Professor Sir Ross  Cranston

Professor Sir Ross Cranston

Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 7.27
Key Expertise
Commercial law

About me

Sir Ross Cranston is a 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. He still sits occasionally in the Commercial and Administrative Courts. Previously he was Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at LSE and then a Centennial Professor. He was MP for Dudley North 1997-2005 and Solicitor General for England and Wales 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 undertook reviews for the European Commission of the legal systems of Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey. He has been a member of the legal advisory panel of the National Consumer Council in Britain and chair of trustees of the whistle-blower’s charity, Public Concern at Work and of BAILII. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Administrative support:

Research interests

Presently his main research interests are the judiciary and judging.

External activities

  • Assurance Review, Lloyds Banking Group, 2019-2020
  • Chair, JUSTICE Working Party on Immigration and Asylum Determination (2017-)
  • Chair, Trustees, BAILII [British and Irish Legal Information Institute] (2017-)


Making Commercial Law through Practice 1830–1970 (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

Making Commercial Law Through Practice 1830–1970 adds a new dimension to the history of Britain's commerce, trade manufacturing and financial services, by showing how they have operated in law over the last one hundred and forty years. In the main law and lawyers were not the driving force; regulation was largely absent; and judges tended to accommodate commercial needs, so that market actors were able to shape the law through their practices. Using legal and historical scholarship, the author draws on archival sources previously unexploited for the study of commercial practice and the law's role in it. This book will stimulate parallel research in other subject areas of law. Modern commercial lawyers will learn a great deal about the current law from the story of its evolution, and economic and business historians will see how the world of commerce and trade operated in a legal context.

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Principles of Banking Law, 3rd edition (OUP, 2018) (with Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zwieten, Christopher Hare, Theodor van Sante)

This third edition of the Principles of Banking Law provides a unique and authoritative treatment of both domestic and international banking law. Assembled by a group of expert authors, this new edition contains expanded coverage of developments in the fields of regulation, payment, lending, and capital markets.

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How Law Works ( 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 ....

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



Law, Government and Public Policy (Oxford, 1987)


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


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


  • 'Excursions In Legal History: Payment and Consumer Credit' Banking & Finance Law Review, (forthcoming)
  • 'Connecting Britain and Sweden: the role of commercial practice and law', in S. Lindskog, A. Andersson, A. Calissendorff, J. van der Sluijs (eds), Festskrift till Jan Kleineman, Stockholm, Jure F örlag AB, 2021 pp.217-231.
  • (with W. Eye), 'Limiting liability in London and New York: different doctrines serving the same aim' (2018) 33 BJIB&FL pp.671-674.
  • 'A Legal Life' in Tim Bonyhardy, 'Finn’s Law An Australian Justice', Sydney, Federation Press, 2016 pp.5-32
  • 'Lawyers, MPs and Judges' in David Feldman (ed), Law in Politics, Politics in Law, Oxford, Hart, 2013,  pp.17-39.