Professor Warren Barr

Professor Warren Barr

Birmingham Law School
Dean of the Law School

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Warren Barr’s research include charity law, property law (including social housing), and his research has featured in two REF Impact Case Studies (as part of the Charity Law and Policy Unit (Liverpool Law School) submissions.  He has published extensively and presented numerous conference and seminar papers on his areas of interest.

Warren is the leading co-author (with Dr John Picton) of Pearce & Barr: Trusts & Equitable Obligations (OUP), now published in the 8th edition (2022).  Warren is currently the Vice-Chair of the Committee of Heads of University Law Schools; Chair of the Modern Studies in Property Law Subject Board (which oversees the biannual MSPL conference), and an academic member of the Property Bar Association.  He was awarded the Law Teacher of the Year prize in 2006,and is a Principal Fellow (PFHEA) of the Higher Education Academy.


Professor Barr served most recently as Head of the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, having been Interim Dean of the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool (which contains two departments, Law and Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology).  Professor Barr spent 25 years at Liverpool University.

He has considerable experience of leadership more generally, having served as Student Experience Lead (now an APVC role) for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Liverpool University for over three years, following a period as Academic Standards and Quality Lead in the same Faculty.  In that role, he was involved in over 20 University Committees focused on Educational change. He was a member of the TEF Business and Law Subject Level Pilot Group in 2017-18, and was appointed to the Advisory Board reviewing the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement in Law (published 08 March 2023).

Professor Barr has also, since 2000, been active in international student recruitment, particularly in Malaysia, Singapore and China, both at UG and PGT level.  


Professor Barr’s approach to teaching has been characterised by a commitment to excellence, underpinned by the theory that good module and programme design is an essential element of a high-quality learning environment (constructivist approach).  He also views learning and teaching as a partnership between academics and students, which is continually enhanced and developed.  Warren is also committed to contributing to a culture of innovation and support for diversity of learning opportunities, essential to moving educational experiences forward.

Warren has previously designed, led and delivered UG modules in Equity and Trusts, Land Law, Commercial Real Property and  Debates in Charity Law (FHEQ Levels 5 & 6).

Professor Barr completed an AdvanceHE Executive Development Programme: 'Leading Learning & Teaching' in 2016.

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

Property Law (particularly Landlord and Tenant issues)
Charity Law
Equity and Trusts (not restitution or remedies)
Social Housing Law

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


Property Law

General issues, but particularly relating to the boundary lines between property and contractual concepts and landlord and tenant issues.

Charity Law

Particularly on issues relating to charities making effective use of property, and the interface between charity law and property law. Warren is interested in the relationships between charities, their property holdings, and the difficulties that arise in managing this relationship.

Social Housing

As a subset of charity law, with a particular interest in the role played by charities in provision and policy to the disadvantaged. Warren has published extensively on the involvement of charities in housing, particularly in relation to the mentally vulnerable, and has carried out empirical research into the experience of charities in this area.

Professor Barr is currently working on social housing and the impact of carbon neutral intiatives on charitable organisations that support social housing.  Professor Barr’s research has featured in two REF Impact Case Studies (as part of the Charity Law and Policy Unit (Liverpool Law School) submissions.

Major publications include work on the application of contractual termination methods to leaseholds, housing matters and charities and the potential use of shell charities in terrorist financing.


Recent publications


Barr, W & Dr John Picton 2022, Pearce & Stevens' Trusts and Equitable Obligations. 8th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford. <>

Barr, W & Pearce, R 2018, Pearce & Stevens' Trusts and Equitable Obligations . 7th edn, Oxford University Press.

Barr, W (ed.) 2015, Modern Studies in Property Law: Volume 8. Modern Studies in Property Law, vol. 8, Hart Publishing, Oxford.

Barr, W & Pearce, R 2015, Pearce and Stevens' Trusts and Equitable Obligations. 6th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Barr, W, Pearce, R & Stevens, J 2010, The Law of Trusts and Equitable Obligations. 5th edn, Oxford University Press.


Barr, W 2018, 'Shell Charities and Terrorist Financing: A Sledgehammer to Crack a Shell?', Trust Law International, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 202-218.

Barr, W & Glover-Thomas, N 2017, 'Enabling or Disabling? Increasing Involvement of Charities in Social Housing', The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer, vol. [2009], no. 73, pp. 209-235.

Morris, D & Barr, W 2013, 'The impact of cuts on legal aid funding of charities', Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 25, pp. 74-94.

Glover-Thomas, N & Barr, W 2008, 'Re-examining the Benefits of Charitable Involvement in Housing the Mentally Vulnerable', The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, pp. 177-200.


Barr, W 2022, Property division on the breakdown of non-matrimonial relationships. in R Lamont (ed.), Family Law. 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 183-221. <>

Barr, W 2020, Social Housing - Charities and Vulnerable Groups. in J Picton & J Sigafoos (eds), Debates in Charity Law. Hart Publishing, pp. 279-300.

Barr, W 2018, Property division on the breakdown of non-marital relationships. in R Lamont (ed.), Family Law. 1st edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 167-204.

Barr, W 2017, Repudiatory Breach of Leases – Hard Lessons for the ‘Contractualisation’ of Leasehold Law. in R Hickey & H Conway (eds), Modern Studies in Property Law. vol. 9, Modern Studies In Property Law, Hart Publishing, pp. 79-98.

Barr, W 2013, Big Society and Social Housing: Never the Twain Shall Meet? in N Hopkins (ed.), Modern Studies In Property Law. vol. 7, Hart Publishing, pp. 39-58.

Glover-Thomas, N & Barr, W 2012, Housing an individual: Property problems with the mentally vulnerable. in A Hudson (ed.), New Perspectives on Property Law, Human Rights and the Home. Cavendish Publishing, pp. 183-204.

View all publications in research portal


Charity Law, Landlord and Tenant Law, Property Law