Steven Vaughan researches the legal profession, corporate finance and environmental law. He spent almost a decade as a solicitor in the City of London advising multinational companies, governments, the UN and the World Bank.
As an academic, Steven has given advice to the European Parliament and worked with the British Standards Institute to develop the world’s first publicly accredited standard for companies on the regulation of nanotechnologies. In 2012, Steven gave a talk at the Hay Festival on controlling risks to the public from nanotechologies. A recording of his talk can be heard here on the Hay Festival website and downloaded as a podcast. He is currently an ESRC Future Research Leader, working on a funded 3 year project that explores the nature and extent of advice provided by corporate lawyers.
Feedback and office hours
Dr Vaughan is on study leave in 2015.
- 2005 – [current]: Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales
- 2008 - 2014: PhD, Cardiff University (part time)
- 2007 – 2008: MSc in Social Science Research Methods, Research and Graduate School, Cardiff University
- 2002 – 2003: Diploma in Legal Practice, Nottingham Law School
- 1999 – 2002: MA(Oxon) Jurisprudence, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University
Steven did his law degree at Oxford University and then worked as a solicitor in the City for 9 years, first with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and then with Latham & Watkins. While in practice, he advised clients on environmental risks arising from the merger and acquisition of multinational corporations and on leveraged and project finance deals.
Steven has previously held lectureships at Cardiff University and the University of Bristol. He joined Birmingham Law School in September 2013. While at Cardiff he was presented with the 2012 ‘Enriching Student Life Award’. At Bristol, he won the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law award for Outstanding Teaching.
Steven would welcome approaches from students interested in doctoral study in the following broad areas:
- regulation of the legal profession, lawyers and lawyering (in particular on legal ethics, diversity and legal education)
- corporate finance, company law and corporate governance
- environmental law (in particular on new technologies, contaminaed land and chemicals regulation)
He has previously supervised Joanne Hawkins, whose thesis considered public engagement opportunities for communities affected by fracking.
Steven’s research interests lie broadly in regulation and governance of three fields: the legal profession, corporate finance and environmental law. His work to date has explored the role of environmental solicitors on corporate finance deals, the regulation of business innovation in the context of new technologies, the framing of land use and redevelopment via the contaminated land regime, the shaping and development of EU chemicals law and the management of diversity in large law firms. He is keen to take a variety of approaches to his work and has experience of empircial data collection and analysis.
Steven has given advice to the European Parliament and worked with the British Standards Institute to develop the world’s first publicly accredited standard for companies on the regulation of nanotechnologies. He is currently an ESRC Future Research Leader, working on a funded 3 year project that explores the nature and extent of advice provided by corporate lawyers.
In the Law School, Steven is Director of Education in the Centre for Professional Legal Education and Training and the Director of Careers.
Away from the Law School, Steven Chairs the Joint Academic Stage Board and is on the Education and Training Committee of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. He also sat on the Steering Panel of the Legal Education and Training Review research phase (2010-2012).
- 2015: EU Chemicals Regulation: New Governance, Hybridity and REACH (Edward Elgar)
- 2015: The Futures of Legal Education and the Legal Profession (with Hilary Sommerlad, Richard Young and Sonia Harris-Short) (Hart Publishing)
- 2015: ‘My Chemical (Regulation) Romance’ (2015) 1 Journal of Environmental Law 1-10
- 2015: 'Going Public: Diversity Disclosures by Large UK Law Firms' (2015) 83 Fordham Law Review 101-124
- 2013: (with Stokes, E.) ‘Great Expectations: 50 Years of Chemicals Legislation in the EU’, 25(3) Journal of Environmental Law, 411-435
- 2013: (with Lee, R.G) ‘Regulated Utilities and the Justiciability of Claims in Nuisance’, Journal of Business Law, 2, 196-209
- 2010: ‘The Contaminated Land Regime: Still Suitable For Use?’, Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 2, 142-156
- 2010: (with Lee, R, G.) ‘The Contaminated Land Regime in England and Wales and the Corporatisation of Environmental Lawyers’, International Journal of the Legal Profession, 16(2), 163-185
- 2010: (with Lee, R, G.) ‘REACHing Down: Nanomaterials and Chemical Safety in the EU’, Journal of Law, Innovation and Technology, 2(2), 193-217
- 2009: Fit for Purpose? The Progress of Part 2A to Date, Environmental Law Monthly, 18(3), 2- 4
- 2007: There's a light at the end of the tunnel: The future of nuclear power in the UK, Bloomberg European Company Law Journal, Quarter 3, 468 – 473
- 2007: (with Mulliken, D.) It isn't easy being green: Environmental due diligence concerns for private equity investors, International Finance Law Review, February, 24 – 25
- 2015: 'The Futures of Legal Education and the Legal Profession' in The Futures of Legal Education and the Legal Profession(with Hilary Sommerlad, Richard Young and Sonia Harris-Short (eds)) (Hart Publishing)
- 2011: ‘Elite and Elite-Lite Interviewing: Managing our Industrial Legacy’ in Researching Sustainability: A Guide to Social Science Methods, Practice and Engagement,Franklin, A. & Blyton, P. (eds), Earthscan, London, 2011
- 2014: 'Law as Engineering' (Book Review), Legal Studies, 34(2), 353-358
- 2012: ‘The Toxic Substances Control Act: A Practical Guide’ (Book Review),Journal of Environmental Law, 24, 581 – 584
- 2011: ‘Lawyers in Corporate Decision Making’ (Book Review), Journal of Law and Society, 38(3) (2011) 463 – 468
- 2007: "Law, Infrastructure and Human Rights" (Book Review), Journal of Law and Society, 34(4), 650 – 653