Professor Joan Loughrey

Professor Joan Loughrey


I graduated from Somerville College, University of Oxford, with a degree in Jurisprudence. I then qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and Hong Kong, practising as a commercial litigator before entering academia. I have lectured in Australia as well as in the UK. Between January 2020-April 2021 I was Interim Head of School, prior to that, for a number of years, the Deputy Head of School and before that the Director of the Centre for Business Law and Practice.

I am a member of the Legal Profession Research Group within the School of Law. My published work includes a book on the corporate governance role of corporate lawyers, (Cambridge University Press), described as ‘a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating text, addressing a topic of huge importance that deserves close reading by both practitioners and legal educators.’ (Riley, Journal of Business Law, 2013). I have written on the regulation of large law firms, alternative business structures and the regulatory role of compliance officers in legal service firms, conflicts of interest, and legal professional privilege, using both doctrinal, theoretical and qualitative approaches. I have spoken at academic and practitioner conferences on these matters and with regulators and the Law Society. I am currently working on a project linked to entity regulation. 

Between 2016-2018 I was the Principal Investigator on an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project on Business Judgment and the Courts, an inter-disciplinary project between the School of Law, Leeds, and the Management School, Liverpool. The project explored what is meant by business judgment, how the courts apply this concept and assessed to what extent directors’ decisions in England and Wales should be subject to review by the courts (project award: £281,517). One of the papers from the project was shortlisted for the SLS Best Paper prize in 2018.

I was also part of a team from the School of Law at the University of Leeds in a research project looking at 'Boosting growth through strengthening investor and creditor protection in China: How China can learn from the UK experience’ in collaboration with the Management School at the University of Wuhan, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Global Challenges Research Fund. 

I have contributed to edited collections and my articles have been published in prestigious peer reviewed journals such as the Modern Law Review, the Law Quarterly Review, Journal of Business Law, Legal Ethics, the Journal of Law and Society, and Legal Studies.

Research interests

I research accountability and regulation in the context of the legal profession and corporate governance; director's duties, particularly the duty of care; and corporate litigation. I have particular expertise in the corporate sector of the profession and large law firms, and in legal professional regulation.  

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA (Hons) Jurisprudence (Oxford)
  • Law Society Finals (Merit)
  • Qualified as solicitor in England and Wales
  • Qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong
  • Pg Cert in Teaching (Merit)

Professional memberships

  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association

Student education

I teach and supervise dissertations in the field of company law, corporate governance, legal ethics and the legal profession.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice
  • Centre for Innovation and Research in Legal Education

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>