Professor Ben McFarlane was appointed to a Chair in Law at UCL in July 2012. He was formerly Reader in Property Law & Trusts at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He is the author of The Law of Proprietary Estoppel (2014) and The Structure of Property Law (2009), is one of the authors of Land Law: Text, Cases and Materials (1st edn 2010; 2nd edn, 2012), and is one of the editors ofSnell’s Equity. He is a Visiting Professor at the Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II. He was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2010.

Professor McFarlane’s research aims to uncover the foundational principles that lie behind the common law. His aim is to show that, far from being chaotic, the common law is a system of interconnected ethical principles and one of our greatest intellectual achievements. His particular interests lie in property law and, in particular, its intersection with the law of obligations. He has recently written on the numerus clausus principle; on how to define property rights such as ownership; and on the nature of equitable property rights. He is interested in the interaction of common law and equity and has recently published a book on the doctrine of proprietary estoppel, which allows parties informally to acquire rights in another’s land.

About Australian Centre for Private Law Events

The mission of the ​Australian Centre for Private Law is to foster the development and understanding of the private law through advanced theoretical, doctrinal, empirical and historical research, and the dissemination of that research through education and professional outreach. By supporting the work of its Fellows, the ACPL seeks to promote research in all areas of private law and to establish itself as a research centre of national and international importance. The core initiatives of ACPL are:

Research: To advance a deeper understanding of the structure, principles and policies of the private law through advanced theoretical, comparative, and empirical analysis.

Education: To promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of that research for the benefit of Australia’s social and economic fabric.

Professional Outreach: To engage the judiciary and members of the legal profession in discussion about the values, goals and methods of private law and the respective roles of the judiciary, the legal profession and the academy in the interpretation and reform of private law.

The ACPL embraces all branches of private law, including the law of contract, torts, trusts, equity, property, unjust enrichment, including theoretical and jurisprudential dimensions and contextual applications thereof.


Level 3, West Wing, Forgan Smith Building (#1)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia