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Rachel Leow's picture


Education CV

Education and Professional Record

Ph.D candidate, University of Cambridge, 2013- present

LL.M. (First Class), University of Cambridge, 2012-2013

LL.B (Second Class Upper Honours), National University of Singapore, 2007-2011

Advocate and Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore

Instructor, National University of Singapore, 2013-present 



National University of Singapore Overseas Graduate Scholarship (full PhD funding)

Chancellor’s Medal for English Law (2013)

Gareth Jones Prize for the Law of Restitution (2013)

Senior Harris Scholarship, Downing College

Wilsey & Lerch Law Prize, Downing College

Platt Prize for especial distinction, Downing College

National University of Singapore Dean’s List (2007, 2011)

National University of Singapore Faculty Award (full funding for undergraduate tuition fees)

Class of 1995 Grant 



Founder and co-chair, Cambridge PhD Seminar Series, 2014-2015

Participant, Programme in European Private Law for Postgraduates, 2014-2015

Fields of research

Unjust enrichment, Trusts, Equity, the intersection between Companies and Private Law.


Companies in Private Law


My PhD research examines the role of companies in private law. Companies are the dominant actors in private law, but they have been ignored by private law scholarship. Many fundamental questions remain unanswered. How are companies treated by private law? Do the same rules of private law which apply to human persons also apply to companies? How are companies made liable in private law? 

My thesis focuses on one way in which companies are made liable in private law. They are made personally liable for breaching duties which they have incurred. As artificial legal persons, companies can only incur and breach duties through the acts of human persons acting on behalf of the company. The acts and states of mind of human persons acting on behalf of the company may be treated as those of the company, in order to establish the company's personal civil liability. The rules which identify which acts and states of mind are treated as the company's are called the 'rules of attribution'. 

The core argument made in my PhD research is that private law already has implicit but unarticulated rules of attribution which are based on the same principles across the common law of obligations. These rules have never been presented together as a coherent body of law, and doing so is the main task of my PhD. My research aims to show that far from forming a disparate set of rules, private law has a consistent and coherent approach towards corporate civil responsibility. Understanding the rules of attribution and their operation is crucial to the rational development of private law.



Professor Sarah Worthington, Nick McBride (advisor)

Representative Publications


1. Rachel Leow and Timothy Liau, "Unjust Enrichment and Restitution in Singapore - Where Now and Where Next" [2014] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 331-360

  • Cited by the Singapore Court of Appeal in Eng Chiet Shoong and ors v Cheong Soh Chin and ors [2016] SGCA 45, [2016] 4 SLR 728.

2. Rachel Leow, "Four Misconceptions about Charity Law in Singapore" [2012] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 37-54

3. Rachel PS Leow, "The Evolution of Charity Law in Singapore - From Pre-Independence to the 21st Century" [2012] Trust Law International 83-95

4. Rachel PS Leow, "Minority Protection Doctrines: From Equity and Company Law to Strata Title" [2011] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 96-114

Case notes

1. Rachel Leow and Timothy Liau, "Resulting Trusts: A Victory for Unjust Enrichment?" (2014) 73 CLJ 500-503

2. Rachel Leow, "Change of Position in Restitution for Wrongs - A View from Singapore" (2014) 130 LQR 18-21

3. Kelvin FK Low and Rachel Leow, "Berrisford v Mexfield Housing Co-Operative Ltd: Lost in Transplantation" [2012] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 481-490

4. Rachel PS Leow, "The Legal Personality of Management Corporations in Strata Title Developments in Singapore" [2012] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 75-79

5. Rachel PS Leow, "Donatio mortis causa of registered land in the Singapore High Court" [2011] Trust Law International 145-149

6. Rachel PS Leow, "Over the Horizon: Where Agency, Equity and Collective Sales Meet (2010) 28 Singapore Law Review 39-53

Other publications/reports

1. Tang HW, ACY Teo and R Leow, "Redefining "Charity": Modernizing Charity Legislation" (Research report prepared for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore, 2011) 

2. Rachel Leow, "Minority Protection Doctrines in Strata Title: The Limits of Majority Rule", Singapore Law Gazette, August 2011

Conference presentations

1. “A Misguided Revolution in Vicarious Liability?” (Paper presented at Obligations VIII, Cambridge United Kingdom, 19-22 July 2016)

2. “Vicarious Liability: One Doctrine or Two?”, University of Cambridge Private Law Centre Seminar, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 8 June 2016 

3. “ Ostensible Authority as a Substantive Estoppel”, 2015 Melbourne Law School Obligations Group Equity Conference, 3 December 2015

4. “Ostensible Authority as a Substantive Estoppel” (Paper presented at 2015 Melbourne Law School Obligations Group Equity Conference, 3-4 December 2015)

5. “Why Attribution is Important to Private Law” (Paper presented at the University of Oxford Obligations Discussion Group, 21 October 2015)

6. “How and Why are Companies Liable in Tort?” (Paper presented at the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference 2015, York, United Kingdom, 2 September 2015)

7. "Four Models of Agent Wrongdoing in Contract Formation" (Programme in European Private Law for Postgraduates, Cambridge, UK, 21 March 2015)

8. "Why Attribution is Important to Private Law" (University of Cambridge Private Law Centre Seminar, Cambridge, UK, 4 Feb 2015)

9. "Are Defences in the Law of Unjust Enrichment Satisfactory?" (Society of Legal Scholars' Annual Conference 2014, 12 Sept 2014, Nottingham, UK)

10. "Defences and the Scope of Liability in Unjust Enrichment" (University of Cambridge Private Law Centre Seminar, 14 May 2014, Cambridge, UK) 

11. "Resolving Disputes between Co-owners of Pets" (11th Australasian Property Law Teachers' Conference, 13 July 2012, Singapore)

12. "Minority Protection Doctrines: From Equity and Company Law to Strata Title" (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors International Research Conference 2010,  September 2010, Paris, France)

Start Date

Oct 2013

End date

Oct 2017