Staff Profile:Prof. Elizabeth J. Cooke


Professor Cooke is serving as a Law Commissioner for England and Wales from July 2008, with responsibility for property, family and trusts law. See:

Postgraduate Research Students Supervised:

Gregory Wareham

Areas of Interest:

Property law; comparative property law; land registration; estoppel; family law, particularly financial provision; succession.

Research groups / Centres:

Latest Publications:

  • "Law Reform in a Political Landscape: the work of the Law Commissions", E. Cooke and H. MacQueen, in D. Feldman (ed) Law in Politics, Politics in Law (Oxford Hart Publishing Ltd, 2014) 141-154.
  • "Re Ellenborough Park (1955): A mere recreation and amusement" in N Gravells, ed, Landmark cases in Land Law (2013, Oxford, Hart Publishing Ltd), 65 - 80.
  • Land Law (Oxford, OUP, 2012) 2nd edn.
  • "Testamentary freedom: a study of choice and obligations" in R. Zimmermann ed, Freedom of Testation (2012, Tubingen, Mohr Siebeck), 125 - 142

Further Publications: 

  • White v White [2000] 1 AC 596@ a late instalment in a long story", in S. Gilmore, J. Herring and R. Probert, eds, Landmark Cases in Family Law (2011, Oxford, Hart Publishing Ltd), 271 - 281
  • "The genetics of appurtenant interests" and "The consequences of genetic engineering: a comment on Lu Xu's chapter", both in S. Bright, Modern Studies in Property Law vol 6 (Hart Publishing Ltd, 2011), 201-209 and 231-240.
  • "Taking women's property seriously: Mrs Boland, the House of Lords, the Law Commission and the role of consensus" in J. Lee, From house of Lords to Supreme Court: Judges, Jurists and the Process of Judging (Hart Publishing Ltd, 2010), 57-70.

A full list of publications is available by clicking here (PDF File 19Kb). 

B.A. (Oxford), M.A. (Oxford), LL.M. (Reading);
Solicitor; Crown Court recorder; Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court

Biographical Details

Elizabeth Cooke joined the School Biographical Detailsof Law in 1992, having practised as a solicitor since 1988. Her principal research interests have been property law, particularly land registration and the law relating to family property and financial provision following relationship breakdown. Her book, The Modern Law of Estoppel, was joint winner in 2001 of the prize given by the Society of Public Teachers of Law for outstanding legal scholarship by a younger scholar. She was the Principal Investigator in a research project entitled "Community of Property: a regime for England and Wales", commencing in October 2004 and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. In September 2006 her book Land Law was published in the Clarendon Series of the Oxford University Press, and the second edition was published in 2012. She was a member of the Law Sub-Panel for the 2008 RAE exercise. She was seconded from January to June 2007 on a half-time basis to the Law Commission for England and Wales, assisting with the Commission's project on Cohabitation. She is consultant editor of vols 16(2) (Estoppel) and 87 (Real Property and Registration) of Halsbury's Laws of England.

Since 2008 she has been a Law Commissioner for England and Wales, with responsibility for law reform projects in property, family and trusts law. The Law Commission reports for which she has been lead Commissioner have been:

2009 Capital and Income in Trusts: Classification and Apportionment (Law Com No 315)

2011 Making Land Work: Easements, covenants and profits a prendre (Law Com No 327)

2011 The law of intestacy and family provision claims on death (Law Com No 331)

2013: The Electronic Communications Code (Law Com No 336)

2014: Matrimonial property, needs and agreements (Law Com No 343)

She is currently leading law reform projects on:

Enforcement of family financial orders

Rights to Light

Conservation Covenants

Selected issues in charity law.

She is an honorary member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Solicitors, and an honorary academic member of the Chancery Bar Association. Her interests outside the law include watching her children grow, rock climbing, and baroque chamber music.

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