I became an academic in 2000, after spending some years in commercial practice. I have been at York since September 2018, having previously worked at the Newcastle University and the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Apart from my role in the law school at York, I am also University Research Champion for Risk, Evidence, and Decision-making
My research focuses on studying the human dimensions of commercial societies, and the role of legal institutions (and the state more broadly) in balancing conflicting expectations and goals, and in determining the shape, structure, and effects of interpersonal interaction in these societies. Much of my recent work uses frameworks from the social sciences to analyse current legal questions, with specific emphasis on the intellectual, social, economic and other influences that shape legal change. I was awarded the ICLQ Young Scholar Prize in 2010 and the SLS Best Paper Prize in 2009 (with Lindsay Stirton).
I have a strong interest in the use of empirical methodologies in the study of law. Together with Lindsay Stirton (Sussex), I pioneered the extension of Qualitative Comparative Analysis to law (for which we jointly received the SLS Best Paper Prize in 2009). Lindsay and I have also used Bayesian Item-response models to examine the nature and significance of differences between judges on the Supreme Court (and its predecessor, the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords), and to examine the impact of the Human Rights Act on their decisions.
I also have a strong interest in teaching pedagogy, and have done considerable work on problem-based approaches to legal education, particularly in relation to using them as vehicles for discussing theoretical and contextual issues.