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Professor of Law, University of Cambridge

Simon Deakin is a Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge. He specializes in labour law, private law, company law and EU law. His research is concerned, more generally, with the relationship between law and the social sciences, and he contributes regularly to the fields of law and economics, law and development, and empirical legal studies. He is Director of the Centre for Business Research (, co-Chair of the University's Strategic Research Initiative in Public Policy (, and a Fellow of Peterhouse.

Following undergraduate studies in Law at Cambridge he stayed on to complete a Ph.D. in labour law under the joint supervision of Brian Napier (Faculty of Law) and Frank Wilkinson (Department of Applied Economics). He took up his first full-time lecturing post at Queen Mary College, University of London, in 1987, after a year as a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago, and was appointed to a lectureship in the Cambridge Law Faculty in 1990. He was a visiting fellow at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange Guépin, Nantes, in 1993 and 1995, and the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, University of Melbourne, in 1996. In 2001 he became Robert Monks Professor of Corporate Governance in the Judge Business School at Cambridge.

He returned to the Cambridge Law Faculty as a Professor of Law in 2006. He has given the ILO Social Policy Lectures (Budapest 2002), the Tanner Lectures (Oxford, 2008), the Mike Larkin Memorial Lecture (Cape Town, 2009), the V.V. Giri Memorial Lecture (New Delhi, 2013), and the Innis Christie Lecture (Dalhousie, 2015). In 2003 and 2008 he was a Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia University and in 2004 a visiting fellow in the Department of Law, European University Institute, Florence. Since 2004 he has been Omron visiting fellow at Doshisha University, Kyoto.

In 2012-13 he was Francqui Visiting Professor at the University of Antwerp and in September 2013 he gave a course of lectures on corporate governance at Moscow State University. In 2015 he gave a plenary address to the 21st World Congress of the International Society for Labour and Social Security Law, meeting in Cape Town. His books include Tort Law (7th. ed. with Basil Markesinis and Angus Johnston, 2012), Labour Law (6th. ed. 2012, with Gillian S. Morris), The Law of the Labour Market: Industrialization, Employment, and Legal Evolution (2005, with Frank Wilkinson), and Hedge Fund Activism in Japan: The Limits of Shareholder Primacy (2012, with John Buchanan and Dominic Chai).

He is editor in chief of the Industrial Law Journal and a member of the editorial board of the the Cambridge Journal of Economics. He was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy in 2005 and in 2012 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Catholic University of Louvain ( He is a recipient of the ECGI and Allen & Overy prizes for corporate governance research (see 2010 Working Paper Competition). He is currently a principal investigator on two ESRC-funded projects ( and has recently carried out contract research for the International Labour Organisation and for the UK government's Foresight review of the future of British manufacturing.


  • –present
    Professor of Law, University of Cambridge