Donal Nolan

Professor of Private Law

Other affiliations

Melbourne Law School

Faculty officer role(s):

Vice Dean (Teaching and Recruitment)


Donal Nolan is Professor of Private Law in the University of Oxford and Francis Reynolds and Clarendon Fellow and Tutor in Law at Worcester College, Oxford. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (BA and BCL) and was previously a Lecturer in Law at King's College London. He has taught tort, contract, international trade law, restitution and commercial law, and has been a Visiting Professor in the University of Florida, the National University of Singapore, the University of Trento and Sichuan University. He is a Senior Fellow of the University of Melbourne, a founding member of the World Tort Law Society, and an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI). He is also a member of the International Advisory Panel for the ALI's Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property, and a member of the editorial committee of the Modern Law Review.

Donal's research is focused primarily on the law of tort, and in particular on the law of negligence, the law of private nuisance and the interface between tort law and public law. He has also written on a range of topics in contract law, including offer and acceptance, estoppel and termination for breach of contract, and has an interest in the history of legal scholarship. Recent publications include: 'Damage to "Other Property": Exploring the Boundary Between Property Damage and Pure Economic Loss' in Peel and Probert (eds), Shaping the Law of Obligations: Essays in Honour of Professor Ewan McKendrick KC (OUP 2023); ‘Negligence and Autonomy’ [2022] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 356; 'Scholars of Contract Law: Individuals and Themes' (with James Goudkamp) in Goudkamp and Nolan (eds), Scholars of Contract Law (Hart 2022); and 'Tort and Regulation' in Goudkamp, Lunney and McDonald (eds), Taking Law Seriously: Essays in Honour of Peter Cane (Hart 2022). A full list of his publications can be found on his personal website, and many of them can be accessed via and SSRN

Donal is the author of Questions of Liability: Essays on the Law of Tort (Hart 2023) and a co-author of Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law: Text and Materials (OUP, 7th edn, 2023), Contributory Negligence (OUP, 2nd edn, 2023), Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort (Sweet & Maxwell, 20th edn, 2020) and Contributory Negligence in the Twenty-First Century (OUP 2019). He is also a co-editor of Scholars of Contract Law (Hart 2022), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019), Rights and Private Law (Hart 2012) and OSCOLA, the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities; and a contributor to Burrows (ed), Principles of the English Law of Obligations (OUP 2015), Oliphant (ed), The Law of Tort (LexisNexis Butterworths, 3rd edn, 2015) and Bridge (ed), Benjamin's Sale of Goods (Sweet & Maxwell, 12th edn, 2023).

Position Description

Professor of Private Law