UCL Faculty of Laws

Prof Charles Mitchell

Prof Charles Mitchell

Professor of Laws

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Aug 2010

Research summary

Charles Mitchell’s main research interests are in the law of unjust enrichment, the law of trusts and equitable remedies, and modern legal history.

In the field of unjust enrichment he has written many articles and two monographs: The Law of Contribution and Reimbursement (OUP, 2003) and Subrogation: Law and Practice (OUP, 2007) (with Stephen Watterson). He is an author of the leading practitioner work, Goff and Jones: The Law of Unjust Enrichment 9th edn (Sweet & Maxwell, 2016) (with Paul Mitchell and Stephen Watterson). He has also edited several collections of essays, including Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Unjust Enrichment (OUP, 2009) (with Robert Chambers and James Penner), Restitution of Overpaid Tax (Hart, 2013) (with Steven Elliott and Birke Häcker) and The Restatement Third, Restitution and Unjust Enrichment: Critical and Comparative Essays (Hart, 2013) (with William Swadling). In 2017, he organised a conference at UCL on 'The Global Futures of Unjust Enrichment’ (with Paul Mitchell and Stephen Watterson), the papers from which were published in a special issue of the Restitution Law Review edited by Stephen Watterson.

He has written many articles on the law of trusts and equitable remedies, and he is an author of the well-known practitioner work, Underhill and Hayton: Law Relating to Trusts and Trustees 19th edn (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2016) (with David Hayton and Paul Matthews) and a widely adopted student textbook, Hayton & Mitchell: Text, Cases and Materials on the Law of Trusts and Equitable Remedies 14th edn (Sweet & Maxwell, 2015) (with Ben McFarlane). He has edited several essay collections, including Foundations of Charity (Hart, 2000) (with Sue Moody), Constructive and Resulting Trusts (Hart, 2010) and Current Issues in Succession Law (Hart, 2016) (with Birke Häcker). In 2019, he and Sinead Agnew and Paul Davies organised the WG Hart Memorial Workshop in association with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, on 'Pensions: Law, Policy and Practice'; the papers from this conference will be published by Hart in 2020.

With Paul Mitchell, he devised the Landmark Cases series of historical investigations into past cases, published by Hart, and together they edited the first four volumes of the series, on Restitution (2006), Contract (2008), Tort (2010) and Equity (2012). He has recently completed work on the 2nd edition of William Cornish and Geoffrey Clark’s Law and Society in England, 1750-1950 (with Steve Banks, Paul Mitchell and Rebecca Probert), which will be published by Hart in 2019.

Some of his articles are available online at: https://ssrn.com/author=2105148 .

Teaching summary

During the academic year 2019/20, Charles Mitchell will teach a UG course on Unjust Enrichment and PG courses on Commercial Remedies and International and Commercial Trusts. He has previously taught courses on Contract, Tort, Property, Trusts, Company, and Insurance.

In 2014 and 2019 he won Faculty Excellence Awards for Legal Teaching, respectively based on UG and PG student votes and feedback.

He has supervised PhD theses on the following topics: testamentary promises, trusts in East Asia, attribution rules in the law of unjust enrichment, unjust enrichment claims for failure of condition, unjust enrichment claims based on defective intention, the penalties doctrine in contract law, primary and secondary rights in private law, the regulation of civil society, the politics of the Charities Act 2006, and tort liability in the voluntary sector.


Charles Mitchell has degrees in Modern History and Law from Oxford and UCL. He worked at King’s College London and Oxford before returning to UCL in 2010. From 2013 to 2016 he was Vice Dean (Staffing) and then Deputy Dean of the UCL Faculty of Laws. In 2017 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 2019 he was appointed an Honorary Queen's Counsel.