the development of new approaches to policy in fast-moving areas of modern law with a cross-border or international dimension, such as banking, computer and intellectual property law.

A Legal Framework for Paperless Trade – Dr Miriam Goldby

A graphic of the world with arrows going from country to countryDr Miriam Goldby’s research represents a key contribution to the achievement of digitalisation in international trade. The performance of cross-border sale transactions is still heavily reliant on paper. The current drive of the global trade community towards digitalisation is prompted largely by the desire to increase the speed and reliability of business-to-business and business-to-government communications to reduce documentation costs, which, as estimated by a recent World Bank study, constitute about seven per cent of the global value of trade.

Find out more.

How can the Judicial Appointments Commission make a difference to judicial diversity? - Professor Kate Malleson

Multi coloured finger printsThis British Academy funded project is being undertaken by Kate Malleson together with Graham Gee from Sheffield and Erika Rackley from Kent. It seeks to understand why the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) has had limited success in increasing diversity in the judiciary despite the fact that this was a key rationale for the creation of an independent judicial appointments body in 2006. The main focus to date of work on the JAC has been on the processes by which judges are appointed. This research instead sets out to understand the work of the JAC in a wider context, and in particular to examine what scope exists for the JAC to carve out a role where it is influencing policy change on judicial appointments and diversity.

Despite performing a crucial constitutional function in appointing members of the third branch of government, the JAC is often presented as akin to a specialist recruitment agency, responding to the business needs and policy agenda of the Ministry of Justice and senior judiciary. Our research explores the reasons for this relatively narrow vision of the JAC’s role and its implications for the goal of driving forward the diversity agenda. The project seeks to understand the extent to which scope exists within the current statutory framework and institutional relationships for the JAC to adopt a wider, more ‘constitutional’, conception of its role.

Cloud Legal Project

Image of a blue cloud in a mainframeThe Cloud Legal Project (CLP) undertakes research in complex areas of law and regulation that are essential to the successful development and use of cloud computing services.

Their current research covers a wide range of topics, including governance of cloud services, cloud contracts, data protection and privacy, cloud robotics, taxation of cloud providers and services, and the legal status of online digital assets. Learn more about their research

Ukraine DFID/FCO IP Court Project

Top of the Independence MonumentThe Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) received an award from the joint Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) Good Governance Fund (GGF) to deliver a project of technical assistance to support the establishment and operation of the new High IP Court of Ukraine (IP Court). The Project is part of a broader programme of the U.K. government to implement judicial reform in Ukraine. The Project started on the 1 March 2018 and will run for two years with a total budget in excess of £850,000.

The goal of the Project is to support the creation and operation of a successful and effective IP Court in Ukraine, in order to make a significant contribution to improved levels of business confidence, more attractive investment conditions and a commercial environment that incentivises innovation and creativity, stimulating economic growth and prosperity.

The Damages-Based Agreements Reform Project - Professor Rachael Mulheron

In December 2018, the Ministry of Justice arranged for Professor Rachael Mulheron and Nicholas Bacon QC to carry out an independent review of the Damages-based Agreements Regulations 2013, with a view to re-drafting the Regulations so as to resolve some of the difficulties which have arisen under the 2013 Regulations.

Professor Mulheron is currently accepting feedback on the redrafted DBA Regulations 2019.

Find out more about the Project and how to submit your feedback.

Disclosure Pilot in the Business and Property Courts - Professor Rachael Mulheron

The Disclosure Pilot in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales commenced on 1 January 2019. The Pilot, which is governed by the provisions of PD 51U, is ‘intended to effect a culture change. The Pilot is not simply a rewrite of CPR Part 31. It operates along different lines driven by reasonableness and proportionality’: UTB LLC v Sheffield United Ltd [2019] EWHC 914 (Ch) [75] (per Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court).

Moreover, it is intended to be a ‘living pilot’, whereby feedback and comments received from those who are involved in the Pilot will be closely taken account of by the Disclosure Working Group, and where necessary, amendments to the content of PD 51U may be made as the Pilot progresses.

Find out more about the project and how to submit your questionnaire.

Legal Advice Centre

The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre (LAC) provides a free, accessible, client centred advice service to the public. They have helped over 2800 clients since opening in September 2006.

They act as a first-tier advice agency; providing preliminary advice on the strength of the client’s case, the processes to be followed, and an explanation of complex legal issues. Clients come to the advice centre from a wide variety of backgrounds and present a wide range of legal issues.

Specially trained Student Legal Advisers handle these cases, allowing our students to experience law in a practical context and to develop many of the skills required for successful entry into the profession. They also run two undergraduate modules dedicated to developing students’ practical skills and clinical legal experience.

In addition, they carry out a variety of Community Projects within the local community to share legal knowledge, raise awareness and offer support to vulnerable members of our society.

Find out more on their website.


qLegal offers free specialised legal guidance to tech start-ups and entrepreneurs who might not otherwise be able to access legal support, covering a range of complex legal issues including:

  • Intellectual property matters relating to patents, copyright and trade marks
  • Agreements such as non-disclosure agreements and shareholder agreements
  • Types of business structure and business incorporation
  • Data protection advice and GDPR compliance.

This advice is delivered by highly trained qLegal Student Advisers under the supervision of qualified lawyers, providing qLegal students with vital professional experience and the confidence needed to represent future business ventures.

qLegal also runs a range of projects aimed at improving public legal literacy within the local community and beyond. These include business skills sessions in local schools, one-to-one coaching sessions with state school pupils, and workshops on business and law to the start-up community.

qLegal also produces a range of resources and toolkits for public use.

Find out more on the qLegal website.

Brexit and the British Constitution (past and present) - Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott

Image of Union Jack flag and EU flag cracked diagonally down the middleThis 3 year project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, places Brexit in the broader context of the historical development of the British Constitution and earlier disputes as to the meaning of statehood, sovereignty and territorial boundaries. Her project investigates the impact of Brexit on the British Constitution, but is also unique in locating Brexit in the broader context of historically significant British acts of union or disunion.

Find out more.