University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Ms Joanna Miles

Trinity College

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).

CV / Biography

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

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: 

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, published in June 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 for the successful legal team for the wife in Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC 14.

Empirical research:

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. Our findings were referred to in the Supreme Court judgments in Gow v Grant [2012] 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 have also recently completed a project on public attitudes to child support law, using the British Attitude Survey (as consultant member of research team with Bryson, Ellman and McKay):;

I am currently involved in a new project led by Caroline Bryson scoping the need for a dedicated new survey focusing on issues related to family separation:

I am co-principal with Dr Emma Hitchings (Bristol) on a project examining the settlement of financial disputes on divorce.  The first findings from this study, focused on the "how, when and why" of settlement were published in November 2013 at  The next phase of this project is examining 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 have recently co-edited a new volume 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.

Lecturing & Supervising

Lectures and supervises Criminal Law and Family Law.


Publication 1308 Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets (Ed) (Hart Publishing)

Publisher Hart Publishing
Published Aug 2009
ISBN 10 1841132594
ISBN 13 9781841132594
Co Authors Rebecca Probert
Available at heffers

Publication 4011 "Assembling the jigsaw puzzle: understanding financial settlement on divorce" [2014] Family Law, March issue

Published Mar 2014
Co Authors Emma Hitchings (Bristol), Hilary Woodward (Cardiff)
Book Chapters
Book Reviews
Case Notes

Publication 4379 "Litigants in person in private family law cases" (Nov 2014)

Published Nov 2014
Co Authors L Trinder, R Hunter, E Hitchings, J Miles, R Moorhead, L Smith, M Sefton, V Hinchly, K Bader, and J Pearce

Publication 2858 "Written evidence to Public Bill Committee on Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2011" (, Jul 2011) LA 45

Reference Number LA 45
Published Jul 2011
Conference Papers

Publication 4201 "Assembling the Jigsaw Puzzle Understanding financial settlements on Divorce" (Judicial College, Oct 2014)

Published Oct 2014
Co Authors Emma Hitchings (Bristol), Hilary Woodward (Cardiff)

Publication 4085 "Assembling the jigsaw puzzle: understanding financial settlement on divorce" (Socio-Legal Studies Association, Apr 2014)

Published Apr 2014
Co Authors Emma Hitchings (Bristol), Hilary Woodward (Cardiff)