Donal Nolan

Professor of Private Law

Other affiliations

Melbourne Law School


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 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 recently undertaken a major empirical study of the operation of the contributory negligence doctrine with Professor James Goudkamp. He has also written on a range of topics in contract law, including offer and acceptance, estoppel and termination for breach of contract. Recent publications include: 'Tort and Regulation' in Goudkamp, Lunney and McDonald (eds), Taking Law Seriously: Essays in Honour of Peter Cane (Hart 2022); 'Injunctions' in Day and Worthington (eds), Challenging Private Law: Lord Sumption on the Supreme Court (Hart 2020); 'Pioneers, Consolidators and Iconoclasts: The Story of Tort Scholarship' (with James Goudkamp) and 'Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953)', both in Goudkamp and Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019); 'Assumption of Responsibility: Four Questions' (2019) 72 CLP; 'The Duty of Care After Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police' in Clarry (ed), The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Volume 9: 2017-2018 Legal Year (Appellate Press 2019); 'Tort and Public Law: Overlapping Categories?' (2019) 135 LQR 172; and (with James Goudkamp) Contributory Negligence in the Twenty-First Century (OUP 2019) and Contributory Negligence: Principles and Practice (OUP 2018).

Donal is a co-author of Lunney, Nolan and Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials (OUP, 6th edn, 2017) and Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort (Sweet & Maxwell, 20th edn, 2020), and a co-editor of Rights and Private Law (Hart 2012), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019) and OSCOLA, the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities. He is also 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); Sappideen and Vines (eds), Fleming's The Law of Torts (Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia, 10th edn, 2011); and Bridge (ed), Benjamin's Sale of Goods (Sweet & Maxwell, 11th edn, 2020).

Position Description

Professor of Private Law