Biography

Andrew is an Associate Professor in Civil Procedure at the Law Faculty and a Fellow in Law at Mansfield College. He has taught civil procedure on Oxford’s BCL/MJUR course since 2008 and has taught contract and tort for University College and New College respectively. From 2015 Andrew will take on the General Editorship of Civil Justice Quarterly.

Andrew completed a BA/LLB (hons) at the University of Melbourne in 2001 and the BCL in 2005. He completed a Dphil at Oxford on legal professional privilege in 2011, and published a book on ‘Legal Professional Privilege for Corporations: A Guide to Four Major Common Law Jurisdictions’ with Oxford University Press in 2014. He has been a visiting scholar with NYU's Hauser Global Law School Program and an occasional guest lecturer in civil procedure at Melbourne Law School.

Andrew worked as a solicitor at the Australian law firm Slater & Gordon until 2007, and has been a practising barrister at the Victorian Bar since 2011. His main area of practice is mass tort litigation and has worked on asbestos, thalidomide and tobacco litigation amongst others. He has advised the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on whether the use of light and mild descriptors for cigarettes constituted misleading advertising, assisted the US Department of Justice on its RICO claim against the US tobacco industry, US v Philip Morris et al, and advised the Australian Government on the defence of its tobacco plain packaging laws against constitutional and international legal challenges. He has received awards for his work exposing British American Tobacco’s “document retention policies” in McCabe v British American Tobacco including from a coalition of public health NGOs.

Andrew’s main research interests are civil procedure, tort and causation.

 

Publications

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  • A Higgins and Michael Legg, 'A Higgins and M Legg, ‘Responding to cost and delay through overriding objectives – successful innovation?' in C Picker and G Seidman (eds), The Dynamism of Civil Procedure – Global Trends and Developments (Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice series 2015)
  • A Higgins, 'Civil justice in a shrinking state ' (2015) 34 Civil Justice Quarterly 221
  • A Higgins, 'CPR3.9: the Mitchell guidance, the Denton revision and why coded messages don’t make for good case management' (2014) 33 Civil Justice Quarterly 379
  • A Higgins, 'Legal aid and access to justice in England and India' (2014) 26 National Law School of India Review 13
  • A Higgins, 'A defence of qualified one way cost shifting' (2013) 32 Civil Justice Quarterly 198
    ISBN: 0261-9261
  • A Higgins, J Walker, D Rowe and C Crifo, 'A Higgins, J Walker, D Rowe and C Crifo, ‘Thoughtful practitioners and an engaged legal community: the impact of the teaching of procedure on the legal profession and on civil justice reform’ (2013) Osgoode Hall Law Journal 155 - 198. ' (2013) 51 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 155
  • A Higgins and Adrian Zuckerman, 'Class Actions in England? Efficacy, Autonomy and Proportionality in Collective Redress' (2013) 93/2013 University of Oxford Legal Research Paper Series
    This paper examines the background to the UK Government’s plans announced this year to introduce opt out class actions in competition cases, the EU Parliament’s opposition to them on autonomy grounds, and the arguments put forward by corporate lobby groups and the academics funded by them against opt out class actions. The paper argues that far from being a restriction on autonomy, there are strong grounds for requiring mandatory class actions for the determination of common claims and defences. Procedures for determining common issues in the one proceeding are a crucial feature of any effective and proportionate system of collective redress. We sketch some ways of encouraging individual participation in class actions without undermining the benefits of collective action, including more democratic decision making in the management and settlement of class actions. Moreover, private class actions are a necessary complement to action by public regulators, ensuring that the task of securing redress for mass harms is not borne fully by taxpayers, and that victims can still obtain redress where regulation is not available or ineffective.
  • A Higgins and Adrian Zuckerman, 'Re Prudential plc [2013] UKSC 1: The Supreme Court leaves to Parliament the issue of privilege for tax advice by accountants, what Parliament should do is restrict privilege for tax advice given by lawyers. ' (2013) 32 Civil Justice Quarterly 313 [Case Note]
  • A Higgins, 'Open door disclosure in civil proceedings' (2012) 16 International Journal of Evidence and Proof 298
    ISBN: 1365-7127
  • A Higgins, 'Legal lessons from the News of the World phone hacking scandal' (2012) 31 Civil Justice Quarterly 274
    ISBN: 0261-9261
  • A Higgins, 'Referral fees: the business of access to justice' (2012) 32 Legal Studies 109
    ISBN: 1748-121X
  • A Higgins, 'BATAS v Laurie: apprehended bias and actual failure of case management ' (2011) Civil Justice Quarterly 246 [Case Note]
  • A Higgins, 'ECJ confirms no privilege for in-house counsel: Azko Nobel v European Commission' ' (2011) Civil Justice Quarterly 113 [Case Note]
  • A Higgins, 'The costs of case management: what should be done post Jackson?' (2010) Civil Justice Quarterly 317
    ISBN: 0261-9261
  • A Higgins, 'Legal advice privilege and its relevance to corporations' (2010) Modern Law Review 371
    ISBN: 0026-7961
  • A Higgins, 'Corporate abuse of legal professional privilege' (2008) 27 Civil Justice Quarterly 377
    Corporate abuse of legal professional privilege is a controversial subject. Cases where abuse is exposed often acquire notoriety for the depth of corporate and professional misconduct they reveal, and act as catalysts for debate on the need to reform the rules of privilege. Those with an interest in maintaining or limiting the privilege take up now familiar sides in the debate. Corporate lawyers and lawyers’ associations usually stress the fundamental importance of the privilege and argue that there is no evidence of widespread abuse. On the other hand regulatory agencies submit that corporate abuse of privilege has a significant cost to the administration of justice, and that the abuse which has been exposed may only be the tip of the iceberg. The article aims to put the debate on corporate abuse of legal professional privilege into perspective by analysing the potential for abuse by corporations; its impact on the administration of justice; examples of abuse that have been exposed from time to time; and the adequacy of existing mechanisms to detect and prevent abuse. The article argues that the costs of corporate abuse are significant, but due to the nature of the privilege its extent is unknown and largely unknowable. Existing mechanisms for controlling abuse have proved unsatisfactory and have inherent limitations. Accordingly, there needs to be serious examination of alternative solutions for controlling abuse, including re-examination of the scope of corporate privilege.

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Research Interests

Civil procedure, tort, causation

Options taught

Contract, Tort, Principles of Civil Procedure

Research projects