Nicholas Lord

Nicholas Lord

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Media contributions and coverage

Media Availability

Corporate corruption and bribery; white-collar and corporate crimes; financial and economic crimes; fraud; food crimes; organised crimes.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Other research

Current Projects

JustFish: Understanding and Preventing Fisheries Crime in Norway (Jan 2021 - Dec 2024) - Funded by the Norwegian Research Council

Learn more about the project here.

Completed Projects

FinTech and FinCrime Futures (Feb 2022 - July 2022) - Funded by HUMS Recovery Grant

Developing the Analytical Features of the ScriptNet Tool-Kit (Feb 2022 - July 2022) - Funded by SOSS Research Support Fund

Enhancing Corporate Accountability (Sept 2019 - Oct 2021) - Funded by Monash University

In Pursuit of Food System Integrity (Oct 2019 - Mar 2020) - ESRC IAA funded

ScriptNet is a software package that facilitates an analysis of the organisational aspects of criminal enterprise together with an analysis of the network of people, organisations, places and resources that are in some way involved in the commissioning of these goal-oriented crimes. More specifically, the software is geared towards those interested in analysing varied food crimes (e.g., food fraud, counterfeit alcohol) that are of an entrepreneurial nature, that is, they reflect on-going criminal activities involving multiple people in order to generate financial gain. The software was developed in collaboration with non-academic partner the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). The tool can be used by a variety of groups - including law enforcement authorities, non-governmental organisations, academic and social researchers, and many more - to visualise the connections between the different stages of pre-planned criminal behaviours and the people or organisations who play different roles, in different places, using different resources to accomplish specified criminal goals. Download ScriptNet for Windows or Mac here.

The (Mis)Use of Corporate Vehicles By Transnational Organised Crime Groups in the Concealment, Conversion and Control of Illicit Finance (Dec 2016 – May 2018)

This ESRC funded research will, through a criminological and socio-legal lens, critically review the evidence base and the ‘state of the art’ literature, and undertake empirical research to improve our understanding of how, why and under which conditions organised crime groups (OCGs) use corporate vehicles for the concealment, conversion and control of illicit finance. OCGs make money through varied activities (e.g. trafficking, drugs, cyber-frauds, counterfeiting, etc.) and have evolved to make use of licit corporate structures to conceal their illicit finance

Demystifying the Corruption Paradox by Exploring Bribery 'At Home' (Oct 2016 – Sept 2018)

This British Academy funded project analyses bribery 'at home' and bribery 'abroad'. Historically, there has been a paradox in the attitudes and responses to bribery ‘at home’ in contrast to bribery ‘abroad’. Using bribery in foreign countries to further UK economic/political interests was a ‘necessary evil’, while bribery within the UK was less acceptable. Nation-states are now under intense scrutiny from inter/nongovernmental organisations to stop their businesses from bribing developing countries and this has led to an improved enforcement response. But domestic bribery occurring within UK business and public institutions has not emerged as a priority enforcement issue despite this being a requirement of the UN Convention Against Corruption 2003 and encouragement in the UK Anti- Corruption Plan 2014. This is a major research gap, as much is known, and done, about the former, but not the latter, and we must question why the response to domestic and international bribery varies so strongly. This project aims to enhance the evidence-base on the nature and control of domestic bribery, comparing the UK with the Netherlands, an economically and culturally close neighbor.

Distribution and Consumption of Counterfeit Alcohol: Getting to Grips with Fake Booze (Sept 2016 – Aug 2018)

The aim of this Alcohol Research UK funded project is to develop a greater and more detailed understanding of the distribution mechanisms associated with counterfeit alcohol. The distribution of counterfeit alcohol requires a high level of organisation and a developed network of actors to ensure market penetration. The discipline of criminology brings a particular approach to the understanding organisation of this crime and provides more detailed insights into how the networks of distribution operate.

Global White-Collar Crime Survey: Anti-Bribery and Corruption (Mar 2017 - Feb 2018)

This White & Case LLP funded project will involve undertaking a global anti-bribery and corruption survey with multi-national businesses operating across a variety of sectors and jurisdictions. The purpose of the survey is to develop understandings of how global businesses are responding to the creation of international and domestic anti-bribery laws and standards. This will involve researching the interactions of business with regulators and gaining insights into organisational cultures and ways of operating  that may be facilitative of corruption. In addition to the survey, the research will also involve qualitative interviews with key actors representing various strategic and operational levels of the sampled businesses.

A Criminological Network Analysis of Counterfeit Alcohol Distribution (Jan 2016 – Nov 2016)

This UMRI funded project integrates a cutting-edge criminological and social network analytical theoretical approach to understand the organisation of the distribution of counterfeit alcohols. We analyse the dynamics between the ‘scripts’ through which offenders must go in order to accomplish their counterfeit alcohol enterprise and how these scripts are shaped by the networks of cooperating actors at various stages of the crime commission process. The project explores the contention that these non-legitimate actions are hidden behind the actions of otherwise legitimate actors and business practices and that the concealment of illicit conduct in relation to the distribution and supply of counterfeit alcohol can be defined as an habitual and frequent practice within this market. Further details can be found here.

Corruption in (Non-)Criminal Commercial Enterprise (Oct 2015 – Sept 2016)

This AHRC funded project aims to build a research network exploring the intersections of corruption and organised crime activities in the context of criminal and non-criminal enterprise in domestic and international commerce in OECD countries. Further details here.

Food Fraud - A Supply Network Integrated Systems Analysis (April 2014 – Feb 2017)

This ESRC/Food Standards Agency funded research has three distinct but integrated research streams to answer the question: How does the nature, functioning and regulation of a food supply network affect the risk of food fraud by adulteration? This research question is allied to one anticipated integrative output: a predictive, transposable dynamic computational model that will outline nodes in a food supply network vulnerable to criminal acts of adulteration. Further details can be found here.

Urban Security Management (Jan 2013 – June 2015)

The URBIS project, funded by the EU, questions the possibilities for ‘urban security management’ given the increasing freedom of movement of people, goods and services across national borders, an increasingly austere economic climate and consequent pressures on governing capacity in European cities. The distinctiveness of the current situation is captured in the idea of ‘acting locally while thinking globally’ about threats to the freedom and security of European citizens. In particular the project explores which public authorities are empowered and legally obliged to manage urban security, what skills and competencies they have to undertake this responsibility and what educational and training provision currently exists in support of their work. On the basis of this review, the project will consider any further need to professionalise this area of work. It will then design and trial a postgraduate-level programme of teaching and learning emphasising a comparative understanding of urban security in Europe and questioning the possibilities for exchanging expertise and experience amongst public authorities. For more information about the project please visit the project website by clicking here.

Regulating corporate bribery in international business: anti-corruption in the UK and Germany (Oct 2008 – April 2012)

This ESRC funded research is about the regulation of corporations that use bribery in international commerce to win or maintain overseas business contracts and interests. The research imports concepts from regulation theory to aid our understanding of the emerging enforcement, self-regulatory and hybrid responses to transnational corporate bribery. See here.


Nicholas is a Professor of Criminology. He is the UoM Research Theme Lead for Digital Trust and Security and Director of the Centre for Digital Trust and Society.

Nicholas joined the University of Manchester in September 2013. He has primary research interests in white-collar and corporate crimes of a financial and economic nature, such as fraud, corruption and bribery, as well as the organisation of serious crimes for financial gain, such as 'organised crime' and food fraud. He teaches in the areas of white-collar and corporate crimes, financial and economic crimes, business compliance and regulation, serious and organised crimes, and criminological research.

In recent years, Nicholas has received prestigious funding to research a range of complex corporate and financial crimes: business fraud in the UK food system (ESRC/Food Standards Agency – Co-I); corruption in non-commercial criminal commercial enterprise (AHRC – Co-I); the nature and governance of bribery of public/private officials in the UK and the Netherlands (British Academy - PI); illegalities in the Norwegian fisheries (Norwegian Research Council - Co-I); the distribution and consumption of counterfeit alcohols (UMRI and Alcohol Research UK – Co-I on both); the misuse of corporate vehicles in the concealment of illicit finances (PaCCS/ESRC/AHRC - PI); to undertake a Global White-Collar Crime Survey on bribery in international business (White & Case LLP - PI); the financial aspects of modern slavery with focus on financial institutions (N8 – Co-I); fraud vulnerability assessment of the milk supply chain in Eire (Food Safety Authority of Ireland – Co-I); and, the development of the ScriptNet software for analysing criminal enterprise (ESRC IAA - PI).

Nicholas obtained his ESRC-funded PhD on transnational corporate corruption at Cardiff University in 2012, has an ESRC-funded MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Distinction) from Cardiff University and a BA (Joint Hons) in Criminology and German (First with distinction in spoken German) from Lancaster University.

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Corporate bribery and corruption
  • Corporate and white-collar crimes
  • Financial and economic crimes
  • Food frauds and food crimes
  • Regulation theory
  • Comparative criminology

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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Regulating Corporate Bribery in International Business in the UK and Germany, Cardiff University

Award Date: 13 Jun 2012

Master in Science, Social Science Research Methods, Cardiff University

Award Date: 13 Dec 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and German, Lancaster University

Award Date: 13 Jun 2006

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology
  • Criminology
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Research Methods
  • K Law (General)
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Justice
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • PD Germanic languages

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


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  • Criminology Book Prize 2015

    Lord, Nicholas (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • RISCS Quantification and Cyber Risk Prize

    Kemp, Steven (Recipient), Buil Gil, David (Recipient), Miró-Llinares, Fernando (Recipient) & Lord, Nicholas (Recipient), 24 Feb 2022

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Young Career Award 2014

    Lord, Nicholas (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)