Professor Dame Sarah Worthington

Professor Dame Sarah Worthington

Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 5.15
Key Expertise
commercial equity, personal property and corporate law

About me

Sarah Worthington returned to the LSE in 2022 as a professor of law. This followed 11 years in Cambridge as the Downing Professor of the Laws of England, a Fellow of Trinity College and Director of the Cambridge Private Law Centre, a centre she established jointly on her arrival in Cambridge. She specialises in commercial equity, personal property and corporate law. Her research is primarily focused on the controversial issues relating to personal property rights and abuse of power in commercial, not-for-profit and corporate contexts. She holds visiting appointments in Australia and Hong Kong, and has worked with law reform bodies in the UK, US, Europe and Australia. She has combined research and teaching with a keen interest in governance and strategy generally, spending five years as a Pro-Director at the LSE (2005-2010) and holding various board roles in the charity and research sectors, currently including The British Museum, Cambridge University Press & Assessment and the London Business School. She was Treasurer of the British Academy from 2015-20 and President of the Society of Legal Scholars in 2007-2008. She is a Barrister and Bencher of Middle Temple and an Academic Member of South Square Chambers, Gray’s Inn. She was made QC(Hon) in 2010 and awarded a DBE for services to private law in 2020.

[Short CV available here]

Research interests

Sarah’s research is primarily focused on controversial issues relating either to personal property rights or to abuse of power in commercial, not-for-profit and corporate contexts.

External activities

British Museum, Board of Trustees

British Academy, Chair of the Law Section

London Business School, Governing Body

Cambridge University Press and Assessment, Syndic (ie Trustee)

plus various editorial committee and sub-board committee and governance roles



  • Abuse of Power in Private Law (2023, Hart Publishing) – in progress
  • Sealy and Worthington’s Text, Cases and Materials in Company Law (jointly with Dr Sinead Agnew) (12th edn, 2022, OUP) (and solo efforts on 4 earlier editions (8th-11th) in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016)
  • Gower’s Principles of Modern Company Law (jointly edited with Prof PL Davies QC(Hon) FBA and Associate Professor Christopher Hare) (11th edn, 2021, Sweet & Maxwell, 1294pp) (and earlier 9th and 10th editions with Paul Davies in 2012 and 2016)
  • The Law of Personal Property (with Professors M Bridge, L Gullifer and G McMeel), Sweet & Maxwell, 1st edn 2013, 1098 pp (but not the continuing editions)
  • Equity and Property: Fact, Fantasy and Morals, Bruce McPherson Lectures, University of Queensland (2009, Queensland University Press)
  • Equity (2nd edition, 2006, Clarendon Law Series: Oxford); and 1st edn 2003 [translatedinto Korean: 2009, Sowha Publishing Co]
  • Palmer’s Company Law Annotated Guide to the Companies Act 2006 (2nd edn, Thomson Sweet & Maxwell, 2009), co-editor, responsible for all sections on Directors’ duties; and 1st edn 2007
  • Palmer’s Company Law: responsible for Part 8A: Management of the Company: Directors’ Duties
  • Personal Property Law: Text and Materials (2000, Hart Publications: Oxford) (716 pages)
  • Proprietary Interests in Commercial Transactions (1996, Clarendon Press: Oxford) (270 pages)


Edited Books

  • Principle and Policy in Private Law Vols I and II (with J Gardner, A Goymer, J O’Sullivan) (Hart Publishing 2023 and 2024 forthcoming) – Vol I MS in preparation
  • Challenging Private Law: Lord Sumption on the Supreme Court (with W Day) (Hart Publishing, 2020)
  • Revolution and Evolution in Private Law (with A Robertson and G Virgo) (Hart Publishing, 2018)
  • Commercial Remedies: Resolving Controversies (with G Virgo) (CUP, 2017)
  • Commercial Law and Commercial Practice (Hart Publishing, 2003)

Selected articles and book chapters

  • ‘Fiduciaries Then and Now’ in [2021] CLJ 154-178 (Centenary Edition, vol 80)
  • ‘Proprietary Restitution’ (with W Day) in W Day and S Worthington (eds) Challenging Private Law: Lord Sumption on the Supreme Court  (2020, Hart Publishing) Ch 11
  • ‘Powers’ in W Day and S Worthington (eds) Challenging Private Law: Lord Sumption on the Supreme Court  (2020, Hart Publishing) Ch 16
  • ‘The Myth of Common Law Tracing’ in C Mitchell and S Watterson (eds), The World of Maritime and Commercial Law: Essays in Honour of Francis Rose (2020, Hart Publishing), Ch 18 (pp 309-328)
  • ‘What’s Equitable about Equitable Property?’ Keynote lecture for Chancery Bar Winter Conference, 19 January 2018 (available at
  • ‘The Commercial Triple Helix: Contract, Property and Unjust Enrichment’ in P Devonshire and R Havelock (eds), The Impact of Equity and Restitution in Commerce (2018, Hart Publishing), Ch 3 (pp 33-64) (advance copy available at
  • ‘Revolutions in Personal Property: Redrawing the Common Law’s Conceptual Map’ in S Worthington, A Robertson and G Virgo (eds), Revolution and Evolution in Private Law (Hart Publishing, 2018), Ch 11 (available at
  • ‘Penalty Clauses’ in G Virgo and S Worthington (eds), Commercial Remedies: Resolving Controversies (CUP, 2017), ch 16
  • ‘Exposing Third Party Liability in Equity: Lessons from the Limitation Rules’ in PS Davies and JE Penner (eds), Equity, Trusts and Commerce (2017, Hart Publishing), Ch 14 (pp 331-359) [Published on ssrn with the permission of Hart Publishing:]
  • ‘The Scope and Application of the Anti-Deprivation Rule’ in D Faber and N Vermunt (eds), Bank Failure: Lessons from Lehman Brothers (OUP, 2017), Ch 11 (pp 257-285)
  • ‘Agents behaving badly?’ (2017) 4 JIBFL 202-204   [Requested short version on agency issues from LQR article.]
  • ‘Corporate Attribution and Agency: Back to Basics’ (2017) 133 LQR 118-143
  • ‘The Death of Penalties in Two Legal Cultures?’ (2016) 7 UK Supreme Court Yearbook 129-151
  • ‘Four Questions on Fiduciaries’ (2016) 2 Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law 723-764 (special issue on ‘Equity in the 21st Century: Problems and Perspectives); republished at the journal’s request in (2018) 32 Trusts Law International 22-42
  • ‘Fiduciaries: Following Finn’ in T Bonyhady (ed), Finn’s Law: An Australian Justice (Federation Press, 2016), Ch 2 (pp 33-67)
  • ‘Common Law Values: The Role of Party Autonomy in Private Law’ in A Roberston and M Tilbury (eds), The Common Law of Obligations: Divergence and Unity (Hart Publishing, 2016), Ch 14 (pp 301-322) (available at
  • ‘How Secure is Security?’ in L Gullifer and S Vogenauer (eds), Contract, Commerce and Comparative Law: Essays in Honour of Hugh Beale (2014, OUP), Ch 22, pp 417-437
  • ‘Lessons from Lehman: Persistent Problems for Secured Lenders’ [2014] ICR 150-158
  • ‘Fiduciary Duties and Proprietary Remedies – Addressing the Failure of Equitable Formulae’ [2013] CLJ 720-752
  • ‘Good faith, flawed assets and the emasculation of the UK anti-deprivation rule’ (2012) 75 MLR 112-121