LL.B. (Nott), LL.M. (Cantab.)
Fellow and Director of Studies (Trinity College); University Senior Lecturer in Law; Secretary of Degree Committee
Family law, especially the legal regulation of adult relationships, family property law and financial remedies on relationship breakdown and death. Access to (family) justice and legal aid, especially exceptional funding. Criminal Law. I am interested in supervising doctoral work in the area of financial remedies and family property law, and other aspects of "adult" and financial family law (including child support).
Fellow at Trinity since 1999; appointed University Lecturer in 2007, following a two-year secondment as a team lawyer to the Law Commission for England and Wales to work on its Cohabitation project, 2005-7; Senior Lecturer from October 2011.
For information about studying Law at Trinity College, see www.trin.cam.ac.uk/law
Other appointments and positions
Academic door tenant at 1 Hare Court (Chambers of Nicholas Cusworth QC), the specialist family law set, since April 2011.
Academic Fellow of Inner Temple, 2011-14.
Assistant editor of the Child and Family Law Quarterly.
Elected member of the Executive Council of the International Society of Family Law.
Chair of the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group: http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/about-the-faculty/cambridge-socio-legal-group.php
Research and related activities
I am co-author of OUP title Family Law: Text, Cases, and Materials with Sonia Harris-Short and Rob George, 3rd edition due out in summer 2015.
I recently acted as research consultant to the Law Commission on its Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements project, and am currently working for the Family Justice Council on a project drafting guidance for litigants in person and for judges in financial remedy cases on divorce. I act as an academic consultant on financial remedy case appeals, most recently in Vince v Wyatt, heard in the Supreme Court in Dec 2014.
In 2010, I completed a one-year empirical study of the operation of the new cohabitation laws in Scotland with Professor Fran Wasoff and Dr Enid Mordaunt, University of Edinburgh, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. http://www.crfr.ac.uk/researchprojects/rp_cohabitation.html Our findings were referred to in the Supreme Court judgments in Gow v Grant  UKSC 29.
I was a member of the large team working on an MoJ project on self-represented parties in private law family proceedings (led by Prof Liz Trinder), report published in November 2014:
I am currently working as a consultant on two further empirical projects:
- examining public attitudes to child support using the British Attitude Survey (with Bryson, Ellman and McKay): http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/public-views-child-support;
- a new project led by Caroline Bryson scoping the need for a dedicated new survey focusing on issues related to family separation: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/data-we-have-and-data-we-need-understand-lives-separated-families
I am co-principal with Dr Emma Hitchings (Bristol) on a project examining the settlement of financial disputes on divorce. http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/final-settlements-financial-disputes-following-divorce The first findings from this study, focused on the "how, when and why" of settlement were published in November 2013 at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/law/research/researchpublications/2013/assemblingthejigsawpuzzle.pdf The next phase of this project, due to be progressed in 2015, will examine the content of the settlements reached.
Comparative family law and policy:
I have a strong interest in the comparative and international aspects of family law, co-teaching a specialist LLM paper on Comparative Family Law & Policy. Together with the Organising Committee of the Commission for European Family Law, Jens Scherpe and I hosted the highly successful fourth conference of the Commission in April 2010 on the future of family property in Europe. My work on the domestic and private international law aspects of marital property agreements was cited in argument before the Supreme Court in Radmacher v Granatino.
Socio-legal and inter-disciplinary work:
As Chair of the Cambridge Socio-Legal group, I have an interest in inter-disciplinary work, and have co-ordinated two book / workshop projects under the aegis of the Group. I am co-editor, with Rebecca Probert (Warwick) of a volume of social science essays bearing on the themes of money, property, relationships and separation. The aim of the project was to explore the empirical basis for the principles currently underpinning financial provision on divorce and property division on separation of cohabiting relationships, to see what light non-legal disciplines can cast on this difficult area for the law. I am currently co-editing a new project on Marriage Rites and Rights with Rebecca Probert and Perveez Mody (Social Anthropology).
Prior to Cambridge: undergraduate law degree at Nottingham (top graduating student), LLM at Cambridge. First teaching post at Christ Church and Lincoln College, Oxford.