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Southampton Law School

Centre for Private and Commercial Law (CPCL)

The Centre for Private and Commercial Law encourages academic staff in researching and building impact in all aspects of private and commercial law, regulation and policy. This encompasses doctrinal, comparative and inter- and multi-disciplinary methods. As part of this process, the centre examines the nature of method in modern commercial and consumer law. The purpose of the centre is to encourage mutual support and the sharing of best practice. To that end, the group’s meetings are a mixture of open forum discussions and presentations by internal and external speakers.

Centre Director

CPCL members are currently engaged in areas of research including:

  • Arbitration
  • Law and (Behavioural) Economics
  • Contract Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Corporate Governance
  • European Union law
  • Insurance Law
  • International Commercial Litigation
  • International Economic Law
  • Legal History
  • Tort
  • Property Law
  • Private International Law

Much of the work undertaken by members of our group intersects with other research centres, with consideration of, for example, regulatory theory (CLPS), ‘Big Data’ (I-CLIC) and maritime law (IML).

Research publications by members include:


Davey, J. ‘Insurance & price regulation in the digital era’ in T. T. Arvind, & J. Steele (Eds.), Contract Law & the Legislature: Autonomy, Expectations, and the Making of Legal Doctrine (Hart Publishing, 2020).

Hjalmarsson, J. ‘Fraudulent insurance claims as context: moral support for contempt of court decisions’ (2020) 39 Civil Justice Quarterly 118.

Reid, E. ‘Trade and environment in the EU and WTO: legitimacy, proportionality and institutional power play’ in R. Krämer-Hoppe (ed), Positive Integration - EU and WTO Approaches Towards the "Trade and" Debate (Springer International Publishing, 2020).


Davey, J. ‘Proportionality, fair presentation of the risk & the hypothetical bargain: The Law Commission’s remaking of commercial insurance law’ [2019] Lloyd's Maritime & Commercial Law Quarterly 359.

Hannigan, B. ‘Non-financial reporting - Evolving demands for transparent enterprises’ in V. Tountopoulos, & R. Veil (Eds.), Transparency of Stock Corporations in Europe: Rationales, Limitations and Perspectives (Hart Publishing, 2019).

M. Jordan, 'European Property Law and the Demands of Electronic Conveyancing: A Property in the Margins Perspective' in P. Kenna, and S. Murphy (Eds.), eConveyancing and Title Registration (Clarus Press, 2019).

Nield, S & Laurie, E ‘The private-public divide and horizontality in the English rental sector’ [2019] Public Law 745.

Psarras, H. ‘Corrective justice, the Continuity Thesis, and the duty of care in negligence law: lessons from John Gardner’s From Personal Life to Private Law’ (2019) 19 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 34.

Saranovic, F. ‘Jurisdiction and freezing injunctions: a reassessment’ (2019) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 639

Schmidt, H. (2019). Competition law and IP Rights: not so complementary - time for re-alignment of the goals? World Competition, 42(4), 451-474.

Schmidt, H. (2019). Taming the shrew: Is there a need for a new market power definition for the digital economy. In B. Lundqvist, & M. Gal (Eds.), Competition Law For the Digital Economy (pp. 29-70). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Zhao, L. ‘Classification of contractual terms and termination clauses in English law’ in J. Chuah (Ed.), Research Handbook on Maritime Law and Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2019).

Zhao, L. ‘Party autonomy in choice of court and jurisdiction over foreign-related commercial and maritime disputes in China’ (2019) 15 Journal of Private International Law 541.


Jordan, M. ‘The British assured shorthold tenancy in a European context: Extremity of tenancy law on the fringes of Europe’ in C. U. Schmid (Ed.), Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Europe: Towards Regulatory Equilibrium (Edward Elgar, 2018).

Jordan, M. ‘To learn and to forget: Lessons from the Irish mortgage crisis’ in M. Anderson, & A. Amayuelas (Eds.), The Impact of the Mortgage Credit Directive in Europe: Contrasting Views from Member States (Europa Law Publishing, 2018).

Law, S. ‘The transformation of consumers’ procedural protection in times of crisis – The Ex Officio Control of Unfair Contract Terms’ in C. H. R. van Rhee, & A. Uzelac (Eds.), Transformation of Civil Justice: Unity and Diversity (Springer, 2018)

Sarah Blandy, Susan Bright and Sarah Nield ‘The dynamics of enduring property relationships in land’ (2018) 81 Modern Law Review 85.

Reid, E. (2018). ‘The WTO’s purpose, regulatory autonomy and the future of the embedded liberalism compromise’ in G. Moon, & L. Toohey (Eds.), The Future of International Economic Integration: The Embedded Liberalism Compromise Revisited (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Roche, J. ‘Historiography and the Law of Property Act 1925: the return of Frankenstein’ (2018) 77 Cambridge Law Journal 600.

Saranovic, F. ‘Rethinking the scope of freezing injunctions’ (2018) Civil Justice Quarterly 383.


Davey, J. ‘A compulsory diet of chickens and eggs: the EU motor insurance directives as a shadow tort regime’ in P. Giliker (Ed.), Research Handbook on EU Tort Law (Edward Elgar, 2017).

Hannigan, B. ‘Empire-building: the rise of the audit committee’ in S. Watson, & P. M. Vasudev (Eds.), Innovations in Corporate Governance: Global Perspectives (Edward Elgar, 2017).

Hannigan, B. ‘The rise of stewardship - 'smoke and mirrors' or governance realignment?’ in H. Siekmann, A. Cahn, T. Florstedt, K. Lagenbucher, J. Redenius-Hovermann, T. Troger, & U. Segna (Eds.), Festschrift fuer Theodor Baums zum siebzigsten Geburtstag (Mohr Siebeck, 2017).

Jordan, M. ‘Illegality and the law of Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish’ (2017) 57 Irish Jurist 1-29.

Kohl, U. ‘Conflict of laws and the internet’ in R. Brownsword, E. Scotford, & K. Yeung (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation and Technology (OUP, 2017)

Law, S. ‘At the crossroads of consumer protection, data protection and private international law: Some remarks on Verein für Konsumenteninformation v Amazon EU’ (2017) 42 European Law Review 751.

Galán, A., & Law, S. ‘The emergence of European private law and the plurality of authority’ (2017) 7 Transnational Legal Theory 499.

Law, S. ‘The CJEU’s interpretation of the consumer: What significance of judicial cooperation?’ in F. Cafaggi, & S. Law (Eds.), Judicial Cooperation in European Private Law (Edward Elgar, 2017).

Laurie, E., & Bevan, C. ‘The Housing and Planning Act 2016’ (2017) 80 Modern Law Review 661.

Todd, P. ‘Commodity sales and the compensatory principle’ [2017] Lloyd's Maritime & Commercial Law Quarterly 122.

Todd, P. ‘Damages for breach of an arbitration agreement’ [2018] Journal of Business Law 404.


Hannigan, B. ‘Corporate purpose in the UK: from shareholder primacy to enlightenment and the good corporate citizen’ In A. Prum (Ed.), Cent Ans de Droit Luxembourgeois des Societes (Larcier. 2016).

Hannigan, B. ‘The SAS from the UK perspective: regulatory competition, twins or rivals, the UK private limited company and the French SAS’ in P-H. Conac, & I. Urbain-Parleani (Eds.), La Societe par actions simplifiee (Dalloz, 2016).

Law, S. ‘The rationales, reasoning and methodology underpinning the judicial recognition of principles of union law’ (2016) Cahiers de Droit Européen 11.

Roche, J. ‘Legal history in court: lessons from Mexfield and Southward’ (2016) 80 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 286.


Davey, J., & Richards, K. ‘Deterrence, human rights & illegality: the forfeiture rule in insurance contract law’ [2015] Lloyd's Maritime & Commercial Law Quarterly 315.

Reid, E. Balancing human rights, environmental protection and international trade: lessons from the EU experience (Hart Publishing, 2015).

14 Nov 2020 – ‘The Bubble and the Bubble Act’- The Guildhall, Winchester

Speakers from across Law, Economics, History and Science will address the legacy of the South Sea Bubble of 1720, and the legislative response.

Helen Paul contributed to this.

25 September 2020 Insurance Causation after the Financial Conduct Authority Test case



  • 02 Oct 2019 - J Davey (UoS, Law School): Things We Like A Lot: Gneezy & Rustichini, A Fine is A Price, 29 J Legal Stud 1 (2000)’ (venue 4/4003; 13.00-14.00).
  • 06 Nov 2019 - C Psarras (UoS, Law School): Things We Like A Lot: Nolan, ‘Assumption of Responsibility: Four Questions (2019) 72 Current Legal Problems 123’ (venue 4/4003;13.00-14.00).
  • 05 Feb 2020, Workshop, ‘Insurance and Climate Change: Litigation, Adaptation & the Coming Storm’.


Professor Emily Reid, Professor of International Economic Law and Sustainable Development (UoS)


Zelle LLP: Climate change website:

‘Our attorneys have been on the cutting-edge of insurance litigation for decades, including first- and third-party property and liability coverage, reinsurance, and subrogation, and extending across a wide range of industries and natural and man-made catastrophes’.

Dr Swenja Surminski, Head of Adaptation Research, Grantham Institute, LSE.

Sien Van der Plank, Doctoral researcher, Coastal Flood Risk Management, UoS (Eng/Law).

(venue 02/1039, 4-6pm)


  • 29 Jan 2020, Prof Daithi Mac Sithigh (Queen’s University, Belfast) ‘Global village to smart city: reputation, personalisation, and ubiquity’

Abstract: ’Smart city’ projects today range from Sidewalk’s vision for a new waterfront in Toronto, to the ‘pilot cities’ of China, to the many places across the UK attending to the digital dimensions of ‘city deals’ and new urban plans. Increasingly, the guiding principles governing such projects, and the motivations of their proponents, are under scrutiny. Sidewalk, a Google-affiliated company, has articulated various iterations of its masterplan, engaging in significant debate on data ownership, surveillance, and intellectual property. Chinese cities deploy aspects of the emerging 'social credit’ systems, building upon the prevalence and acceptability of reputation measurement that dates back to credit scoring and is at the heart of many features of Western digital markets, including online auctions and the sharing economy, but break new ground in the pervasiveness and interconnectedness of surveillance. Cities around the world try to set standards for their digital agendas and smart city roadmaps, but find themselves confronting similar challenges of whether to emphasise the power of aggregate data or the delivery of personalised services; the technology or the quality of life; the vision of better public authorities or the opportunities for the private sector. I explore these tensions in this paper, taking stock of emerging approaches that seek to apply or supplement existing rules on privacy and data protection and to sustain public confidence and support in the face of innovation and change.

(venue 4/4003;13.00-14.30).


  • 29 Jun 2020, Book Launch: Miller’s Marine War Risks

In association with Quadrant Chambers and 4, Essex Street.

Chair: Sir Bernard Rix


Professor James Davey, ‘War risks clauses – are they special?’

Michael Davey QC, ‘The Brilliante Virtuoso’

Oliver Caplin, ‘The insured perils and cyber-attacks’

(Online, 17:00 – 18:00)


  • 27 Feb 2019, Research Workshop on The Humanity of Private Law (CLPS and PCL).

Guest Speakers: N.J. McBride (Cambridge), Sarah Green (Bristol), Sandy Steel (Oxford)

(Venue: 4/4003, 1300 – 1700)

  • 29 Jun 2019, Workshop on ‘Data-Driven Personalisation in Markets, Politics and Law', led by Professor Uta Kohl and Dr Jacob Eisler

Southampton Law School will be hosting a workshop on the topic of ‘Data-Driven Personalisation in Markets, Politics and Law', which will explore the pervasive and growing phenomenon of ‘personalisation’ – from behavioural advertising in commerce and micro-targeting in politics, to personalised pricing and contracting and predictive policing and recruitment. This is a huge area which touches upon many legal disciplines as well as social science concerns and, of course, computer science and mathematics. Within law, it goes well beyond data protection law, raising questions for criminal law, consumer protection, competition and IP law, tort law, administrative law, human rights and anti-discrimination law, law and economics as well as legal and constitutional theory.

(UoS, 1300-1700).

James Davey: Reinsurance as welfare; Behavioural economics and insurance fraud.

Meixian Song: Relational contract theory and the intersection between insurance and other contracts

Sarah Nield: (In)flexibility of Enduring Property Relations - looking at how property relations respond to change at the micro level (ie between individual property owners) taking easements over shared space as my focus.

The Braganza Duty in Lending - looking at recent cases and other developments in lender's decision making and its interface with regulatory standards.

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