Simon Whittaker has been a fellow and tutor in law at St. John's College since 1987, previously being a lecturer in laws at King's College's London. He took his degrees at Oxford (BA,1979; BCL, 1980; MA, 1982; D.Phil., 1987; DCL, 2008) and was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1987. He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Regensburg and a visiting professor at the University of Paris I and University of Paris II. He is a member of the American Law Institute.


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  • Simon Whittaker, ''General Principles' and 'Underlying Principles' in the Proposed Common European Sales Law and their Role in its Interpretation'' in Jacobien Rutgers and Pietro Sirena (eds), Rules and Principles in European Contract Law (Intersentia 2015)
    ISBN: 978-1-78068-257-0
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Chapters 1 Introductory; Chapter 5 Form; Chapter 9 Personal Incapacity; Chapter 15 Exemption Clauses; Chapter 38 Consumer Contracts; Chapter 44 Suretyship' in H Beale (ed), Chitty on Contracts (Sweet & Maxwell 2015)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Les clauses abusives: point de vue anglais et européen, Le contrôle des clauses abusives dans le Projet d’ordonnance portant réforme du droit des contrats, du régime général et de la preuve des obligations' in P. Stoffel-Munck (ed), Réforme du droit des contrats et pratique des affaires (Dalloz 2015)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Opting for Tort' (2015) 6 Journal of European Tort Law 209
  • Simon Whittaker, 'The Consumer Rights Act 2015' in M Bridge (ed), Benjamin's Sale of Goods, Special Supplement to the Ninth Edition (Sweet & Maxwell 2015)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Variation and Termination of Consumer Contracts' in L. Gullifer and S. Vogenaeur (eds), English and European Perspectives on Contract Law and Commercial Law, Essays in Honour of Hugh Beale (Richard Hart 2014)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Who determines what civil courts decide? Private Rights, Public policy and EU law' in D.Leczykiewicz and S. Weatherill (eds), The Involvement of EU Law in Private Relationships (Richard Hart 2013)
  • Simon Whittaker and K Reisenhuber, 'Conceptions of Contract' in G. Dannemann and S. Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law (OUP 2013)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Good Faith, Implied Terms and Commercial Contracts' (2013) 129 Law Quarterly Review [Case Note]
    This note concerns the decions of the High Court in Yam Seng Ptd. Ltd. v International Trade Corporation [2013] EWHC 111 (QB).
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Identifying the Legal Costs of Operation of the Common European Sales Law' (2013) 50 Common Market Law Review 85
  • Simon Whittaker, 'The Internal Relationships of EU Consumer Contract Laws: Unfair Contract Terms, Unfair Commercial Practices and the CESL' in L. Moccia (ed), The Making of European Private Law: Why, How, What, Who (Sellier 2013)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'The Notion of Damage in EU Consumer Contract Law' in E. Terry, G. Straetmans, V Colaert (ed), Landmark Cases of EU Consumer Law in Honour of Jules Stuyck (Intersentia 2013)
    ISBN: 978-1-78068-185-6
  • Simon Whittaker, 'The Proposed \'Common European Sales Law\': Legal Framework and the Agreement of the Parties' (2012) 75 Modern Law Review 578
    The European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law (‘CESL’) seeks to create a European scheme of contract law available for parties to choose to govern cross-border contracts for the sale of goods, supply of ‘digital content,’ and for the supply of related services.This article explains the background to the Proposal, sketches out the purposes and scope of the CESL, and considers and criticises its legal framework (and in particular its relationship with private international law) and the key requirement of the parties’ agreement. In the author’s view, the CESL scheme remains an unconvincing basis for the achievement of its economic purposes and, as regards consumer contracts, puts too much reliance on the agreement of the consumer as a justification for the loss of their existing protection under EU private international law rules.
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Chapter 1 Introdutory; Chapter 4 Form; Chapter 8 Personal Capacity; Chapter 15 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts; Chapter 44 Suretyship' in H. Beale (General Editor) (ed), Chitty on Contracts (Thomson Sweet & Maxwell 2012)
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Contratos abusivos, cláusulas abusivas y prácticas comerciales desleales' in S Camara Lapuente (ed), La Revision de las Normas Europeas y Nacionales de Proteccion de los Consumidores (Thomson Reuters (Legal) Ltd 2012)
    ISBN: 978-84-470-3981-4
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Le rayonnement de René David' in Association Henri Capitant des amis de la culture juridique française (ed), Hommage René David (Dalloz 2012)
    ISBN: 978-2-247-12068-0
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Comments on ‘Abuse of Law’ in European Private Law' (2011) Prohibition of Abuse of Law, A General Principle of EU Law ?
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Contract networks, freedom of contract and the restructuring of privity of contract' in F. Cafaggi (ed), Contractual Networks, Inter-Firm Cooperation and Economic Growth (Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. 2011)
    This article considers why English lawyers have not generally been attracted by the notion of 'network contracts' to regulate complex economic relations.
    ISBN: 978 1 84844 889 6
  • Simon Whittaker, 'The Optional Instrument of European Contract law and Freedom of Contract' (2011) European Review of Contract Law 371 – 398
    This article assesses the appropriateness of an 'optional instrument' in contract law foreseen by the European Commission
  • Simon Whittaker, 'The Product Liability Directive and Rome II Article 5: 'Full Harmonisation' and the Conflict of Laws' in C. Barnard and O. Odudu (eds), Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies (Richard Hart 2011)
    ISBN: ISBN:978-1-849-100-3
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Traduire les concepts, c’est interpréter les différences: la structure analytique du droit des obligations, les sanctions de l’inexécution et “Remedies for Breach' in P. Catala (ed), L’art de la traduction, L’accueil international d l’avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations (Editions Pantheon-Assas, Paris 2011)
    This brief essay explains the problems encountered and solutions adopted in the transaction of a French civil law reform project, the Avant-projet de reforme du droit des obligations. The translation was undertaken jointly with John Cartwright
    ISBN: 978-2-913397-99-6
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Unfair Contract Terms, Unfair Prices and Bank Charges' (2011) 74 Modern Law Review 106 [Case Note]
    This note assesses the decision of the UK Supreme Court in the 'Bank Charges' case in the light of the decision of the case-law of the ECJ
  • Simon Whittaker, 'Contracts for Services in English Law and in the DCFR' in R. Zimmermann (ed), Service Contracts (Mohr Siebeck 2010)
    This article explains and assess the category of 'contracts for services' in English law and its relationship to other contracts. It then compares this to the approach taken by the Draft Common Frame of Reference
  • Simon Whittaker (ed), Introduction to fault in product liability (Cambridge University Press 2010)
    This forms the introduction and general overview of the work which I also edited on the historical development of product liability in 6 European laws. It forms part of a wider AHRD project on Legal Development (the first stage of which focussed on the development of liability for fault) run by John Bell and David Ibbetson of Cambridge.
    ISBN: ISBN 978-0-521-49429




From 1995-1997 he chaired the contract law working group of the 'Common Core of European Private Law' based at the University of Trento and was joint convenor (with Prof. Reinhard Zimmermann of the University of Regensburg) of a group of European jurists working on good faith in European contract law.

Research projects


Research Interests

Comparative Law, Contract and Tort, European Union Law.

Options taught

Contract, Tort, Comparative Private Law

Research projects