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New Dean of Law

Posted on 21/07/2016
Law Dean

Professor Gillian Douglas, has been appointed as the new Dean of The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London, replacing Professor David D. Caron who stepped down from the position earlier this year following his appointment to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (IUSCT).  She is due to take up the appointment in Spring 2017.

Professor Douglas will concentrate on continuing to build the School’s reputation as one of the most prestigious law schools in the world and an unparalleled leader in research and education in transnational law and global governance. A key focus will be to drive the School’s strategic direction, as well as playing an important role in the management and governance of King’s. 

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice Principal (Arts & Sciences) said of the appointment, ‘I am delighted that we will be welcoming Gillian Douglas to King's. The Dickson Poon School of Law has become one of the most outstanding global centres of legal education and research and I look forward to working with her to ensure its continued success.‘

Currently a Professor of Law at Cardiff Law School, Gillian Douglas served as its Head between 2005 and 2010. Following her graduation in Law from Manchester University, she then gained an LLM at the London School of Economics and was awarded the degree of LLD (Doctor of Laws) by Cardiff University in 2011. She then taught at the University of Bristol and was a Visiting Teaching Fellow at the National University of Singapore.

Professor Douglas’ main research interest is family law, on which she has written extensively. She is the joint case comments editor of the journal, Family Law and co-editor of the Child and Family Law Quarterly. Her interest in family law overlaps into the field of medical law, and she carried out the first empirical study into access to fertility treatment under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's Code of Practice.

The Dickson Poon School of Law at King's is one of the oldest law schools in England and recognised globally as one of the best law schools in the world. Established in 1831, the School has played an integral role in the life of King's since the university was formed almost 200 years ago. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), research in the School was rated as number one in the UK. One hundred percent of Law impact case studies were rated 4-3* and 84 percent of outputs were rated 3-4*, where 4* represents world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

The School was renamed after the £20m donation from Sir Dickson Poon CBE FKC, the Hong Kong based British philanthropist. Sir Dickson Poon's £20m donation to the Law School - the largest in the university's history and believed to be the biggest ever to a British or European law School - is part of a £40m transformation project for the School which aims to further its reputation as one of the top law schools in the world and setting new standards in legal education and research. This has allowed the School, among other exciting projects, to launch the largest scholarship programme for law in Europe.

Among the world-recognised staff at the School are two former Lord Chief Justices - Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers and the Rt Hon Lord Judge - as Distinguished Visitors and in recent years, the School has recruited many new members of academic staff to a number of key roles including the Chair in Politics, Philosophy & Law, Chair in Transnational Law. In 2015 alone, a large number of legal scholars joined the School, with expertise on human rights and the law in China; human rights and development, especially the role and impact of law and courts in poverty, equality and social justice; international arbitration; medical law and ethics; adoption law; competition law and Construction Law & Dispute Resolution. The School continues to recruit academic staff with expertise in a wide variety of research areas and held its inaugural Transnational Law Summer Institute in Summer 2015.

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Douglas said, ‘I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as Dean of the Dickson Poon School of Law, and look forward to working with colleagues in such a successful and dynamic academic environment. I will be leaving Cardiff University with very happy memories and I know that the School of Law and Politics will go from strength to strength in years to come.’


For further information please contact: Claire Gilby, PR Manager (Arts & Sciences), King’s College London or 020 7848 3092.

Notes to Editors:

  • A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Professor Gillian Douglas is also an Athena SWAN award assessment panellist. She served as Chair of the Law Sub-Panel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) from 2010 to 2014. She was a member of the AHRC Peer Review College from 2004 to 2013, and is a former member of the Research Awards Advisory Committee of the Leverhulme Trust. She was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2012 and appointed to the Welsh Advisory Committee of the Law Commission in 2013. In 2015, she took up a two-year Major Research Fellowship funded by the Leverhulme Trust to pursue a study of obligation and commitment in Family Law, and was awarded the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference Best Paper Prize for her presentation on this topic at the SLS conference in September 2015.  
  • Professor Douglas has written several books including An Introduction to Family Law (2001: Oxford University Press, 2nd edition 2004), co-author (with Nigel Lowe) of Bromley's Family Law (9th ed. 1998, 10th ed, 2006, 11th ed, 2015, Oxford UP ), (with Chris Barton) of Law and Parenthood (1995: Butterworths Law in Context series) and (with Edward Jacobs) of Child Support: The Legislation (1st ed 1993, 2nd ed 1995, 3rd ed 1997: Sweet & Maxwell).
  • For further information about King's, visit the King's in Brief webpages

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