Chair of Common Law


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  • Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2054
  • Email: d.fox@ed.ac.uk
  • Office and Feedback Hours for current students:
    Tuesdays 16.00-17.00
    Wednesdays 12.00-13.00

Biography

David Fox holds the Chair of Common Law at the University of Edinburgh. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand and received his PhD degree from the University of Cambridge.

Before coming to Edinburgh, he was for many years a Fellow of St John’s College in the University of Cambridge, where his teaching touched on most aspects of private law, concentrating on property, trusts, and monetary law. He has also held visiting posts at the National University of Singapore. He is a barrister in England and Wales, with a door tenancy at Maitland Chambers in London.

His research interests have a strong historical and comparative focus.  They concentrate on the formation modern trust and property doctrine in common law systems, and on the private law applicable to money.

Ph.D. supervision interests
I would be interested to supervise research students in topics in monetary law and trust law, particularly on topics with an historical focus.

Courses Taught

Monetary Law (Honours) (Course Organiser)

Property Law (Honours)

Books and Reports

David Fox, Wolfgang Ernst, Money in the Western Legal Tradition: Middle Ages to Bretton Woods, (Oxford University Press, 2016)
Abstract: The first book to undertake a history of monetary law from the High Middle Ages through to the twentieth centuryAnalyses the distinctive concepts of money applied by legal practitioners and scholars throughout the periodContributions written by an international team of legal historians, economists, economic historians, and numismatists

Chapters

David Fox, 'History of Equity ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Definition and classification of trusts ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Private express trusts ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Charitable trusts ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Trusts arising from an informal intention ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Resulting trusts ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Breach of trust ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Equities ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Priorities ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Informal trusts ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Trusts arising from wrongful conduct ' in John McGhee (ed.) Snell's Equity (Sweet & Maxwell 2016)

David Fox, 'Banks v Whetston (1596) ' in Simon Douglas, Robin Hickey, Emma Waring (ed.) Landmark Cases in Property Law (Hart Publishing 2015) 3-24

Working Papers

David Fox, 'The Reception of Roman Law into the Anglo-American Common Law of Mixed Goods ' 2016
Abstract: This article considers the development of the common law of mixed goods from the middle of the fifteenth century through to the late twentieth. It is a neat example of a Roman legal doctrine being directly received into the common law. That the reception happened when it did – late in the eighteenth and early in the nineteenth centuries – testifies to the state of the English and American high legal culture at the time, and to the intellectual interests of the legal writers, judges and practitioners who brought about this instance of “Romanisation” in common law doctrine. The study explains much about the modern state of the law governing mixtures of money and goods. The study also underscores some fundamental similarities and differences in common law and civil law analyses of property, their approach to evidential uncertainty, and the relationship between actions and substantive rights.