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 was previously admitted to the roll of solicitors of England and Wales, and she has also worked in publishing, having been employed as the Assistant Editor of ArchboldCriminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice and Criminal Law Week.


  • Family Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Socio-legal Theory

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’s doctoral thesis explored how civil partnerships and same-sex marriage can help to challenge social and legal constructions about the gendered nature of roles in relationships.  More specifically, it looked at how legal professionals negotiate gender in their interactions with their lesbian and gay clients in the context of financial relief on relationship breakdown, and whether they have attempted to apply the traditional norms of masculinity and femininity (i.e. breadwinning versus homemaking) to this new scenario.  It additionally examined the conceptions of equality applied, particularly concerning the stress that has been placed on sameness between same- and different-sex relationships, and asked how reflective lesbians and gay clients perceive such claims to be of the way that they conduct their relationships in reality.

Charlotte has more recently been working on a project, funded through the Socio-legal Studies Association’s Research Grant scheme, comparing the legal approach to financial relief against the financial practices of modern day couples ‘on the ground’.  She has also been writing on shared parental leave, and on grandparents' engagement with mediation.


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