skip to content
Zoe Adams's picture


Education CV

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 the interaction of politics, law and public policy, with particular reference to labour law and EU law. She completed her solicitors' Legal Practice Course in June 2014 and was awarded an LLM from the EUI, Florence, in September 2014.  She has been studying for her PHD at Pembroke College, Cambridge since October 2015. Her current work examines the relationship between labour law and capitalism using a social ontologic method. 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.

Fields of research

Labour law, Social Ontology, EU law, Law and Economics, Corporate Governance, Legal Methodology


A Social Ontology of the Wage


This thesis draws on social ontology to explore why labour law struggles to provide for wage security and clarity of employment status today.  It starts by exploring at a conceptual level the relationship between law and capitalism, before moving on to engage more specifically with the concept of the wage, situating the analysis in a theory of the wage’s socio-economic function.


Professor Simon Deakin


First Year Certificate: Professor John Bell; Professor Catherine Barnard

PhD Viva: Professor John Bell, Professor Judy Fudge

Representative Publications

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,

Adams, Zoe and Adenitire, John 'Ideological Neutrality in the Workplace' Modern Law Review (forthcoming)

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) "Work is intermittent but capital is not: what to do about zero hours contracts." Institute for Employment Rights blog, 1 May

Adams, Zoe, and Simon Deakin. “Freedom of Establishment and Regulatory Competition,” July 23, 2015. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672646.013.23.


Deakin, Simon, and Zoe Adams. “Corporate Governance and Employment Relations,” June 9, 2015. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198743682.013.44.

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, 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


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


Start Date

Oct 2015

End date

Oct 2018