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Professor Chris Bevan

Professor in Property Law

Professor in Property Law in the Durham Law School
Associate Professor in Property Law, Durham Law School in the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing


Chris Bevan is Professor in Property Law having joined Durham Law School in September 2019 after 6 years in the School of Law at the University of Nottingham. Chris has served as Deputy Dean, Director of Research and Director of Post-graduate Research at Durham Law School. Prior to entering academia, Chris practised as a common law barrister specialising in matters of employment, property, housing and family law. Chris graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2007 with degrees in both Modern Languages and Law and was awarded his MA (Cantab.) in 2012. Chris has experience as a Tutor on the BPTC (the barrister professional training course) and maintains strong connections with the world of legal practice. Chris is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; author of the acclaimed textbook, Land Law (4th Edn forthcoming 2024 with Oxford University Press); won ‘Lecturer of the Year’ in 2017 and, in 2015, was awarded the prestigious Lord Dearing Award for outstanding, world-class contribution to enhancing the student experience. Chris is honorary member of the Property Bar Association; academic member of the Property Litigation Association and invited member of the esteemed Academic Panel at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers, London. Chris is also a Door Tenant at KCH Garden Square barristers chambers. In 2018, Chris became an invited, nominated Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2023, Chris was awarded the higher doctorate of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his ‘sustained, distinguished work of considerable scholarly impact.’

Current Research

Chris’ research interests are situated on the intersection between land, housing, homelessness and social welfare law. Chris has published widely on matters of domestic land law, social housing, housing legislation in its broadest sense and homelessness. Chris’ scholarship has appeared in leading law journals including The Modern Law Review, Law Quarterly Review, The Cambridge Law Journal, The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer and Child and Family Law Quarterly.

Esteem Indicators

2023: Awarded Higher Doctorate, Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of ‘sustained and distinguished research of considerable scholarly impact’

2022: Invited, Research Fellow of Earth System Governance (ESG)

2022: Member of Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE)

2022: Member of Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law

2022: Co-convenor of First-Generation Scholars Network in Law 

2021: Honorary Member of Property Bar Association and Academic Member of Property Litigation Association

2021: Fellow and Advisory Board Member of Durham University’s Wolfson Institute of Health & Wellbeing

2021: Member and Management Board Member of Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk & Resilience (IHRR)

2021: Case note Editor of the Conveyancer & Property Law Journal

2018: Nominated as Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts: engaging widely with the RSA’s global network of stakeholders in pursuit of improvements to society through ideas, research and action and the EDI agenda, in particular

2018: Invited Fellow of Cambridge University Centre for Property Law

2018: Appointed Honorary Member of Chambers & Invited Member of Expert Academic Panel, Gray’s Inn Square Chambers: leading London set renowned in commercial, housing & property law

2017: Senior Fellowship of Higher Education Academy 

2017: Winner, University Lecturer of the Year

2016: Shortlisted for Routledge/Association of Law Teachers Law with Technology Prize

2015: Awarded prestigious Lord Dearing Award for world-class contribution to the Higher Education and student experience.

Postgraduate Research Supervision

Chris supervises postgraduate research students across land, property, housing and homelessness law broadly-construed: Master of Jurisprudence (MJur) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Chris is delighted to receive and explore research proposals from students wishing to pursue a research degree with him in any of these areas. Chris has, additionally, acted as examining chair and external examiner of PhDs and other research degrees at a diverse range of institutions and warmly welcomes invitations in this or similar roles.

Presentations & Conferences

In line with the University’s Strategy 2017-2027 and wider internationalisation agenda, and in order to enhance the international reach of my research and teaching practice, Chris is delighted to be invited regularly to deliver conference papers both domestically and overseas including:

European Network of Housing Research (Nicosia; Uppsala); Law & Society Association (Denver; Washington DC); Modern Studies in Property Law; Socio-Legal Studies Association; Association of Law, Property & Society; Increasing the Employment Prospects of UK Graduates Conference; E-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies Network (Toronto); International Conference on Education (Venice); The Future of Legal Education (London, Florence); Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association Conference 2017 (Paisley); International Conference on the Future of Education (Stockholm); Multidisciplinary Conference on Research and Education (Zurich); Society of Legal Scholars.

Research Funding & Grants
  • 2024: Society of Legal Scholars - £3,000 - 'Property and Trusts: Developing the Discipline and Overcoming Teaching & Research Challenges'


  • 2023: Research Impact Fund (RIF) - £15,000 - 'Challenges to Homelessness Prevention'


  • 2022: Socio-Legal Studies Association - £1,000 'Legal Masterplots' (with Professor David Gurnham, Southampton)


  • 2021: Research Impact Fund (RIF) - £15,985 - 'The impact of Covid-19 on local authority homelessness provision'


  • 2018: Society of Legal Scholars Research Activity Fund - £1,000 - funding research visit to Uppsala University to collaborate with European Housing Network


  • 2017: Society of Legal Scholars Research Activity Fund - £1,000 funding work into the impact of the Housing and Planning Act 2016


  • 2017: Education Partnership Fund - £6,000 funding a series of high-level conference presentations and collaborations with innovative Higher Education institutions in Europe, the US and Canada


  • 2016: Careers and Employability Service Employability Fund - £2,500 funding a project entitled ‘Exploring Employability Initiatives for Students from Lower-Income Families’


  • 2016: Society of Legal Scholars Research Fund - £500 funding involvement in Association for Law, Property & Society Conference 2016
Responsibilities & Administrative Role

Chris has served as Deputy Dean, Director of Research and previously as Director of Postgraduate Research in Law. Chris has made use of this platform and his active engagement on Faculty PGR committees to advance and promote improvements to the PGR student experience, PGR well-being initiatives and generally to contribute to the development of an outstanding and world-leading research and PGR environment at Durham.

Chris also takes a leading role in the Law School in all matters employability-related; maintains close links with the legal profession and engages with law firms and barristers chambers to develop and promote innovative EDI initiatives and schemes designed to advance diversity and access to the Bar.


Chris has considerable experience as module convenor for the Land Law and Trusts Law modules and has lectured extensively on matters of property, housing and homelessness law. Chris is passionate about the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda and this informs all aspects of his teaching including mentoring junior colleagues, sharing best practice, spearheading new EDI initiatives, reviewing the diversity of curriculum materials, encouraging expression of diverse perspectives and being aware of the ‘hidden curriculum’ and of unconscious bias. Chris is currently spearheading a student-led decolonization project to decolonize and diversify land law undergraduate teaching. In recognition of Chris’ contribution to teaching and his innovative, pedagogy and research-led reaching, in 2017, Chris won University Lecturer of the Year (across all faculties) and, in 2015, received the prestigious Lord Dearing Award for world-leading teaching excellence. In 2016, Chris completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) and, in 2017, became Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Chris deploys innovative approaches to teaching including using technology to enhance the student learning experience. In 2020, Chris devised, designed and delivered a first for the Law School, the Durham Employability & Legal Skills Award: an entirely online Award allowing students to test and hone their employability and graduate preparedness across 16 key capabilities. In 2020, Chris also launched his ‘Land Law Voices’ Project; a first of its kind: a catalogue of video recordings from expert land law scholars from across institutions coming together to offer diverse and fascinating perspectives on property law. The project is living, and breathing and will be expanded over the coming months: In 2016, in recognition of his technology-led teaching ethos, Chris was shortlisted for the Routledge/Association of Law Teachers: Law with Technology Prize.

Research interests

  • Land Law
  • Property Law & Theory
  • Homelessness Law and Policy
  • Housing Law and Policy
  • Trusts


Authored book

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Supervision students