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Professor Peter Sparkes LLB Solicitor

Professor of Property Law

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Professor Peter Sparkes is Professor of Property Law (2002-) within Southampton Law School at the University of Southampton.

LLB (Exeter, 1975, First Class Hons), Solicitor (1979)

Author of

Peter speaks on all aspects of the land law of Europe and the EU, notably







Research interests

EU land law, conveyancing and registration

  • P Sparkes European Land Law (Hart, 2007)
  • Cross-Border Acquisition of Residential Property: Problems that Arise for Citizens (European Parliament, PE356.936, 2016) (lead author)
  • Conference papers on cross border acquisition
  • ‘Will Blockchain Technology Simply Cross-Border Property Transactions?’ (Washington DC, World Bank, December 2016) (contributor)
  • Conference contributions on blockchain in Galway and elsewhere (2017)

Comparative land law

  • Protection of Immovables in European Legal Systems (Cambridge UP, 2015) (co-editor with Prof Sonia Martín Santisteban)
  • Residential Immovables in European Legal Systems (ongoing common core (‘Trento’) project 2015-) co-editor with Prof Matti Niemi and Dr Michael Milo
  • Land in 2- and 3- Dimensions in European Legal Systems (ongoing Trento project, 2016-)
  • Author of report on ‘England and Wales’ in the International Encyclopaedia of Laws (2107)
  • Comparative Land Law of Europe (in progress)

European Tenancy and Housing Law

  • P Sparkes A New Landlord and Tenant (Hart, 2001)
  • TENLAW project, an EU funded investigation of tenancy law in EU-27 states (, 2012-2015) (team leader for England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland)
  • Supervisor of PhD dissertation of Mark Jordan on an aspect of tenancy law in Britain and Ireland (current) and two previous dissertations on aspects of tenancy law
  • ‘Homelessness Prevention in the Context of Evictions’, EU FP-7 funded project (member of Scientific Advisory Board)
  • ‘Tenancy law and Renovation of Energy Systems in Residential Homes’ (German Construction and Housing Agency, 2014) (co-reporter on United Kingdom with Mark Jordan)
  • Housing Law Research Network and European Network of Housing Research (contributor to symposia and conferences)

Modern English land law

  • P Sparkes A New Land Law (Hart, 2nd edn, 2003)
  • ‘Reserving a Slice of Cake’ [2015] 79(4) Conveyancer 301-315, a critique of Scott v Southern Pacific Mortgages [2014] UKSC 52
  • numerous articles, book chapters and conference papers
  • teaching for nearly 40 years

History of land law

  •  Conference papers, book chapters and journal articles on the history of specific performance, ejectment and declarations 

Chair of Special Considerations Board



Book Chapters

Working Paper

Current teaching:

Land Law and Equity.

SUSU choice as Outstanding Lecturer in the Faculty of Law Business and Arts, 2015.

He is interested in supervising research into comparative law.

Conference Presentations 2013-2017


  • ‘Levelling Land Holdings: the Ineffectiveness of the Universal Franchise’, Montaigne centre, University of Utrecht, November 24th 2017
  • ‘Formalities and Electronic Wills’ at SLS Conference to prepare a response to Law Commission Consultation Paper 231 (2017) on Making Wills, Reading, October 27th 2017
  • ‘Implications of the Grenfell Tower Fire’ Centre for Law Policy and Society, Southampton, October 18th 2017
  • ‘Black Market Phenomena in the London Rental Market’ TENLAW +2, University of Groningen, September 28-29th 2017
  • “England and Wales”  & ‘Cross-border Conveyancing’, University of Bonn, September 18-20th 2017
  • “Nature of Immovables in European Legal Systems” with Prof Matti Niemi and Dr Michael Milo, Common Core of European Private Law, 23rd General Meeting Turin, July 7th-8th 2017 (ongoing project 2015—2019)
  • “Blockchain Conveyancing?” and ‘The Future is Now! - eConveyancing and Title Registration’, NUI Galway, April 7th-8th 2017
  • “Blockchain Conveyancing?”, Housing Law Research Network, Mälmo, March 24th 2017
  • “The Epistemology of Comparative Questionnaires”, Legal Research Methodology, Montaigne Centre, University of Utrecht, February 17th 2017


  • “Blockchain in Cross-border Transactions” in session on ‘Will Blockchain Technology Simplify Cross-border Property Transactions?’
    Law Justice and Development Week 2016, World Bank, Washington DC, December 7th 2016
  • “What is Mortgage Credit?” ‘The Impact of Directive 2014/17 (the Mortgage Credit Directive), Views from Greece, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, the Netherlands and Spain’ Facultat de Dret, University of Barcelona, October 20th-21st 2016
  • “EU Property Law and BrExit: Goodbye to All That?” ‘TENLAW One Year On’ Tarragona, Catalonia, September 29th-30th 2016
  • “Adverse Possession – a response to the Law Commission Consultation Paper (CP 227) on Updating the Land Registration Act 2002” Society of Legal Scholars/ Cambridge Property Law Centre Lincoln’s Inn, June 1st 2016
  • “The Pre-history of Declarations of Title”, Legal History Symposium, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, April 12th 2016.
  • “Cross Border Acquisitions of Residential Property in the EU: Problems Encountered by Citizens “, Conference on Cross Border Conveyancing, Bavarian representation to the European Parliament, Brussels/ University of Heidelberg , March 16th 2016
  • “Penalties after ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67”, Housing Law Working Group of the European Network of Housing Researchers Coimbra, Portugal, February 26th 2016


  • Framework Revision”, Promoting Protection of the Right to Housing – Homelessness Prevention in the Context of Evictions, closing conference, Brussels, October 2015
  • TENLAW – closing conference, Budapest, September 17-18th 2015
  • Declarations of Title – 1883 And All That”, Society of Legal Scholars Conference, York, September 3rd-4th 2015
  • Common Core of European Private Law 21st General Meeting, Gothenburg , June 12th 2015
  • European Network of Housing Research 2015, Lisbon, June 29th-July 1st 2015
  • TENLAW working meeting, Tallinn/Tartu, Estonia, March 2015


  • TENLAW meeting, Ljubljana, Slovenia, October 16-17th 2014
  • Promoting Protection of the Right to Housing – Homelessness Prevention in the Context of Evictions, working meeting, Leuven, September 11th-12th 2014
  • TENLAW meeting, Delft, February 6th-7th 2014


  • Protection of Immovables, Common Core of European Private Law 19th General Meeting, Turin, November 15th-16th 2013
  • Property and Trusts section (acting chair), Society of Legal Scholars, Edinburgh, September 2nd-5th 2013.
  • European Network of Housing Research, annual Conference, Tarragona, June 20-21st 2013
  • TENLAW meeting
    Tarragona, June 18th-19th 2013
Professor Peter Sparkes
Faculty of Business, Law and Art, Building 4 University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK

Room Number:4/4021

Telephone:(023) 8059 2765

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