Research Interests

Catharine MacMillan is engaged in researching the nineteenth and early twentieth century development of English private law. She is particularly concerned to provide an historical analysis of contemporary private law. This historical analysis has laid the basis for further research and publications concerned with contemporary contractual doctrines and issues.

She has a particular interest in the adjudication of mercantile disputes by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council within the nineteenth century British Empire. In connection with this research she is currently writing a legal biography of Judah Benjamin.

Additional Information

Catharine MacMillan is a Professor of Private Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.  She is the Vice President of the Society of Legal Scholars and Treasurer of the Selden Society.


Recent Publications

‘Trans-Atlantic Connections: The Many Networks and the Enduring Legacy of J.P. Benjamin’, in Networks and Connections in Legal History, Lobban, M & Williams, I, eds (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

‘Non-disclosure agreements: use and abuse’, in The Contents of Commercial Contracts: Terms Affecting Freedoms, Davies, P and Raczynska, M, eds (Hart Publishing 2020)

‘The Lasting Impact of the Judicature Acts 1873-75 upon Contract Law’ in Contract Law and the Legislature: Autonomy, Expectations, and the Making of Legal Doctrine, Arvind, T.T. & Steele, J., eds (Hart Publishing, 2020)

‘Sir Edward Fry: Law, Science and Religion’ (2020) Journal of Legal History 

‘On Legal Biography’, with Barnes, V and Vogenauer, S (2020) Journal of Legal History

‘Empire’s Law: Archives and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council’, in Canada’s Legal Pasts: Looking Forward, Looking Back, Campbell, L, McCoy, T & Méthot, M, eds (University of Calgary Press, 2020)

‘Remedies for common mistake and frustration’, in Research Handbook on Remedies in Private Law, Halson, R & Campbell, D, eds (Edward Elgar, 2019)

‘Legal Development in a Comparative Perspective: English contract law in the nineteenth century’, in Global Legal History: A comparative law perspective, Tate, J.C., Lima Lopes, J.R.D. & Botero-Bernal, A, eds (Routledge, 2019)

Challenges to Authority and the Recognition of Rights: from Magna Carta to Modernity, editor, with Charlotte Smith (Cambridge University Press 2018)

‘Brexit, business and trade: The impact of Brexit upon English Contract Law’, (2016) 27 King’s Law Journal 420.

‘English Contract Law and the Great War: The Development of a Doctrine of Frustration’, (2015) 2 Comparative Legal History 2

‘Judah Benjamin: Marginalized Outsider or Admitted Insider?’, (2015) 42 Journal of Law and Society 150

‘The mystery of privity: Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada v Robinson (1915)’, (2015) 65 University of Toronto Law Journal 1

‘Contract Terms Between Unequal Parties in Victorian England’, in English and European Perspectives on Contract and Commercial Law, Gullifer, L and Vogenauer, S, eds (Hart Publishing 2014)