Dr Charlotte Bendall

Dr Charlotte Bendall

Birmingham Law School
Associate Professor

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Charlotte joined Birmingham Law School in 2017, after having held a position as a Lecturer at the University of Essex. She previously completed her doctoral research at Birmingham, and teaches and researches in the area of family law.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD Law, University of Birmingham
  • MSc Socio-legal Studies, University of Bristol
  • BA Jurisprudence, University of Oxford (Corpus Christi College)


Charlotte specialises in a range of issues around the family, and leads on the Family Law Reform Now project.  Prior to commencing her academic career, she was admitted to the roll of solicitors of England and Wales, and she also worked in legal publishing, having been employed as the Assistant Editor of Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice and Criminal Law Week.


  • Family Law
  • Equity and Trusts

Postgraduate supervision

Charlotte is happy to supervise doctoral students for projects focusing on family law, especially those concerning adult relationships.

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


Charlotte is presently conducting research into grandparents' experiences of seeking contact with grandchildren. This work, entailing interviews with solicitors, mediators and grandparents themselves, seeks to identify obstacles that are being experienced by grandparents in this context, and to consider how the support being offered to them may be optimised. See what she has written about this project here.

Charlotte also jointly established the Family Law Reform Now network, bringing together academics, practitioners and policymakers to pinpoint, and ultimately address, key areas of family law reform. As part of this work, an edited collection is due for publication later in 2024 with Hart.

She has previously conducted research, funded through the Socio-legal Studies Association’s Research Grant scheme, comparing the legal approach to financial remedies against the financial practices of modern day couples ‘on the ground’. Further, she has written on shared parental leave and, for her doctoral thesis, she explored how civil partnerships might help to challenge social and legal constructions about the gendered nature of roles in relationships. More specifically, she looked at how legal professionals negotiated gender in their interactions with their lesbian and gay clients in the context of financial remedies on relationship breakdown, and whether they were still attempting to apply traditional norms of masculinity and femininity (i.e., breadwinning versus homemaking).


Recent publications


Bendall, C & Mitchell, G 2023, 'The shared parental leave framework: Failing to fit working-class families?', International Journal of Discrimination and the Law. https://doi.org/10.1177/13582291231199371

Bendall, C 2022, 'A family affair: the role of intergenerational norm transfer in shaping finances in adult relationships', Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 144-168. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2022.2067648

Bendall, C 2019, 'Should we welcome an end to the 'blame game'? Reflecting on experiences of civil partnership dissolution', Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. https://doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2019.1699371

Bendall, C 2016, 'A "divorce blueprint"? The use of heteronormative strategies in addressing financial remedies on same sex partnership dissolution', Canadian Journal of Law and Society, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 267-286. https://doi.org/10.1017/cls.2016.12

Bendall, C 2014, 'Some are more 'equal' than others: heteronormativity in the post-White era of financial remedies', Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 260. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2014.933589


Bendall, C & Davey, S 2023, The ‘grandparent’ problem: Encouraging a more relational approach towards child arrangements via mediation. in S Davey & J Lindsey (eds), Grandparents and the law: Rights and relationships. 1st edn, Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 21–48. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781509953448.ch-002

Bendall, C & Harding, R 2018, Heteronormativity in dissolution proceedings: exploring the impact of recourse to legal advice in same sex relationship breakdown. in E Brake & L Ferguson (eds), Philosophical foundations of children’s and family law. Oxford University Press, pp. 134-152. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198786429.003.0007

Book/Film/Article review

Bendall, C 2023, 'Fifty years of the Divorce Reform Act 1969', Child and Family Law Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 91-94. <https://plus.lexis.com/api/permalink/f39f249a-e4af-472a-93b6-c9ba07b3b549/?context=1001073>

Bendall, C 2017, '‘From civil partnership to same sex marriage: Interdisciplinary reflections’: Edited by Nicola Barker and Daniel Monk, Abingdon: Routledge, 2015. 245 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-79753-6 £90.00 hardback', International Journal of Law in Context, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 429-432.

Bendall, C 2015, 'Martha Albertson Fineman and Anna Grear, Vulnerability: Reflections on a New Ethical Foundation for Law and Politics. Edited by Ben Waters', The Law Teacher, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 266-268. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2015.1042762

Other contribution

Bendall, C 2017, Court rules against civil partnerships for different-sex couples… for now.. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2017.1344389

Bendall, C 2013, A break away from the (hetero)norm?: Lawrence v Gallagher [2012] 1 FCR 557; [2012] EWCA Civ 394..

View all publications in research portal


  • Family law
  • Financial implications of the breakdown of same-sex relationships