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Room: F6R

Tel: 01223 361819

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Affiliated Lecturer in Law, Admissions Tutor and Fellow in Law

BA Law, Pembroke College Cambridge; MA Pembroke College, Cambridge; LLM EUI, Florence; PhD, Pembroke College, Cambridge


Zoe graduated 5th in her year with a First Class degree in Law from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2013. She started work for the CBR that summer. She has since been working alongside Simon Deakin on a number of projects including research on labour law in developing countries funded by the DFID/ESRC Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation. She has been involved in creating a dataset that measures the legal content of labour laws in over 80 countries. She has since co-authored a number of articles on labour law, european union law, and legal methodology. Her research focuses on exploring the relationship between law and capitalism, and teasing out the implications of this relationship for labour law scholarship and practice. She completed her solicitors' Legal Practice Course in June 2014 and was awarded an LLM from the EUI, Florence, in September 2014.  She has began studying for her PHD at Pembroke College, Cambridge in October 2015, and was awarded her PhD in June 2018, for which she was awarded the Yorke Prize in 2019. Since 2018, she was a Junior Research Fellow at King's College Cambridge, before becoming Fellow, and Admissions Tutor at King's in 2021.  In terms of teaching, she has been supervising labour law at Cambridge since January 2016. She has been an affiliated lecturer with the Cambridge Law Faculty since 2017, lecturing labour law and economics of law and regulation (LLM). She also supervises tort law.

CV / Biography


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<p>Description automatically generated with low confidenceDR ZOE ADAMS








King's College King's College, Cambridge,



Room: F6R

Tel: 01223 361819

BA Law, Pembroke College Cambridge; MA Pembroke College, Cambridge; LLM, EUI, Florence; PhD, Pembroke College, Cambridge

Affiliated Lecturer in Law, Law Faculty, University of Cambridge

Law Fellow, King’s College, Cambridge

Admissions Tutor, King’s College, Cambridge

Supervisor: Labour Law, Tort Law

Lectures: Labour Law; Law and Economics and Advanced Labour Law







Zoe Adams is Fellow and Admissions Tutor at King's College Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in Law at the University of Cambridge, UK. She has a BA from Pembroke College, Cambridge, an LLM from the European University Institute in Florence, and a PhD from Pembroke College Cambridge. Her academic interests lie primarily in the realm of labour law, tort law, legal methodology, social ontology, and law and economics.  Zoe describes herself as a ‘critical’ legal scholar, embedding her work in a structural analysis of law’s relationship with capitalism. The issues she explores include the relationship between law and capitalism, and the role of legal concepts in shaping the latter’s develop; questions of legal form, and their relationship with political strategy; the relationship between law, gender, and race; and, more generally, the role of law in the perpetuation, and legitimisation, of inequality. A lot of her work focuses on UK labour law history, with particular emphasis on the history of wage and working time development; the history of industrial relations and legal frameworks governing trade unions and industrial action; and the law’s role in shaping the so-called ‘future of work’.

Zoe  was awarded the Yorke Prize for her PhD thesis, A Social Ontology of the Wage, and her first book, Labour and the Wage: A Critical Perspective, was published by Oxford University Press in 2020.  It won the Yorke Prize, in 2020, and has since been shortlisted for both the SLSA Early Career Academic Book Prize, and the SLSA Hart Book Prize. Zoe’s second monograph, The Legal Concept of Work was published in November 2022. She is now in the planning stages of a third book, exploring the relationship between law and power.



Zeigler Prize for Law (2013)

Yorke Prize (2019)

SLSA Early Career Academic Book Prize (Shortlist)

SLSA Hart Book Prize (Shortlist)



Assessor, Labour Law (part II) (2018)

Assessor, Advanced Labour Law (LLM) (2020 - present)

Teaching 6th form students: Experience Cambridge, Target Oxbridge, and Bridging programme (King’s College Cambridge)

Lecturer (Part II, and LLM) (2018- present)

Supervisor (Part 1A, Part II (2016-present))

Interviewing (5 years)

PhD First year examiner (2019,2020)

PhD co-supervisor (2020- present)



Member of University Council (2020 – present)

Member of University Council Business Committee (2023-present)

Member of University Council Joint Negotiating Board (2021-present)

Member of King’s College HR Committee (2020-present)

Member of King’s College Council (2018-2022)

Assistant Admissions Tutor, King’s College, Cambridge (2020-2021)

Admissions Tutor, King’s College Cambridge (2021-present)

Lay Dean, King’s College, Cambridge (2019-2020)

Assistant Tutor, King’s College, Cambridge (2020)





Adams, Z The Legal Concept of Work (Oxford University Press 2023)

Adams, Z, Labour and the Wage: A Critical Perspective (Oxford University Press 2020).


Book Chapters

Adams Z, 'Digital Constitutionalism and Work' in Research Handbook of Digital Constitutionalism (forthcoming, 2024)

Adams Z, 'In Search of Adequacy in Contemporary Labour Markets' in Ratti et al ed. The EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages (Bloomsbury: 2024)

Adams Z, Riley v Warden – a Landmark Case? In Bogg et al (eds) Landmark Cases in Labour Law (Hart: 2023)

Adams Abi, Adams, Zoe, and Prassl Jeremias, , ‘Legitimizing Precarity: Zero Hours Contracts in the United Kingdom’ in Michelle O’Sullivan and others (eds), Zero Hours and On-call Work in Anglo-Saxon Countries (Springer 2019) <> accessed 2 December 2020.


Adams Z and Deakin S, ‘Corporate Governance and Employment Relations’, The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance (OUP: 2018).


Zoe Adams and Simon Deakin, ‘Freedom of Establishment and Regulatory Competition’, The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law (OUP: 2015).



Adams, Barnard, Deakin and Fraiser-Butlin, Labour Law (2021: Hart)

Adams and Deakin, Tort Law, (Oxford University Press, 2019)

Journal Articles

Zoe Adams, 'From Prevention to Empowerment: A New Model for UK Labour Law [2024] Industrial Law Journal dwae015 :

Zoe Adams, ‘Trade Unions and the Law: A Materialist Perspective’ Cambridge Law Journal (2023) (forthcoming)

Zoe Adams and Johanna Wenckebach, ‘Collective Regulation of Algorithmic Management ‘(2023) European Labour Law Journal (forthcoming)

Zoe Adams, ‘Legal Mobilisations, Trade Unions and Radical Social Change: A Case Study of the IWGB’ [2023] Industrial Law Journal dwac031.

Zoe Adams, ‘Aspirational Work: A UK Labor Law Analysis’ (2022) 3 Journal of Law and Political Economy <> accessed 27 February 2023;

Zoe Adams, ‘A Structural Approach to Labour Law’ (2022) 46 Cambridge Journal of Economics 447.

Zoe Adams, ‘Invisible Labour: Legal Dimensions of Invisibilization’ (2022) 49 Journal of Law and Society 385; Zoe Adams, ‘A Structural Approach to Labour Law’ (2022) 46 Cambridge Journal of Economics 447.

Zoe Adams, ‘La Proposta Di Direttiva UE Relativa Ai Salari Minimi Adeguati: Ripensare La Funzione Sociale Dei Salari Minimi.’ (2021) 31 Diritto delle relazioni industriali: rivista della Associazione lavoro e riceche 283.

Zoe Adams, Abi Adams-Prassl and Jeremias Adams-Prassl, ‘Online Tribunal Judgments and the Limits of Open Justice’ (2022) 42 Legal Studies 42.




Zoe Adams, ‘Labour Law, Capitalism and the Juridical Form: Taking a Critical Approach to Questions of Labour Law Reform’ (2021) 50 Industrial Law Journal 434.

Zoe Adams and Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan, ‘Work and Works on Digital Platforms in Capitalism: Conceptual and Regulatory Challenges for Labour and Copyright Law’ (2020) 28 International Journal of Law and Information Technology 329.

Adams, Z, ‘Le Rôle Central Des Autorités Publiques et Des Tribunaux Dans La Régulation Des VTC’ [2019] Chronique Internationale de l’IRES 155.

Adams, Z, ‘Labour Law and the Labour Market: Employment Status Reconsidered’ (2019) 135 Law Quarterly Review 611.


Adams, Z; ‘Wage’, ‘Salary’ and ‘Remuneration’: A Genealogical Exploration of Juridical Terms and their Significance for the Employer’s Power to Make Deductions from Wages, Industrial Law Journal, , dwy003,

Zoe Adams and John Olusegun Adenitire, ‘Ideological Neutrality in the Workplace’ (2018) 81 The Modern Law Review 348.

Adams, Zoe, and Simon Deakin. "Institutional Solutions to Precariousness and Inequality in Labour Markets." British Journal of Industrial Relations 52.4 (2014): 779-809.

Adams, Zoe, et al. "Labour regulation over time: new leximetric evidence." 4th conference of the Regulating for Decent Work network, ILO, Geneva. 2015.

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) "Quantitative labour law." Centre for Business Research Working Paper. Cambridge: University of Cambridge (presented to the Symposium on New Frontiers in Empirical Labour Law Research, Cambridge, April 2014)

Book Reviews

Adams, Z, ‘Book Review: Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey’ (2018) 42 Capital & Class 596.

Adams, Z ‘La Gouvernance Par Les Nombres’ (2017) 46 Industrial Law Journal 163.


Adams, Zoe. “A1  - Stephen Weatherill , Law and Values in the European Union, Oxford: PB  - Oxford University Press , 2016, 480 Pp, Pb £29.99.” The Modern Law Review 80, no. 1 (January 1, 2017): 168–71. doi:10.1111/1468-2230.12250.

Adams, Z. (2016) ‘A Purposive Approach to Labour Law. By Guy Davidov [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. xi + 289 pp. Hardback £60. ISBN 978-0-198-75903-4.]’, The Cambridge Law Journal, 75(3), pp. 632–635. doi: 10.1017/S0008197316000520


Zoe Adams, ‘Costs of Living Crisis? Or Costs of Capitalism Crisis? | Journal of Law and Society’ (Journal of Law and Society Blog, 20 July 2022) <> accessed 27 February 2023.


Adams, Z ‘The EU Minimum Wage Directive: A Missed Opportunity?’ UK Labour Law Blog, 12 November 2020, available at

Zoe Adams and Simon Deakin, ‘Work Is Intermittent but Capital Is Not: What to Do about Zero Hours Contracts’ (IER) <> accessed 27 February 2023.

Podcast Interviews and Public Talks

‘Podcast | Zoe Adams, “The Legal Concept of Work” (Oxford UP, 2022)’ (New Books Network) <> accessed 27 February 2023.

‘Law-Gender-and-Invisible-Labour | Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and Law | University of Southampton’ <> accessed 27 February 2023;

University of Bristol, ‘2022: CLW Speaker Series | University of Bristol Law School | University of Bristol’ <> accessed 27 February 2023.


Labour Law and Poverty Alleviation in Low and Middle-Income Countries: