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Nicholas Lord

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Personal profile


Nicholas joined the University of Manchester in September 2013. He is Professor of Criminology in the School of Social Sciences. He is also the Director of the Centre for Digital Trust and Society (CDTS), which is a focal point for research that explores aspects of trust and security in the digital world and delivers the Digital Futures research platform theme Digital Trust and Security. He is also the Director of CrimRxiv.

His research contributions centre on three inter-related areas of scholarship: (Inter)national corruption and fraud, and their regulation by criminal justice and state regulatory systems, as well as potential victims and third-party actors (business and individuals); Exploring empirically and conceptually the organisation of serious crimes for gain, in particular ‘white-collar crimes’, ‘organised crimes’, illicit financial flows and money laundering, as well as their digital underpinnings; and, the transfer of social scientific modes of analysis and thinking into the operational responses of fraud enforcement authorities. 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.

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

The Manchester-Heidelberg Illicit Finance and Politics Network (Sep 2023 - July 2024) UoM Global Scholars Fund funded

JustFish: Understanding and Preventing Fisheries Crime in Norway (Jan 2021 - Dec 2025) - 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

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

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) ESRC funded

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

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

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

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

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

Food Fraud - A Supply Network Integrated Systems Analysis (April 2014 – Feb 2017) ESRC/Food Standards Agency funded

Urban Security Management (Jan 2013 – June 2015) EU funded

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

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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