UCL Faculty of Laws

Dr Ian Williams

Dr Ian Williams

Associate Professor

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2009

Research summary

My research interests are principally in legal history, particularly early-modern English legal history. I have particular interests in the history of common-law reasoning and its interaction with legal theory and legal practice as well as the relationship between texts and legal practice. As part of the latter I work on book history.

I am currently working on a several articles as part of a large project on the court of Star Chamber. I am investigating contemporary knowledge and understanding of the court, as well as how lawyers and other actors in the Star Chamber understood the court and its work. I am also editing a collection of Star Chamber law reports which was widely circulated in the reign of Charles I. This will be published by the Selden Society.

Recent work includes articles on the history of legal printing and the dissemination of the law, investigating both unlawful printing of law books and the emergence of law books printed in English rather than French, as well as the circulation of manuscript legal texts amongst the early-modern legal profession.

Teaching summary


  • History of English Law
  • Property Law I
  • I have also taught Criminal Law, the Law of Trusts, the Law of Succession and Tort 


  • Historical Development of the Common Law

  • PhD Research Students' Programme: Legal History

Continuing Professional Education:

  • Roman Law as an Introduction to Modern Civil Law Systems (part of the Notarial Practice Course)


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow | 2011
University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2009
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2007
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Laws | 2004


Ian joined UCL in September 2009 from Cambridge University, where he was a College Lecturer at Christ’s College. He was a Francis Bacon Foundation Fellow at the Henry E. Huntington Library, California in 2006.