Dr Catherine Mitchell

Dr Catherine Mitchell

Birmingham Law School
Reader in Private Law

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Catherine is a Reader in Private Law at Birmingham Law School. Her 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.


  • Contract law 
  • International Sale of Goods
  • Widening Horizons: Key Moments in Law and Policy
  • Law in Action 1.

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 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.

Her most recent monograph, a second edition of Interpretation of Contracts (Routledge), was published in 2018. Previous works include Contract Law And Contract Practice: Bridging The Gap Between Legal Reasoning And Commercial Expectation (Hart 2013) and the first edition of Interpretation of Contracts (Routledge Cavendish 2007). 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 project - Vanishing Contract Law - is supported by a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. A monograph arising from the project will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.

Other activities

  • External Examiner on LLB degrees, Dublin City University (2014-present)
  • Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Contract Law.


Recent publications


Mitchell, C 2018, Interpretation of Contracts: 2nd edition. 2nd edn, Routledge. <https://www.routledge.com/Interpretation-of-Contracts-2nd-Edition/Mitchell/p/book/9781138789722>

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


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. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781786431271.00012

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 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