Professor Catherine Mitchell

Professor Catherine Mitchell

Birmingham Law School
Chair in Contract Law

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Catherine Mitchell’s research and teaching centres mainly around Contract law and related subjects. She has published widely on different aspects of contract law and her work has been cited by the House of Lords, the Singapore Court of Appeal and by the Law Commissions of England and Scotland.


  • LLB Hons (Essex)
  • LLM (Aberd)
  • PhD (Hull)
  • FHEA


Catherine joined Birmingham Law School in 2016 after 23 years in the Law School at the University of Hull. She graduated in Law from the University of Essex in 1988. She also holds a Masters degree in Jurisprudence from the University of Aberdeen (1992).  She gained her PhD through published works in 2015. Her main teaching responsibilities are in Contract Law, Commercial Law and related subjects.  She became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. She was promoted to Professor at the beginning of 2023.


  • Contract Law 
  • Commercial Law
  • Introduction to Legal Research (LLM)

Postgraduate supervision

Catherine would be interested in supervising research students on topics in commercial contract law, particularly contract interpretation and the role of commercial expectations and informal norms in contract law.

She has supervised students working on electronic contracting, EU contract law and the role of standard terms and conditions in business contracting.

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


Catherine's research interests lie primarily within the field of the private law of obligations. In particular all aspects of contract law including the nature and theory of contractual obligations, remedies, consumer and commercial contracts, and the relationship between contract, tort and restitution. She is also interested in legal theory, particularly legal reasoning, interpretation in law, and law and literature.

The research for her most recent monograph, Vanishing Contract Law (Cambridge University Press 2022), was supported by a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. Previous works include Contract Law And Contract Practice: Bridging The Gap Between Legal Reasoning And Commercial Expectation (Hart 2013), the first edition of Interpretation of Contracts (Routledge Cavendish 2007) and a second edition of the same work published by Routledge in 2018. In addition to books, she has published articles and short papers on a variety of contract issues: exclusion clauses, third party rights, restitutionary damages, entire agreement clauses, networks and contract law, and the law relating to behavioural obligations in contracts.

Her current projects include an examination of the effect of the covid crisis on contract law, and an investigation into the contract law aspects of the automation of contracting processes.  

Other activities

  • External Examiner on LLB degrees, Dublin City University (2014-2018) and University of Hull (2022-present)
  • Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Contract Law
  • Member of the AHRC Peer Review College


Recent publications


Mitchell, C 2022, Vanishing contract law: Common Law in the Age of Contracts. Law in Context, Cambridge University Press.

Mitchell, C 2018, Interpretation of Contracts: 2nd edition. 2nd edn, Routledge. <>

Mitchell, C 2013, Contract Law And Contract Practice: Bridging The Gap Between Legal Reasoning And Commercial Expectation. Hart Publishing.


Mitchell, C 2024, 'What does Covid-19 teach us about English contract law?', Legal Studies.

Mitchell, C 2016, 'Behavioural standards in contracts and English contract law', Journal of Contract Law, vol. 33, pp. 234-253.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Mitchell, C 2020, The Common Law of Contract: Essential or Expendable? in A Johnston & L Talbot (eds), Great Debates in Commercial and Corporate Law . Palrave.

Mitchell, C 2019, Remedies and Reality in the Law of Contract. in D Campbell & R Halson (eds), Research Handbook on Remedies in Private Law . Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 68-84.

Mitchell, C 2017, Network Commercial Relationships: What role for Contract Law? in R Brownsword, RAJ van Gestel & H-W Micklitz (eds), Contract and Regulation: A Handbook on New Methods of Law Making in Private Law. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., pp. 198-234.


Mitchell, C 2015, Interpreting Commercial Contracts: The Policing Role of Context in English Law. in LA DiMatteo & M Hogg (eds), Comparative Contract Law: British and American Perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 231-247.

Book/Film/Article review

Mitchell, C 2023, 'Contractual Relations: A Contribution to the Critique of the Classical Law of Contract By David Campbell, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022, 464 pp., £95.00', Journal of Law and Society.

Mitchell, C 2014, 'Review of Jonathan Morgan 'Contract Law Minimalism'', International Company and Commercial Law Review, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 323-325.

Other chapter contribution

Mitchell, C 2016, 'Reply to Blake D Morant', 'Contractual Interpretation in the Commercial Context'. in LA DiMatteo & M Hogg (eds), Comparative Contract Law: British and American Perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 286-289.

View all publications in research portal



Contract law