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Personal profile


I am a qualified solicitor. I graduated from Newcastle University in 1989 with an LL.B (hons) degree and then completed the Law Society Finals at the College of Law in York. I have an MA in history and a PhD in legal history from Newcastle University. 

I trained as a solicitor with Hay and Kilner, in Newcastle, and on qualification worked in the litigation department handling both claimant and defendant personal injury and clinical negligence cases. After six years I moved to Crutes Law Firm (now DWF) where I conducted defendant personal injury and clinical negligence litigation on behalf of major insurance companies and the NHSLA (NHS Resolution).

I joined the University in 2012. I have a PGCE and I am a Qualified Teacher, a qualified coach, a Fellow of the Society for Education and Training, and a Fellow of the HEA. I am Programme Leader for the Law Foundation Year. I teach Civil Litigation, Legal History, and Inquests on the MLaw and LLB degrees. In previous years I managed civil firms in the Student Law Office and taught English Legal System, Tort, and Trials of Dissenters. I supervise final year archival/legal history projects.


Research interests

My research is in the field of Legal History. My specific research passion is coroners and inquests. I also research and write about nineteenth century lives, trials, and punishments- with a focus on the North East of England. I am interested in legal biography, images of the law, the use of digital newspapers for research, and microhistorical inquiry.

My Phd is titled: The Coroner in an Emerging Industrial Society: John Thedore Hoyle and Newcastle upon Tyne 1857-1885. 

Further Information

I am a member of the Royal Historical Society, the Seldon Society, the Society of Legal Scholars, The Social History Society, the Centre for Nineteenth Century Legal Studies, The British Association for Victorian Studies and Newcastle upon Tyne Law Society. I am co-convenor of the Law and Humanities Research Interest Group.

I carried out research for the TwentyTwenty/BBC TV programme A House Through Time for both the Newcastle and the Leeds episodes.

I have been an external moderator for a University Access course and I am an external examiner at the University of Westminster.

I am co-convenor for the upcoming Seminar Series (organised jointly with the Max Planck Institute for Legal History, Leeds Beckett University and York University- supported by the SLS) Through a Legal Lens- Law, History and Visual Culture. Each Thursday 3-6.30 BST 26 May to 23 June Full details here: Through a Legal Lens

Education/Academic qualification

Law, PhD, Newcastle University


PGCHE, Northumbria University


History, MA, Newcastle University


Law, DipHE, Northumbria University


College of Law


LLB (Hons), Newcastle University


External positions

University of Westminster

1 Sep 2019 → …


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