Professor Robert Stevens joins the faculty as the Herbert Smith Freehills Professor of English Private Law. Previously he was a Professor in commercial law at UCL , a lecturer in law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow and Tutor in Law at Lady Margaret Hall where he taught from 1994 to 2007.

He read law as an undergraduate at the University of Oxford, where he also studied for the Bachelor of Civil Law. He was called to the Bar in 1992. He has taught and lectured widely both within the Commonwealth (Australia and Canada) and Continental Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, Spain).

Some presentations on video:



Displaying 1 - 43 of 43. Sorted by year, then title.
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  • R Stevens, 'Contract, Rights and the Morality of Promising: The Choice Theory of Contracts, of Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller' (2019) Law and Philosophy [Review]
  • R Stevens, 'Defences' in J Goldberg, E Sherwin and H Smith (eds), Handbook of the New Private Law (OUP 2019)
  • R Stevens, 'Private Law and the Form of Reason' in J Goudkamp and A Robertson (eds), Form and Substance in Private Law (Hart 2019)
  • R Stevens, 'Professor Sir Frederick Pollock (1845-1937): Jurist as Mayfly' in J Goudkamp and D Nolan (eds), Scholars in Tort Law (Hart 2019)
  • R Stevens and B McFarlane, 'What's Special About Equity? Rights about Rights' in I Samet, D Klimchuck and H Smith (eds), Philsophical Foundations of The Law of Equity (OUP 2019)
  • R Stevens, 'Damages for Wrongdoing in the Absence of Loss' in J Varuhas and N Moreham (eds), Remedies for Breach of Privacy (Hart 2018)
  • R Stevens, 'The Unjust Enrichment Disaster' (2018) LQR 574
  • R Stevens, 'Floating Trusts' in PS Davies and J Penner (eds), Equity and Commerce (Hart 2017)
  • R Stevens, 'Set Off and the Nature of Equity' in PS Davies, S Douglas and J Goudkamp (eds), Defences in Equity (Hart 2017)
  • R Stevens, 'Not Waiving but Drowning' in A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Contract (Hart 2016)
  • R Stevens, 'Rights Restricting Remedies' in A Robertson and M Tilbury (eds), Divergences in Private Law (Hart 2016)
  • R Stevens, 'The Meaning of Words and the Intentions of Persons' in J Edelma, S Degeling and J Goudkamp (eds), Contract in Commercial Law (Thomson 2016)
  • R Stevens, 'Salvaging the Law of Torts' in PS Davies and J Pila (eds), The Jurisprudence of Lord Hoffmann (Hart 2015)
  • R Stevens, 'Should Contributory Fault be Analogue or Digital' in A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith Defences (eds), Tort (Hart 2015)
  • R Stevens, 'Private Rights and Public Wrongs' in M Dyson (ed), Unravelling Tort and Crime (CUP 2014)
  • R Stevens, 'Rights and Other Things' in A Robertson and D Nolan (eds), Rights and Private Law (Hart 2011)
  • R Stevens and Ben McFarlane, 'The Nature of Equitable Property' (2010) 4 The Journal of Equity 1
  • R Stevens, 'Contractual Aspects of Debt Financing' in A Reisberg and D Prentice (eds), Corporate Finance law in the UK and EU (OUP 2010)
  • R Stevens, 'The Conflict of Rights' in A Robertson and H Tang (eds), The Goals of Private Law (Hart 2009)
  • R Stevens, 'Torts' in L Blom-Cooper, B Dickson and G Drewry (eds), The Judicial House of Lords (OUP 2009)
  • R Stevens and Ben McFarlane, 'Interests in Securities: Practical Problems and Conceptual Solutions' in L Gullfer and J Payne (eds), Intermediated Securities (2009)
  • R Stevens, 'Comment and Discussion Report' in L Gullifer (ed), Current Issues in European Financial and Insolvency Law: Perspectives from France and the UK (OUP 2009)
  • R Stevens, 'Damages and the Right to Performance: a Golden Victory or not?' in J Neyers, R Bronaugh, S Pitel (ed), Exploring Contract Law (Hart 2009)
  • R Stevens, 'Choosing the Right Approach for European Law Making' (2008) European Company and Financial Law Review 83
  • R Stevens, 'Is there a law of unjust enrichment?' in S Degeling and J Edelman (eds), Unjust Enrichment and Commercial Law (Thomson 2008)
  • R Stevens, 'Non-Delegable Duties and Vicarious Liability' in J Neyers and S Pitel (eds), Emerging Issues in Tort Law (Hart 2007)
  • R Stevens, 'Objectivity, Mistake and the Parol Evidence Rule' in A Burrows and E Peel (eds), Contract Terms (OUP 2007)
  • R Stevens, Torts and Rights (OUP 2007)
  • R Stevens, 'Security after the Enterprise Act' in J Getzler and J Payne (eds), Company Charges: Spectrum and Beyond (OUP 2006)
  • R Stevens, 'Three Enrichment Issues' in A Burrows and A Rodger (eds), Mapping the Law: Essays in Memory of Peter Birks (2006)
  • R Stevens, 'An Opportunity to Reflect' (2005) 121 Law Quarterly Review [Case Note]
    Casenote on Chester v Afshar. I presented this as a paper at a conference at the BIICL.
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • R Stevens, 'The Proper Scope of Knowing Receipt' [2005] Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly '1 [Case Note]
    Casenote on Criterion Properties v.Stratford UK Properties LLC
    ISBN: 0306-2945
  • R Stevens, 'Why Do Agents 'Drop Out'?' [2005] Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 101
    Long article on contract, tort and unjust enrichment. Not bedtime reading.
    ISBN: 0306-2945
  • R Stevens, 'Choice of Law for Equity: Is it Possible?' in Edelman and Degling (eds), Equity in Commercial Law (Thomson 2005)
  • R Stevens, 'Insolvency' in Swadling (ed), The Quistclose Trust: Critical Essays (2004)
    A more serious essay on the insolvency law problems which the Quistclose trust raises.
    ISBN: 1-84113-412-0
  • R Stevens, 'Rolls Razor' in Swadling (ed), The Quistclose Trust: Critical Essays (2004)
    An amusing chapter on the history of the case. My attempt to be Brian Simpson.
    ISBN: 1-84113-412-0
  • R Stevens, 'The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999' (2004) 120 Law Quarterly Review 292
    A long article on a crazy piece of meddling by the Law Commission.
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • R Stevens, 'E-Commerce in Private International Law' in Professor Henk Snijders and Professor Stephen Weatherill (eds), E-Commerce Law: National and Transnational Topics and Perspectives (Kluwer 2003)
    A brief book chapter. It is ok.
    ISBN: 9041199179
  • R Stevens, 'National Report for England' in McBryde, Flessner and Kortmann (eds), Principles of European Insolvency law (2003)
    This chapter provides an overview of English insolvency and bankruptcy law, within a required format. Alongside a number of eminent continental European academics I was responsible for drafting these Principles of European Insolvency Law.
    ISBN: 90 130 059 77
  • R Stevens and Teun Struycken, 'Assignment and the Rome Convention' (2002) Law Quarterly Review 15 [Case Note]
    Casenote on Raffeiesen Zentralbank Osterreich AG v Five Star General Trading LLC
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • R Stevens and Ben McFarlane, 'In Defence of Sumpter v Hedges' (2002) 118 Law Quarterly Review 569
    A long article on a hoary old case.
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • R Stevens (ed), Cross Border Security and Insolvency (OUP 2001)
    I co-edited this book with Michael Bridge. I also contributed two chapters. Chapter 1 (the Introduction) and Chapter 11 ("The English conflict of Law Rules").
    ISBN: 0 19 829921 4

Research Interests

Corporate Insolvency, Conflict of Laws, Restitution

Options taught

Commercial Law, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment

Research projects