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 has been a professor of law since 2017. He was a judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division for just over nine years from late 2007 and the judge in charge of the Administrative Court from January 2016. From 2017 he sat part-time 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 (now KC) in 1998. As counsel he appeared before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords, 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, a founding trustee of Build It International, and the chair of trustees of the whistle-blower’s charity, Protect, 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 Reviewer, Lloyds Banking Group (2019-2020)
  • Chair, JUSTICE Working Party on Immigration and Asylum Determination (2017-2018)
  • Chair, Trustees, BAILII [British and Irish Legal Information Institute] (2017-2022)
  • Independent Reviewer, GLO Compensation Scheme (2023-) [Department for Business and Trade scheme for postmasters following the Horizon scandal]


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.

click here for publisher's site



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

Principles of Banking Law (Chinese translation) (2023)

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 (2022) 38 Banking & finance law review 15-34
  • 'Making law through practice: the experience with commercial law' (2022) Queensland Legal Yearbook 32-42
  • various entries in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Julian Farrand, Andrew Leggatt, Gordon Borrie, Michael Mustill, Sydney Templeman, Johan Steyn, Patrick Atiyah, Juliet Wheldon, John Griffith, Zelman Cowen, Victor Mishcon.
  • '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.


Reported judgments 2017-2023

Commercial Court

Pan Ocean Co Ltd v Daelim Corp [2023] EWHC 391 (Comm), [2023] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 548 (arbitration, implied terms, vessel's inspection); Africa Sourcing Cameroun Ltd v LMBS Societe Par Actions Simplifiee [2023] EWHC 150 (Comm) [2023] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 627 (trade association arbitration; bias);  UK P&I Club NV v Venezuela [2022] EWHC 1655 (Comm), [2022] 1 W.L.R. 4856, [2023] 1 All E.R. 243, [2023] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 63, [2022] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 520 (marine insurance, state immunity); Union of India v Reliance Industries Ltd [2022] EWHC 1407 (Comm), [2022] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 201 (contracts governed by Indian law, arbitration, principle in Henderson v Henderson applied); Doglemor Trade Ltd v Caledor Consulting Ltd [2020] EWHC 3342 (Comm), [2021] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 1378, [2021] Bus. L.R. 313, [2021] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 581 (correcting mistake in LCIA award); Nigeria v Process and Industrial Developments Ltd [2020] EWHC 2379 (Comm), [2021] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 121 (extension of time to challenge award); Boskalis Offshore Marine Contracting BV v Atlantic Marine and Aviation LLP [2019] EWHC 1213 (Comm), [2020] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 323, [2020] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 171, [2019] 1 C.L.C. 890 (BIMCO SupplyTime 2017 Charter Party) Harmony Innovation Shipping Pte Ltd v Caravel Shipping Inc [2019] EWHC 1037 (Comm), [2020] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 206 (release of vessel, interim injunction); A v B [2018] EWHC 2325 (Comm) [2019] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 385 (breach of a charterparty, award for lost profits and wasted expenditure); Engelhart CTP (US) LLC v Lloyd's Syndicate 1221 for the 2014 Year of Account  [2018] EWHC 900 (Comm), [2019] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 583, [2018] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 24, [2018] 1 C.L.C. 859 (all risks marine cargo insurance policy); Glencore Energy UK Ltd v OMV Supply & Trading Ltd [2018] EWHC 895 (Comm), [2018] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 876, [2018] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 223 (vessel waiting, claim for detention not demurrage);
Sea2011 Inc v ICT Ltd [2018] EWHC 520 (Comm), [2018] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 1148, 2018] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 463 (exclusive sales agency agreement, implied terms).

Administrative Court

Dalston Projects Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport [2023] EWHC 1885 (Admin) [2023] A.C.D. 102 (Russian sanctions); R (on the application of DK) v Croydon LBC [2023] EWHC 1833 (Admin) [2023] A.C.D. 121 (asylum support, care leavers); CG Fry & Son Ltd v Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities [2023] EWHC 1622 (Admin), [2023] 6 WLUK 44, [2023] Env. L.R. 30 (habitats directive/regulations); R. (Humane League UK) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2023] EWHC 1243 (Admin), [2023] A.C.D. 89 (animal welfare, poultry); Salisbury v Valuation Tribunal of England [2021] EWHC 3136 (Admin), [2022] 4 W.L.R. 16 (council tax); R (on the application of Hardcastle) v Buckinghamshire Council [2022] EWHC 2905 (Admin), [2023] Env. L.R. 18 (planning permission, 170 dwellings); Rybak v Poland [2021] EWHC 712 (Admin), [2021] 1 W.L.R. 3993 (extradition, Brexit, art 8 ECHR); R (Mitchell) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2020] EWHC 3489 (Admin), [2021] 1 W.L.R. 1427 (limited liability partnership, tax avoidance, HMRC notice); R (Langton) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2019] EWHC 597 (Admin), [2020] Env. L.R. 1; [2018] EWHC 2190 (Admin), 2019] Env. L.R. 9 (badgers); R (Christchurch BC) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government [2018] EWHC 2126 (Admin), [2019] P.T.S.R. 59 (ultra vires, Henry VIII powers); Wiltshire Waste Alliance Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2018] EWHC 1110 (Admin),  [2018] Env. L.R. 33 (planning permission for recycling facility); King v Environment Agency [2018] EWHC 65 (QB), [2018] Env. L.R. 19 (flood mitigation); R (St John's College, Cambridge) v Cambridgeshire CC [2017] EWHC 1753 (Admin) | [2017] P.T.S.R. 135 (commons registration).