Dr Timothy Liau

Dr Timothy Liau

Assistant Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 6.14
Languages
English, French, Mandarin
Key Expertise
Private Law

About me

Timothy is a private lawyer who is particularly interested in remedies, restitution, and contracts. His research cuts across the laws of obligations and property. He is the author of Standing in Private Law: Powers of Enforcement in the Law of Obligations and Trusts (OUP 2023), which demonstrates how and why recognizing standing’s distinctiveness as a private law concept can help us to interpret, develop, and resolve debates within different areas of private law, including the laws of contract, torts, unjust enrichments, and relatedly the law of trusts. His research has been cited by the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal, and Australia’s apex court: the High Court of Australia.

He is Convenor of the Private Law Hub.

Timothy joined the LSE in 2022. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at Merton College, Oxford.

Timothy holds an LLB from NUS where he was top First and Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medallist. He also holds a BCL, MPhil, and DPhil from the University of Oxford where he was a Clarendon Scholar, Graduate Prize Scholar at Merton College, and where he also taught Commercial Remedies on the BCL.

Administrative support: Law.Reception@lse.ac.uk

Research interests

  • Contract
  • Restitution and Unjust Enrichment
  • Private Law Remedies
  • Private Law Theory
  • Torts (other than negligence)

Teaching

Books

Standing in Private Law (OUP 2023)

Standing in Private Law: Powers of Enforcement in the Law of Obligations and Trusts develops the idea that we should attend more to 'standing', conceived as a power to hold another accountable before a court as a distinct private law concept. Prominent lawyers have claimed that private law does not have or need standing rules, yet this seems implausible. If private law is obligation-imposing, we need rules about who can sue on these obligations to hold their bearers accountable. This book argues that a reason why standing has been relatively overlooked and under-conceptualized, receiving meagre attention from private lawyers, is because it has been obscured from plain sight: it has been swallowed up by the more dominant and capacious concept of a 'right'. However, standing is a distinct and separable private law concept that can and should be distinguished more clearly from 'right'. Doing so is necessary for the continued rational development of private law doctrine. It is also necessary for a deeper theoretical understanding of standing's significance, and its place within the remedial apparatus of private law. This book argues that an implicit standing rule exists across the law of obligations. It examines its justifiability, and the justifiability of exceptions to the rule. It also shows how and why recognising standing's distinctiveness can help us to interpret, develop, and resolve debates within different areas of private law, including the laws of contract, torts, unjust enrichments, and relatedly, the law of trusts.

click here for publisher's site

Publications