Dr Charlotte Bendall

Dr Charlotte Bendall

Birmingham Law School

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.


  • Law of Adult Relationships
  • Legal Theory


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 recently commenced work on a new 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’.  The research aims to explore both the ways in which money is being held physically (i.e. individually or as a couple), and the partners’ perceptions of that money.  This is to ensure that family law reflects the society within which is operates, and that it takes into account new ways of living.



  • C. Bendall (2016) ‘A “divorce blueprint”?  The use of heteronormative strategies in addressing financial remedies on same sex partnership dissolution’, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 31(2): 267-286.
  • C. Bendall (2014) ‘Some are more 'equal' than others: Heteronormativity in the post-White era of financial remedies', Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 36(3): 260-275.

Book chapters

  • C. Bendall and R. Harding (in press) ‘Heteronormativity in dissolution proceedings: Exploring the impact of recourse to legal advice in same sex relationship breakdown’ in E. Brake and L. Ferguson (eds) Philosophical Foundations of Children’s and Family Law (Oxford University Press).

Book reviews

  • C. Bendall (2017) ‘‘From civil partnership to same sex marriage: Interdisciplinary reflections’, by N. Barker and D. Monk (eds)’, International Journal of Law in Context, DOI: 10.1017/S1744552316000422.
  • C. Bendall (2015) ‘‘Vulnerability: Reflections on a new ethical foundation for law and politics’, by M. Fineman and A. Grear (eds)’, The Law Teacher, 49(2): 266-269.

Case notes

  • C. Bendall (2017) ‘Court rules against civil partnerships for different-sex couples… for now’, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, DOI: 10.1080/09649069.2017.1344389.
  • C. Bendall (2013) 'A break away from the (hetero)norm?: Lawrence v Gallagher [2012] 1 FCR 557; [2012] EWCA Civ 394', Feminist Legal Studies, 21(3): 303-310.

View all publications in research portal


Family law

Financial implications of the breakdown of same-sex relationships