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John Birds


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Insurance law, company law, but no longer active.

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John Birds began his academic career at Queen Mary College London, then taught at the University of Sheffield for 28 years before moving to Manchester in 2006. He was Professor of Commercial Law until 2010 and Honorary Professor in 2010-11. He was Professor of Commercial Law at Sheffield from 1989 to 2006 and was also Head of the Department of Law there from 1987 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2005. He is now Emeritus Professor at Manchester and Honorary Professor at Sheffield.

He is a leading authority on company law and insurance law, having published many books, articles and book chapters in both areas and holding editorial positions in leading company and commercial law journals, including The Company Lawyer, The Journal of Business Law, Insurance Research and Practice and European Company Law.

He has lectured widely, both in the UK and abroad, including in recent years at the University of Sydney, the National University of Singapore, the University of Nancy and the Korea Stock Exchange.

He has acted as consultant to government and private bodies. In 1991, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was a member of the Training Committee of the Law Society and a member of the Law Panel for the Research Assessment Exercise 2001; he was also a member of the Law Sub-Panel for the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 and in 2003-04 was President of the Society of Legal Scholars.

He was also a member of the Project Group and Drafting Committee for the Restatement of European Insurance Contract Law and of the Advisory Panel for the Law Commission project on Insurance Contract Law.

Research interests

  • Insurance law
  • Company law
  • Financial services

Current research projects

Regular updating of texts on insurance law and company law.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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