Commercial Law Research

Bristol has one of the most vibrant and diverse Commercial Law concentrations in the UK. The Law School has a number of specialists in different branches of the subject, who are active in leading publications at the cutting edge of Commercial Law scholarship. They draw on their expertise in teaching a wide range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Bristol. They have also recently lectured widely at other leading university law schools, including Auckland, Cambridge, the UN/IMO International Maritime law Institute in Malta, Melbourne, Tulane and Oxford.

Law of International Trade

Professor Jonathan Hill is a specialist in the field of Conflict of Laws or Private International Law. He is the author of Cross-Border Consumer Contracts (2008) and is co-author of Clarkson & Hill, The Conflict of Laws (4th edn, 2011) and of Hill and Chong, International Commercial Disputes in English Courts(4th;edn, 2010). He also contributed to the 13th edn of Dicey & Morris on the Conflict of Laws(described by Lord Goff of Chieveley as 'the prince of legal text books') and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Private International Law. His work is complemented by that of Dr Ardavan Avandeh, a graduate of the University of Bristol, whose specialism is also private international law. Dr Magda Raczynska has published on aspects of international sales law (Vienna Sales Convention). Dr Clair Gammage-Dias specialises in regional trade relations between developed and developing countries in the EU-Africa context. Her research primarily focuses on trade in goods within the WTO legal framework of Article XXIV GATT. Professor Tonia Novitz investigates forms of trade and aid conditionality, as well as regulation of migrant labour under GATS.

Banking and Financial Law

The Law School is particularly active in teaching and research at all levels in Banking and Financial Law. Harry McVea innovated teaching in the UK in Financial Services Law, and has written a number of pioneering articles on the area.Professor Keith Stanton has teaching and research interests in Banking Law. He has published research on money laundering and the civil liability of banks and has supervised research students working on Islamic banking and the regulation of banks. Dr Konstantinos Sergakis has developed research related to Financial Law with a special emphasis on Credit Rating Agencies and the applicable EU regulatory framework. Credit and Insolvency Law are specialisations of Nigel Furey. Dr Magda Raczynska focuses on secured credit finance, including the law of title-based finance and traditional forms of security interests. Her current research looks at security in proceeds, products and fruits in English law, under Uniform Commercial Code in the USA and Personal Property Security Acts in other common law countries. She is particularly interested in evaluating the impact of the default legal rules on borrowers in the light of law and economics.

Enterprise Law

The Law School has long been active in all aspects of Enterprise Law. Professor John Parkinson’s pathbreaking work Corporate Power and Responsibility: Issues in the Theory of Company Law (OUP, 1993) won the first Society of Public Teachers of Law book prize and he was an active member of the UK government’s Company Law Review Steering Group, the deliberations of which came to fruition in the Companies Act 2006.

John Parkinson's work is continued by Professor Charlotte Villiers. Professor Charlotte Villiers has published in Spanish as well as in English and her books include European Company Law – Towards Democracy? (1998) and Corporate Reporting and Company Law (2006). She is also a joint editor of Boyle and Birds Company Law, one of the leading texts on company law. She is currently working collaboratively with academics on an international project entitled Towards Sustainable Companies, which is exploring the role of corporate law in sustainable development. She is also researching on several aspects of corporate governance, including boardroom diversity and executive pay. Her work further combines an interest in Company Law with other specialisations within the School in Employment Law, European Law and Socio-Legal Studies.

Professor Paddy Ireland has written on both the historical development of the corporate legal form and on corporate theory, focusing most recently on the relationship between neoliberalism, financialization and corporate governance. He is currently exploring the ways in which changes to corporate rights structures might impact on the dynamics and logic of process of contemporary capitalism. Amongst other things, he is a member of the Critical Corporation project based at Cass Business School. Watch his contribution to these debates below:

Dr. Konstantinos Sergakis' research interests are related to Corporate Law, Financial Law and Corporate Governance. He is the author of "The Transparency of Listed Companies in EU Law" (Bibliothèque de l'Institut de Recherche Juridique de la Sorbonne- IRJS Éditions, 2013), which was awarded the Special Grant 2011/12 of the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation and the Prix Solennel André Isoré from La Chancellerie des Universités de Paris. Focusing on the EU Corporate Finance legal framework (with a special emphasis on UK, French and German Law), this bookhas proposed to institute a new regulation and disclosure framework for listed companies as well as a new innovative system of sanctions. He has participated in numerous international conferences and publishes regularly articles in English and French internationally renowned academic journals such as European Company and Financial Law Review and Revue Juridique Thémis. He is the editor of a presentation of the latest developments in EU financial law in the Bulletin Joly Bourse, a permanent contributor to the International Review of Financial Services (2014) and Affiliated Scholar of the CDACI of the University of Montréal.

Labour Law in its wider context is the subject of work by Professor Tonia Novitz, who has written on comparative employment law, international labour standards, and European social policy. In collaboration with Dr Alan Bogg (Hertford College, Oxford), she has been engaged in a research project on ‘Voices at Work: Legal Effects on Organisation, Representation and Negotiation'.

Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law

Andrew Charlesworth, Reader in IT and Law, and Director of the Centre for IT and Law (CITL) writes and provides consultancy services in a wide range of IT-linked fields - computer misuse, data protection, intellectual property, internet law and e-commerce law - and is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Information Law and Technology and the International Journal of Digital Curation, and the Advisory Board of SCRIPT-ed. Dr.Sujitha Subramanian teaches the LLM unit in Intellectual Property Law. Her research interest includes the interaction between intellectual property law and competition policy, intellectual property and international trade issues and in addition innovation policy. She has published in various journals including European Intellectual Property Review, European Journal of International Law, International Journal of Economic Law Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice and International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law.

Competition Law

Bristol has long been strong in Competition Law scholarship. The role of Competition Law in relation to public services has been examined by Professor Tony Prosser in The Limits of Competition Law (2005). Competition Law from a Socio-Legal Studies perspective is also a theme of work by Professor Bronwen Morgan, who also specialises in Regulation and is the author of the prize-winning Social Citizenship in the Shadow of Competition: the Bureaucratic Politics of Regulatory Justification (2003). Dr. Sujitha Subramanian teaches the LLM unit in Competition Law of the EU. She completed her PhD at the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, Norwich, and her research interest is in the area of the interaction between competition law and intellectual property law. Luke Butler researches extensively in the related field of public procurement law, in particular with regard to the promotion of competition and innovation in high-tech industries.