UCL Faculty of Laws


Modern Studies in Property Law 2018

10 April 2018–12 April 2018, 12:30 pm–6:00 pm


The 12th Biennial MSPL Conference will be held at the newly refurbished Bentham House - home of UCL Laws

Event Information

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UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws, Bentham House, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG

The 12th Biennial MSPL Conference will be held at the newly refurbished Bentham House, home of the UCL Faculty of Laws, from Tuesday 10th April to Thursday 12th April 2018.

We are delighted to announce that the MSPL keynote address will be delivered by Lady Justice Gloster on Wednesday April 11th, and will be followed by a drinks reception and conference dinner with after dinner remarks by Lord Briggs. We are also delighted that plenary addresses will be presented by Professor Henry Smith, the Fessenden Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Fourth Restatement of Property and by Her Honour Judge Karen Walden-Smith, the specialist Chancery Judge of the Central London County Court, who also sits as a Judge of the High Court.

The themes explored by the conference include:

  • Land Doctrine & Theory
  • Looking across Jurisdictions: Leases
  • Looking across Jurisdictions: Trusts
  • Land Obligations
  • Property and Obligations
  • Land and Theory
  • Trusts: Nature and Operation
  • Property and Commerce

A dedicated Post-Graduate Research strand will be held on Thursday 12th April - see the programme for this below.

A publishers exhibition will be available at the conference.


Tuesday 10 April

12.30  Registration and lunch

14.15   Land Doctrine & Theory

  • The Essence of Private Nuisance  – Donal Nolan, Oxford
  • Redrawing the Taxonomy of Property Law in the Light of Contemporary Use of Urban Surfaces – Sue Farran, Northumbria
  • Defending Property: Self-Help Remedies, Use of Force, and the Concept of a Property Right – Robin Hickey, Queen’s Belfast

15.45  Tea

16.15   Looking Across Jurisdictions: 2 Parallel Sessions

(a)  Looking Across Jurisdictions: Leases

  • Security of Tenure in the Private Residential Sector in England and Wales: Balancing the Competing Property Rights of
  • Landlords and Tenants – Emily Walsh, Portsmouth
  • Long Residential Leases in Collaborative Housing: a Comparison between English and French Law – Fabiana Bettini, Sciences Po

(b) Looking Across Jurisdictions: Trusts

  • Another Brick in the Wall: Lessons from the First Civil Law Trust – James Fisher, Tokyo
  • Trust Proliferation: A View from the Field – Adam Hofri, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

17.30   Plenary Address
Henry Smith, Harvard

18.30 Drinks

Wednesday April 11

9.30   Land Obligations

Chaired by Andrew Francis (Serle Court Chambers)

  • Re-evaluating Recreational Easements – New Norms for the 21st Century? – Susan Pascoe, Middlesex
  • The Recognition of Covenants in Gross in New Zealand: A Dangerous Advancement? – Ben France-Hudson, Otago
  • Remedies for Rights to Light: Averting a “Tragedy of the Anticommons” – Craig Rotherham, Nottingham

11:00   Tea

11.30   Work in Progress: 2 Parallel Sessions

(a) Equity and Obligation

  • Improper Dealings with Trust Property – Jessica Hudson, UNSW
  • Is the Mere Equity to Rescind a Legal Power? - Adam Reilly, Coventry
  • Specific Performance and Contracts for the Sale of Land – Paul Davies, UCL

(b) Land and Theory

  • Enduring Trespass and Challenging Property: What Adverse Possession Tells Us About Property – Sarah Hamill, TCD
  • The Limits of Property Rights: Human Rights and Claims of Serious Need – Luke Rostill, Oxford
  • The Quietus for Payment Burdens - Simon Cooper, Oxford Brookes

12.45    Lunch

14.00   Trusts: Nature and Operation

  • “And How Should I Presume?”: Absence of Consideration, Advancement, and the Presumption of Resulting Trust – John Mee, UCC
  • Quistclose Trusts after Menelaou – Undoing the Wages of Twinsectra Spin – Eoin O’Dell, TCD
  • The Paradox of Equitable Property – Sinéad Agnew & Ben McFarlane, UCL

15.30   Tea

16.00   Property and Commerce

Chaired by Prof Sarah Worthington QC (Hon), FBA (University of Cambridge)

  • How is the Fit? Regulation of Mortgages as an Enduring Property Relationship – Sarah Nield, Southampton
  • Dealing with the Multiplicity of Proprietary Interests in Commercial and Financial Transactions: Freedom of Bargain or Simplicity – Magda Raczynska, UCL
  • Equity and the Nature of Corporate Property – Larissa Katz, Toronto

17.45   Keynote Address
The Rt Hon Lady Justice Gloster

18.45  Drinks

19.30  Conference dinner

Thursday April 12

9.30   Land Registration

Chaired by Dr Emma Lees (University of Cambridge)

  • Land Registration Guided by Property Law Principles or Administrative Practice – Reflection on New Developments in China and Comparisons with English Law – Lu Xu, Lancaster
  • Death, Lies and Land Registration – Brian Sloan, Cambridge & Sion Hudson, Miller Sands Solicitors

10:30   Special Session

  • The Law Commission and Property Law Reform
    Nicholas Hopkins, Law Commissioner

11:00  Tea

11.20   Discussion Session

  • Testing the Feasibility of a Court Based ‘One Stop Shop’ for Occupiers Threatened with Loss of Home – Lisa Whitehouse, Hull

12:00   Plenary Address
""Judges are human, not many people know that”.   The travails of the first-instance judge"
HHJ Karen Walden-Smith

13:00  Close Lunch and Post Graduate Poster Presentations

Thursday 12 April from 09:00 to 16:30

Parallel Post-graduate stream - see programme below.

Post-Graduate Research Programme - Thursday 12 April

Modern Studies in Property Law 2018: Post-Graduate Research Conference

Faculty of Laws, University College London, 12 April 2018

The 4th MSPL Postgraduate Research Conference will be held at the newly refurbished Bentham House, home of the UCL Faculty of Laws, on 12th April 2018. The conference provides a unique opportunity for research students in property law (or those who have recently finished their research studies in the area) to present their work, make contacts, and receive feedback. It is closely linked to the 12th Biennial MSPL Conference, with which it shares a venue, and those attending the PGR conference will have the opportunity to attend the closing plenary session of the MSPL Conference on 12th April. As well as paper presentations, the PGR conference will also include a session on careers advice.

Delegates who attend the PGR conference alone (including those selected to present a paper) will pay a nominal £25 registration fee. Delegates are also encouraged, where possible, to attend the main MSPL conference, and a reduced registration rate will be available for current postgraduate students.

Thursday April 12

(parallel post-graduate stream)

9.00   Session 1 : Post-Graduate Research Stream

  • Anita Purewal (Lancaster) The Theory of Property Rights: Is it Time for Reform?
  • Tobias Barkley (LaTrobe/ University of Melbourne) Defeasible Proprietary Obligations and Theories of Modular Trusts
  • Michael Crawford (Melbourne) An Expressive Theory of Possession
  • Jenny Boddy (Cambridge) Property Law and those who Lack Capacity to Manage their Financial Affairs

10:30  Plenary Session:

  • The Law Commission and Property Law Reform
    Nicholas Hopkins, Law Commissioner

11:00   Tea

11.00   Discussion Session

  • Testing the Feasibility of a Court Based ‘One Stop Shop’ for Occupiers Threatened with Loss of Home
    Lisa Whitehouse, Hull

12:00   Plenary Address

  • HHJ Karen Walden-Smith

13:00   Lunch and Poster Presentation

13.45  Session 2 : Post-Graduate Research Stream

  • Elizabeth Virgo (Cambridge) Property Transfers: What is the Point of Registering Title?
  • Sally Whelan (Keele) Prescriptive Easements: New Rules and Old Problems?
  • Julius Grower (UCL) Keech v Sandford and the Uses of History
  • Aisha Shah (Aston) Proprietary Restitution for Mistaken Payments
  • Obiora Ezike (Glasgow) The Collateral Directive and Title Transfer: Not so Functional

15:30   Tea

15:45   Workshop on Career Progression

16:30   Close of conference

Accommodation near UCL

A number of rooms are available at the following hotels for the conference for the nights of 9, 10 & 11 April 2018:

Tavistock Hotel
Single rooms: £85 per night inc. VAT and breakfast
Quote: UCL Faculty of Laws
Book before 26 February 2018.

Ambassadors Bloomsbury
£195 per night inc. VAT and Breakfast
Quote: UCL MSPL Conference
Contact Ashish Bisht to make a booking – rm@ambassadors.co.uk

UCL is located in the heart of the Bloomsbury district in London and is surrounded by a wealth of accommodation to suit all budgets.

Some local hotels, all within walking distance of the venue are:

UCL Residences:
UCL has a number of student residences into which visitors can book accommodation. Ian Baker House and Ramsay Hall are all within a 5 minute walking distance to the venue. Please see information on the Residences website at:

There are a number of decent hostels local to the venue:


How to book your place

You can book your place at the conference online at: 

Early Bird tickets finished on 16th February:

Standard Ticket prices are: 
Full Delegate = £300
Student Delegate = £210

Ticket prices include full conference attendance, including all refreshments, lunches and the conference dinner

Other tickets
One-Day only ticket = £200
Dinner ticket (optional addition for one-day tickets) = £65