Professor Nelson Enonchong

Photo of Professor Nelson Enonchong

Birmingham Law School
Barber Professor of Law

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Professor Enonchong is the author of three major practitioner works in the field of banking and commercial law. He has advised in a number of complex international commercial disputes and has acted as an arbitrator in international commercial arbitrations


  • LLB (Yaounde)
  • Maitrise (Yaounde)
  • LLM (Cantab)
  • PhD (Cantab)
  • Barrister
  • FCIArb


Professor Nelson Enonchong read law at the University of Yaounde and Jesus College, Cambridge. He was a lecturer and Reader in Law at the University of Leicester before joining the University of Birmingham as Barber Professor of Law in 2001


  • Law of Contract
  • Commercial Law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Financing of International Trade (LLM)
  • International Sale of Goods (LLM)

Postgraduate supervision

  • Contract/Commercial law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Arbitration
  • Comparative Law
  • International Trade and Finance

Current doctoral supervision

Professor Enonchong is currently supervising four doctoral students undertaking research in the following areas

  • Contractual Mechanisms for Reducing Risks in Long Term Oil and Gas Agreements
  • The Scope of the Liability of Arbitral Institutions towards the Disputing Parties
  • Judicial Review of International Arbitral Awards
  • Balancing the demands of procedural fairness and finality in ADR in the Construction Industry

Find out more - our PhD Law  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Professor Enonchong’s principal research interests are in the fields of Contract/Commercial Law, International Trade and Finance, Private International law and Comparative law. He is the author of several influential publications in these areas.

The third edition of his leading work on Duress, Undue Influence and Unconscionable Dealing (2019) has recently been published by Sweet & Maxwell. The book, which has been relied upon by courts in the UK and other jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore, remains a primary point of reference on these topics.

His monograph on The Independence Principle of Letters of Credit and Demand Guarantees was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. It examines the nature and scope of the cardinal principle of autonomy of letters of credit and demand guarantees. It considers the challenges presented by the principle and explores the extent to which exceptions to the principle should be recognised in order address the problem of abusive demands for payment. This work has been cited by courts in the UK and other countries such as Australia and Singapore.

His book on Illegal Transactions was published by Lloyd’s of London Press in 1998. It is the first book to be published in the UK on this notoriously difficult subject. This work has been relied upon by courts in the UK and other countries such as Australia, Kenya, Nigeria and Singapore.

Other activities

Professor Enonchong is also a practising barrister and arbitrator at No5 Chambers.

He is a member of the Editorial Boards of

  • Journal of African Law published by Cambridge University Press
  • African Journal of International and Comparative Law published by Edinburgh University Press



Articles, Book chapters and Notes

  • ‘The Modern English Doctrine of Unconscionability’ (2017-18) 34 Journal of Contract Law 211-239.
  • “Letters of Credit Payable Overseas and Third Party Debt Orders” [2015] 30 Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law 674-677.

  • "The Law Applicable to Demand Guarantees and Counter-Guarantees," [2015] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 194-215.

  • "Restitution from Public Authorities: Any Room for Duress?" in Elliot, Hacker and Mitchell (eds) Restitution of Overpaid Tax (2013, Hart Publishing), Ch 4.
  • “Recovery of Overpayments made under Performance Bonds” [2010] Restitution Law Review 14-33.
  • “Demand Guarantees under the OHADA Uniform Act on Securities” [2009] Journal of Business Law 568-591.
  • “The Problem of Abusive Calls on Demand Guarantees” [2007] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 83 -106.
  • “The Harmonization of Business Law in Africa: Is Article 42 of the OHADA Treaty a Problem?” [2007] 51 Journal of African Law 95 - 116.
  • “The Autonomy Principle of Letters of Credit: An Illegality Exception?” [2006] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 404-425.
  • “The Irrebuttable Presumption of Influence and the Relationship between Fiancé and Fiancée” (2005) Law Quarterly Review 567-572.
  • “Presumed Undue Influence: Continuing Misconceptions?” (2005) 120 Law Quarterly Review 29-33.
  • “Human Rights Violations by the Executive: Complicity of the Judiciary in Cameroon?” (2003) 47 Journal of African Law 265-274.
  • “The Undue Influence of a Co-surety” (2003) Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 307-311.
  • “The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Effective Remedies in Domestic Law?” (2002) 46 Journal of African Law 197-215.
  • “Foreign State Assistance in Enforcing the Right to Self-Determination Under the African Charter” (2002) 46 Journal of African Law 246-258.
  • “Supervening Legality: Effect on the Enforcement of Illegal Agreement” (2000) 116 Law Quarterly Review 377-380.
  • “Restitution Following Illegal Fee-Sharing Agreement with a Solicitor” (2000) Restitution Law Review 241-253.
  • “Enforcement in England of Foreign Arbitration Awards Based on Illegal Contracts” [2000] Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly
  • “Illegal Transactions: The Future? (LCCP No. 154)” (2000) Restitution Law Review 82-104.
  • “Service of Process in England on Overseas Companies and Article 5(5) of the Brussels Convention” (1999) 48 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 921-936.
  • “Jurisdiction Over Disputes Relating to ‘National Lands’ in Cameroon” (1999) 11 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 100-127.
  • “Contract Damages for Wrongful Dishonour of a Cheque” (1997) 60 Modern Law Review 412-419.
  • “Contract Damages for Injury to Reputation” (1996) 59 Modern Law Review  592-602.
  • “Public Policy in the Conflict of Laws: A Chinese Wall Around Little England?” (1996) 45 International and Comparative Law Quarterly  633-661.
  • “Mental Distress and Damages for Breach of Contract” (1996) 16 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies  617-640.
  • “Illegality and the Presumption of Advancement” (1996) Restitution Law Review  78-88.
  • “Title Claims and Illegal Transactions” (1995) 111 Law Quarterly Review 135-157.
  • “Effects of Illegality: a Comparative Study in French and English Law” (1995) 44 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 196-213.
  • “Illegality: The Fading Flame of Public Policy” (1994) 14 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies  295-302.
  • “Public Policy and Ordre Public: The Exclusion of Customary Law in Cameroon” (1993) 5 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 503-524.
  • “Illegality and the Public Conscience Test” (1992) Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 471-474.

View all publications in research portal


  • Contract and Commercial Law
  • Banking
  • International Trade and Arbitration
  • Private International Law