Dr Luke R. A. Butler

Dr Luke R. A. Butler

Birmingham Law School
Senior Lecturer in Law

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Luke R.A. Butler is a commercial lawyer with a general research interest in all aspects of law, policy and theory relating to government contracts and government commerce. Luke is best known for his research on regulation in complex industries, in particular, but not exclusively, the defence sector. At Birmingham, Luke teaches an unusually diverse range of subjects both in his areas of research interest and in those with a general commercial law focus.


  • LLB Hons (First Class)
  • LLM (Distinction)
  • PhD
  • Pg.Dip. Professional Legal Skills
  • Barrister (Middle Temple)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy


Luke is a commercial lawyer with general research expertise in the field of government commerce. His principal research focus concerns government contracting in complex industry sectors. He is Assistant Editor of the Public Procurement Law Review and a member of the Procurement Lawyers Association and regularly presents his research at national and international conferences and seminars. Luke particularly values the importance of engaging practice and provides expert consultancy and training to practitioners. An experienced tutor, Luke has also spent over a decade teaching private law subjects at leading UK Law Schools (most recently Bristol) as well as specialist programmes at other universities.


  • Equity and Trusts LLB Undergraduate (Module Leader)
  • Equity and Trusts LLB Graduates (Module Leader)
  • Commercial Law
  • Contract Law
  • Law in Action
  • Legal Communication and Writing

Postgraduate supervision

Luke is interested in supervising doctoral students on all aspects of government commerce and government contracting.
Current PhD supervision:
• Emily Carroll – Retail leases
• Yasser Mahmood – The Common Security and Defence Policy

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


The overarching theme of Luke’s research concerns the phenomenon of “government by contract”. Luke is interested in the regulatory infrastructure supporting the institutions which buy and sell goods, works and services, industries which supply to the government, and the institutions which oversee them. Major aspects of Luke’s research concern the regulatory strategies used to facilitate government contracting (statute, contract, and policy) and the rules which regulate the award and management of contracts.

Other activities

  • UG Year Tutor: Final Year
  • LLB Dissertation Coordinator


Regulating Defence Acquisition in the UK: Single Source Defence Procurement (Hart) (forthcoming)

‘The Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations: The Saga Continues’ (2018) Public Procurement Law Review (8000 words)

‘An Inspection of Rail Franchise Procurement: First-Class Regulation for Privatised Passenger Rail?’ (2018) 27(6) Public Procurement Law Review 251-278

‘Rail Franchises, Competition and Public Service’ (2018) 81(1) Modern Law Review 23-50 (co-author: Professor Tony Prosser, University of Bristol)

 ‘The Internal Market and National Security: Harmonisation, Impact and Reform of the EU Directive on Intra-EU Transfers of Defence Products’ (2017) 54(2) Common Market Law Review 403-442 (co-author: Professor Martin Trybus)

Transatlantic Defence Procurement: EU and US Defence Procurement Regulation in the Transatlantic Defence Market (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2017) (514 pages) ISBN 978-1-107-11551-4

‘Exclusion and Qualitative Selection of Economic Operators under Public Procurement Procedures: A Comparative View on Selected Jurisdictions’ in M Burgi, M Trybus and S Treumer (eds) Qualification, Selection and Exclusion in EU Procurement (DJOF Copenhagen 2016), 245-274, ISBN 978-8757437133 (co-authors: AS Graells and P Telles)

‘Exclusion, Qualification and Selection in the UK under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015’ in M Burgi, M Trybus and S Treumer (eds) Qualification, Selection and Exclusion in EU Procurement (DJOF Copenhagen 2016) 189-243, ISBN 978-8757437133

‘Public Procurement Award Procedures in Directive 2014/24/EU’ in F Lichere, R Caranta and S Treumer (ed) Novelties in the 2014 Directive on Public Procurement (DJOF Copenhagen 2014) 131-184 (co-author: P Telles) ISBN 978-8757433333 

‘A Uniform Approach to Innovation in Public Procurement in the Innovation Union?’ In F Lichere, R Caranta and S Treumer (ed)          Novelties in the 2014 Directive on Public Procurement (DJOF    Copenhagen 2014) 337-385, ISBN 978-8757433333

‘Below Threshold and Annex IIB Services Contracts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: A Common Law Approach’ in R. Caranta and D. Dragos (ed.) Outside the Directives, Inside the Treaty? Public Procurement Below Thresholds and Annex IIB Services (DJOF Copenhagen 2012) 283-334, ISBN 9788757428780

Review of European Defence Cooperation in EU Law and IR Theory, by Tom Dyson and Theodore Konstadinides (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), xviii + 256 pp. inc. index, hardback, £57.50, ISBN: 9781137281296 (2015) 40(2) European Law Review 299-302

Review of G Virgo, Principles of Trusts and Equity (1st edition), Oxford University Press

Review of J. Cibinic, R. C. Nash and C. R. Yukins, Formation of Government Contracts and J. Cibinic, R. C. Nash and K. R. O' Brien-DeBakey, Competitive Negotiation: The Source Selection Process (2013) 1 Public Procurement Law Review 45-48

Review of S. Hobe, M. Hofmannova, J Wouters (eds.) A Coherent European Procurement Law and Policy for the Space Sector: Towards a Third Way, Cologne Studies International and European Law, Lit, Volume 22 (2013) 5 Public Procurement Law Review 206-209

Review of Trust Funds under International Law – Trustee Obligations of the United Nations and International Development Banks by Ilias Bantekas, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2009, 320 pp. inc. Hard Cover (2010) 59(4) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 1175-1176

Review of EU Counter-Terrorist Policies and Fundamental Rights: The Case of Individual Sanctions by Christina Eckes, Oxford, OUP, 2009, xxxiv + 478pp. inc. Hard Cover (2010) 35 European Law Review 737-740

Written Evidence to the Transport Committee Intercity East Coast Rail Franchise Inquiry, Ref. ECR0017

Written Submission to the Single Source Regulations Office: Response to a Call for Input on the SSRO’s review of the Single Source Contract Regulations (November 2016)

Blog: ‘Allowable Costs under the Single Source Contract Rules: Costs for work undertaken at risk before entering into a defence contract’ (University of Bristol Law School)

Blog: ‘Keeping Procurement on the Rails: A Legal Perspective on UK Passenger Rail Franchising’ (University of Bristol Law School)

Blog: ‘Singling Out Defence Procurement: Contract Pricing under the Single Source Contract Regulations’ (University of Bristol Law School)

Blog: ‘Legal implications of Brexit on UK Defence Procurement’ (University of Bristol Law School)

View all publications in research portal


Government contracts and Government commerce (procurement)

Regulation in complex industries, in particular, but not exclusively, the defence sector