Sir Ross Cranston

Administrative support: Bradley Barlow
Room: New Academic Building 7.12
Tel. 020-7107-5868

Sir Ross Cranston is professor of law. He was a judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division for just over nine years and the judge in charge of the Administrative Court from January 2016. Previously he was Centennial Professor and Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at LSE. He was MP for Dudley North 1997-2005 and Solicitor General 1998-2001. He was Lubbock Professor of Banking Law, Director of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies and Dean of Laws at Queen Mary, University of London. He has also held full time teaching positions at the University of Warwick and the Australian National University. He was made QC in 1998. As counsel he appeared before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords in Britain, and before the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. He was educated in the University of Queensland, Harvard Law School and the University of Oxford. He has held consultancies with UNCTAD, the World Bank, the IMF and the Commonwealth Secretariat to advise different countries on their commercial, banking and securities laws. From 2005-2016 he has undertaken reviews for the European Commission of the legal systems of Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey. He was a member of the legal advisory panel of the National Consumer Council in Britain and chair of trustees of the whistleblower’s charity, Public Concern at Work. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Research Interests

Presently his main research interests are (1) the history of commercial law in Britain from c. 1820 and how it throws light on the relationship of law to economic development and (2) the judiciary and judging.

External Activities
  • Chair, JUSTICE Working Party on Immigration and Asylum Determination (2017-)

  • President of International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law 2004-6

  • European Commission Expert (with Chamber President Judge Bjornberg) on Functioning of the Judiciary System in Turkey, 2005

  • Chair, Expert Working Group on Legal Implications of the Interdiction of Terrorist Property, Society of Legal Scholars (2001-2)


How Law Works (Oxford, OUP, 2006)

Access to justice, equality before the law, and the rule of law are three fundamental values underpinning the civil justice system. This book examines these values and how, although they do not have great leverage in decision making by the courts, they are a crucial foundation of the civil justice system and a powerful argument for arrangements such as legal aid, the impartial application of law, and the independence of the judiciary ....

Principles of Banking Law, 2nd edition (Oxford, OUP, 2002)

Principles of Banking Law provides a clear, up-to-date and comprehensive account of the subject, incorporating all significant changes in banking law, regulation and practice that have occurred since the publication of the first edition in 1997. It offers full coverage of all Domestic and International Banking Law topics. Written by a leading figure in the field, this book offers a fresh yet authoritative approach to the subject that renders it a key resource for all those studying Banking or Financial Services Law.

Cranston’s Consumers and the Law, 3rd edition, C. Scott & J. Black (ed) (London, Butterworths, 2000) (Law in Context Series   

Law, Government and Public Policy (Melbourne, Oxford, 1987)

Legal Foundations of the Welfare State (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1985) (Law in Context Series)   

Regulating Business (London, Macmillan, 1979, Oxford Socio-Legal Studies)

Selected articles
and chapters in books

'Commercial Lore and Commercial Law' in J. Lowry & L. Mistelis (eds), Commercial Law: Perspectives and Practice (London, LexisNexis, 2006)

Commercial Law: Perspectives & Practice features innovative contributions from today’s top commercial lawyers looking at the future direction of commercial law.

Unique and with a strong practical focus, the book contains authoritative and wide-ranging commentary on commercial law from esteemed experts in the field. Including contributions on commercial topics from arbitration to security, and from contract to tax avoidance, its UK focus is complemented by penetrating global comparisons.

'Globalisation. Its Historical Context' in S. Worthington (ed.), Commercial Law and Commercial Practice (Oxford, Hart, 2004), 1-23

This edited collection brings together leading scholars and practitioners from various jurisdictions with essays and commentaries co-ordinated around the theme of alignments and misalignments between commercial law and commercial practice. The purpose of the book is to prompt a more critical and constructive reassessment of current commercial law and its practices, and to instigate a more fruitful dialogue between academics, judges, law reformers and practitioners.

The result is a series of provocative and challenging essays addressing an enormous range of problems that are of intimate concern to commercial practice. Some essays focus on broad themes, such as globalization and trust. Others address more specific issues, such as contract interpretation or constraining modern management. Yet another group targets special problems, such as dematerialisation or super-priority, in order to assess the success of commercial law in meeting commercial demands. The depth and breadth of issues addressed is a credit to the authors. Taken as a whole, the volume makes some pointed suggestions for improving the practices and processes, and indeed the future progress, of commercial law.