Title of thesis: Gender in Intimate Relationships: A Socio-Legal Study
Supervisor: Dr Rosie Harding
MSc Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol
MA Jurisprudence, University of Oxford (Corpus Christi College)
After having finished the Bar Vocational Course, I spent two years working as a family paralegal at Harcus Sinclair, Manches LLP and Payne Hicks Beach solicitors, focusing on big money matrimonial finance work. Subsequently, I was employed as the Assistant Editor of Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice, and as an Assistant Editor of Criminal Law Week. During that period, I launched the Archbold ‘e-update’, which informs legal professionals of the latest developments within criminal law, and assisted in the production of the latter publication by researching, reviewing and digesting various legal sources. I then undertook further paralegal work, this time concentrating on publicly funded family cases, before returning to university to complete a Master's degree. I was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors for England & Wales before accepting a position at Birmingham.
I am conducting doctoral research exploring how civil partnerships and same sex marriage can help to challenge social and legal constructions about the gendered nature of roles in intimate relationships. My research is looking at how legal professionals negotiate gender in their interactions with their lesbian and gay clients in the ancillary relief context, and whether they have attempted to apply the traditional norms of masculinity and femininity (i.e breadwinning versus homemaking) to this new scenario. It is also examining whether civil partners feel obliged, when going to the 'law', to claim that their relationships are like heterosexual ones, and asking how reflective they perceive such a claim to be of the way that they conduct their relationships in reality.
I am the Socio-Legal Studies Association's Postgraduate Representative. I am also a tutor for Access to Birmingham, a fair access scheme for local students from families and communities who have little or no experience of Higher Education.
Articles/ case notes
C. Bendall (2013) 'A break away from the (hetero)norm?: Lawrence v Gallagher  1 FCR 557;  EWCA Civ 394', Feminist Legal Studies, 21(3): 303-310.
C. Bendall (2010) 'Myerson: The impact of the credit crunch on preexisting divorce settlements', Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 32(3): 299-307.
C. Bendall (2009) 'The demise of the enhanced standard of proof in child protection cases: Re B  UKHL 35', Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 31(2): 185-191.
C. Bendall (2013) 'Ancillary relief and the construction of vulnerability', PECANS workshop 'Encounters with vulnerability', University of Newcastle.