LL.B. (Nott), LL.M. (Cantab.)
Fellow and Director of Studies (Trinity College); Senior Lecturer in Law
Family law, especially the legal regulation of adult relationships, family property law and financial remedies on relationship breakdown and death; Criminal Law. I would be 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
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 for three years from December 2011. 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
My main research is in family law, and I am the co-author of OUP title Family Law: Text, Cases, and Materials with Sonia Harris-Short (Birmingham).
Empirical research: Participated in the ESRC Researcher Development Initiative in 2008/9. 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 am currently working as a consultant on several empirical projects: examining public attitudes to child support using the British Attitude Survey (Bryson, Ellman and McKay): http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/public-views-child-support; an MoJ project on self-represented parties in private law family proceedings (led by Prof Liz Trinder) and an MoJ project exploring the feasibility of surveying civil and family court customers (led by TNS BMRB and Bryson Purdon Social Research).
I am co-principal with Dr Emma Hitchings (Bristol) on a new project examining the settlement of financial disputes on divorce, fieldwork commencing summer 2012: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/final-settlements-financial-disputes-following-divorce
I have an interest in the comparative and international aspects of family law. Jens Scherpe and I, with the Organising Committee of the Commission for European Family Law, 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 recently cited in argument before the Supreme Court in the appeal of Radmacher v Granatino.
At the Law Commission, I was responsible for a large amount of the research and writing for the consultation paper (CP 179) and report (LC 307) on Cohabitation: the Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown, and benefited both from working closely with empirical legal researchers and from meeting with stakeholders interested in family law reform, from practising lawyers, interest groups, religious bodies, and other governmental and law reform agencies.
Following an inter-disciplinary workshop, held under the aegis of the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group in April 2008, 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.
Regular participant at Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy seminars, Nuffield Foundation seminars, and an active member of the family law groups within the Society of Legal Scholars and Socio-Legal Studies Association. Regularly involved in family policy discussions within the academic community and with practitioners and government. Member of the Ministry of Justice's Family Justice Virtual Group, a group of experts contributing to MoJ's work in supporting the Family Justice Board in ensuring the effective use of research and evidence in the family justice system.
Prior to Cambridge: undergraduate law degree at Nottingham (top graduating student), LLM at Cambridge. First teaching post at Christ Church and Lincoln College, Oxford.