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Professor Lei Chen

Chair in International Arbitration and Chinese Law


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Chair in International Arbitration and Chinese Law in the Durham Law School  

Biography

Professor Lei CHEN (PhD) is Chair in Chinese Law and Co-Director of Centre for Chinese Law and Policy at Durham Law School, Durham University, U.K. He is an Adjunct Professor at the City University of Hong Kong and a Wenlan Visiting Professor at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan. Professor Chen has also been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard, Columbia, Emory, Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Private Law, K.U. Leuven, Université Catholique de Lyon, Maastricht University, Chuo University Japan, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and the University of Hawaii. 


Professor Chen's research areas are property law, contract law, commercial law, and international commercial arbitration. He has two L.L.B. degrees (from civil and common law backgrounds). He has had significant success in applying for research grants and has been awarded General Research Funds four times from Hong Kong Research Grant Committee. Professor Chen has published seven books (authored and edited) and many leading journal articles. He sits on the editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals published by OUP, Hart, Springer, and Brill.

In 2021, he was elected as Titular Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. (One of the only 150 titular members in the world when he was elected) He has been a Fellow of the European Law Institute since 2013. Professor Chen has been a Law Panel of Research Assessment Exercise (R.A.E.) 2020 in Hong Kong. He is now a research grant committee member of the Society of Legal Scholars (S.L.S.).

 

Professor Chen is on the panel of arbitrators and mediators in many leading arbitration institutions such as HKIAC, SCIA, KCAB, CIETAC, B.A.C., SHIAC, AIAC, C.A.A. and THAC etc. He is also a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators. Apart from participating in international academic networks, he advises various international organizations and governments and frequently provides expert opinions across multiple arbitration institutions and courts in Hong Kong, P.C.A. (Hague), Washington DC, Geneva, Singapore and England. Professor Chen is an expert member on ODR collaborating with UNCITRAL.

Professor Chen has supervised 10 PhD, J.S.D., and MPhil (research postgraduate) students in property, contract, civil procedure, company and commercial arbitration. He has also served as an external PhD examiner/panel member in Monash University, Leiden University, Maastricht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Maastricht University.

Professor Chen has served as an external examiner, a chair or a member of the programme review panel in many leading law schools, such as Hong Kong University, SOAS and NUI Galway. 

Professor Chen shoulders the following administrative responsibilities:

Postgraduate Research programme (P.G.R.) Director (2021-22); Member of the School Management Committee; Co-Director of the Centre for Chinese Law and Policy; Member of the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law.

Selected Grants
  1. Addressing Impediments or Hardship to Contract Performance: A Comparative Study of the Common Law in Hong Kong and Chinese Law, General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Committee (RGC), Hong Kong Government, Amount: HKD $512,904, July 2021, Lei CHEN (Co-I), Qiao Liu (PI), Ewan Mckendrick (Co-I)
  2. The Availability of Specific Performance in Chinese Courts: An Empirical Assessment, General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Committee (RGC), Hong Kong Government, Estimated Amount: HKD $460,000, Jan 2016 - Jul 2018, Lei CHEN (PI).
  3. Understanding Property Transitions: The Emergence of Rural Land Markets in China, General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Committee (RGC), Hong Kong Government, Amount: HKD $510,000, Jan 2015 - Jun 2017, Lei CHEN (PI) .
  4. Assessing Property Relations and Formalizing Condominium Ownership in China, General Research Fund (GRF), Research Grant Committee (RGC), Hong Kong Government, Amount: HKD $499,000, Nov 2012 - Nov 2015, Lei CHEN (PI) .
  5. Contract Law in China and Europe: A Comparative Approach, EU-China Research Grant, 2011 - 2014, Co-I Jan Smits (PI).
  6. Comprehensive Analysis of Diversity of Legal Systems in Asia-Pacific Region and Convergence towards Establishment of Rule of Law, Private University Research Branding Project, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Tech日本文部科學省, Amount: JPY $3,500,000, 2017 - 2018, Co-PI (Lei CHEN); Prof. Nobuyuki Sato (PI) .
  7. Cross-border Data Transfer among Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, Research Project commissioned by Microsoft Int. Policy Research Grant, Amount: HKD $360,000, 2018 - 2019, Lei CHEN (PI).

Research interests

  • Corporate and commercial law
  • Chinese civil and commercial law
  • Property law
  • Comparative contract law
  • International arbitration

Research groups

  • Centre for Chinese Law and Policy
  • Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Esteem Indicators

  • 2021: Research Grant Committee Member of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS):
  • 2021: Titular Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law/Académie internationale de droit comparé:
  • 2020: Law Panel Member of Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020 Hong Kong:
  • 2014: Fellow of European Law Institute :

Publications

Authored book

  • Lei Chen (2023). Property Law in China. Cambridge University Press.
  • Lei Chen (2010). The Making of Chinese Condominium Law. Intersentia.

Chapter in book

  • Alexander Loke & Lei Chen, (2022). Transplanting Western legal norms into Chinese Contract Law: Linkages and Values. In Routledge.
  • Lei Chen (2022). Legal Protection of Security Interests in the Chinese Civil Code. In The Making of Chinese Civil Code: Tradition, Transplants, Innovations and some Persistent Problems. H Jiang & P. Sirena Cambridge University Press.
  • Lei Chen (2012). Contextualizing Legal Transplant: China and Hong Kong. In Methods of Comparative Law,. P.G. Monateri Elgar Edward.
  • Lei Chen & Hao Wang (2020). Judicial Control over Arbitral Awards in Mainland China. In The Cambridge Handbook of Judicial Control of Arbitral Awards. Larry DiMatteo, Marta Infantino & Nathalie Potin Cambridge University Press. 208-223.
  • Lei Chen (2021). 中国商事仲裁司法审查的评估和展望. In 国际法前沿问题与教研的思考. 李伟芳 北京大学出版社 (Peking University Press). 28-46.
  • L Trakman, Q Liu & L Chen (2020). investor-state Arbitration in China: A Comparative Perspective. In Dispute Resolution in China, Europe and World. Lei Chen & Andre Janssen Springer. 231-261.
  • Lei Chen, A. Michalek & Jia Wang (2019). The Norm of Property's Social Function: A Chinese Perspective. In In Duguit and the Social Obligation Norm of Property. Paul Babie & Jessica Viven-Wilksch Springer. 331-354.
  • Jia Wang & Lei Chen (2019). Regulating Smart Contracts and Digital Platforms: A Chinese Perspective. In The Cambridge Handbook of Smart Contracts, Blockchain Technology and Digital Platforms. Larry DiMatteo Michel Cannarsa & Cristina Poncibò
  • Lei Chen (2018). Changing Perceptions of Land Ownership in China: Between the Socialist Heritage and Liberal Market. In Socialist Law in Socialist East Asia. Pip Nicholson & (et al) Cambridge University Press. 383-404.
  • Lei Chen & Larry Dimatteo (2017). History of Chinese contract law. In Chinese Contract Law: Civil law and Common Law Perspectives. Lei Chen & Larry Dimatteo Cambridge University Press.
  • Lei Chen (2017). Codifying Personality Rights in China: Legislative Innovation or Scaremongering? In The Legal Protection of Personality Rights in China and Europe. K. Oliphant, PH Zhang & Lei Chen Brill.
  • Lei Chen (2017). Damages and Specific Performance in Chinese Contract Law. In Chinese Contract Law: Civil law and Common Law Perspectives. Lei Chen & Larry Dimatteo Cambridge University Press. 377-403.
  • Lei Chen (2016). The Changing Landscape of Condominium Laws and UrbanGovernance in China. In Private Communities and Urban Governance: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives. Amnon Lehavi Springer. 1-26.
  • Lei Chen (2016). Relaxations to Contractual Privity and the Need for Third Party Rights in Chinese Contract Law. In Formation of Contract and Third Party Beneficiaries: Studies in the Contract Laws of Asia. Mindy Chen-Wishart, Alex Loke & Stefan Vogenauer Oxford University Press.
  • Mindy Chen-Wishart, Alexander Loke & Burton Ong (2015). The Availability of Specific Performance in Chinese Contract Law. In Remedies for Breach in Asia. Oxford University Press. 21-42.
  • P. Chan, D. Chan & Lei Chen (2013). Hong Kong. In Civil Litigation in China and Europe: Essays on the Role of Judges and Parties. CH van Rhee & Fu Yulin Springer.
  • Lei Chen (2013). The Legal and Institutional Analysis of Land Expropriation in China. In Resolving Land Disputes in East Asia. John Gillespie & Fu Hualing Cambridge University Press. 57-84.
  • Lei Chen (2012). 100 Years of the Chinese Property Law: Looking Back and Thinking Forward. In Towards A Chinese Civil Code, Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Lei Chen & C H van Rhee BRILL.
  • Lei Chen (2011). A Structural Analysis of Chinese Mortgage Law. In Essays in Honour of CG van der Merwe. Marius De Waal & Hanri Mostert Lexisnexis.

Edited book

  • Lei Chen, Jiangqiu Ge,, Jian He, Qiao Liu,, Zhicheng Wu, & and Bingwan Xiong (2021). The Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China: English Translation. Chinese and Comparative Law Series. Brill.
  • Lei Chen & Andre Janssen (2020). Dispute Resolution in China, Europe and World. Springer.
  • K. Oliphant,, PH Zhang & Lei Chen (2018). The Legal Protection of Personality Rights in China and Europe. Chinese and Comparative Law Series. Brill.
  • Larry DiMatteo & Lei Chen (2017). Chinese Contract Law Civil and Common Law Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
  • G Howells, C. Twigg-Flesner, H. Micklitz & L. Chen (2017). Comparative Consumer Sales Law. Routledge.
  • Lei Chen & C.H. van Rhee (2012). Towards A Chinese Civil Code: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Brill.

Journal Article

  • Chen, Lei, Liu, Zhuang & Tang, Yingmao (2021). Judicial Transparency as Judicial Centralization: Mass Publicity of Court Decisions in China. Journal of Contemporary China
  • Liu, John Zuang & Chen, Lei (2020). Jury trial and public trust in the judiciary: evidence from cross-countries comparison. Asia Pacific Law Review 28(2): 412-436.
  • Lei Chen; & Qiyu Wang (2021). Demystifying the Doctrine of Change of Circumstances under Chinese Law—A Comparative Perspective from Singapore and English Common Law. Journal of Business Law
  • Lei Chen & Sebastien de Rey (2021). Non-Monetary Relief for Breach of Contract: A European Perspective on Chinese Contract Law. Asia Pacific Law Review 29(2).
  • Lei Chen (2021). Continuity and Change: Some Reflections on the Chinese Civil Code. Asia Pacific Law Review 29(2).
  • Lei Chen (2021). Consumer Protection Due to the Pandemic: Chinese Legal Responses. Journal of European Consumer and Market Law (EuCML) 2021(5): 218-228.
  • Chen, L & DiMatteo, L (2020). Inefficiency of Specific Performance as a Contractual Remedy in Chinese Courts: An Empirical and Normative Analysis. Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business 40(3): 275-332.
  • Geraint Howell & et al (2020). Consumer law and policy relating to change of circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Consumer Policy 43: pp 437-450.
  • Wang, J. & Chen, L. (2018). Will Innovative Technology Result in Innovative Legal Frameworks? – Smart Contracts in China. European Review of Private Law 26(6): 921-942.
  • Lei Chen (2019). Specific Performance as a Contractual Remedy in Chinese Courts: An Empirical Study. Chinese Journal of Comparative Law 7(1): 95-123.
  • Lei Chen (2018). Debating Personality Rights Protection in China: From a European Perspective. European Review of Private Law 26 (1): pp. 16-38.
  • Lei Chen (2017). 超越边界:业主的权利限制之比较分析. 南京大学学报 (Journal of Nanjing University) 2017(5): 6-23.
  • Kielsgard, M & Chen, L (2014). The Emergence of Private Property Law in China and Its Impact on Human Rights. Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal 15(1): 94-134.
  • Lei Chen & Gordon Sng (2014). Whither Adverse Possession in Hong Kong? Some reflections on the Consultation Paper by the Hong Kong Law Reform Commission. Conveyancer 2014 (5) (5): 413-429.
  • Chen, L. & Kielsgard, M. D. (2014). Evolving Property Rights in China: Patterns and Dynamics of Condominium Governance. The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law 2(1): 21.
  • Lei Chen (2013). Land Registration, Property Rights, and Institutional Performance in China. Hong Kong Law Journal 44 (3): 841-864.
  • Lei Chen & Hanri Mostert (2011). The Dynamics of Constitutional Property Clauses in the Developing World: China and South Africa. Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, 17(4): 377-405.
  • Lei Chen (2010). Pure Economic Loss: Can Common Law System Shed Some Light? Tsinghua Law Journal (清华法学) 2010(5): 106-117.
  • Lei Chen (2010). The historical development of the Civil Law tradition in China: a private law perspective. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis /Revue d'Histoire du Droit /The Legal History Review 78: pp 159-181.
  • Lei Chen (2010). Private Property with Chinese Characteristics: A Critical Analysis of the Chinese Law on Property of 2007. European Review of Private Law 18(5): 983-1004.
  • Lei Chen & C G. van der Merwe (2009). Reflections on the role of the managing agent in South African and Chinese condominium legislation. ', Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg (Journal of South African Law) 2009(2): 22-38.
  • Lei Chen & Hanri Mostert (2007). The Unavoidable Necessity of Formalizing Condominium Ownership in China: A Pilot Study. Asian Journal of Comparative Law 2(1): 62-88.
  • Lei Chen (2007). The New Chinese Property Code: A Giant Step Forward?". Electronic Journal of Comparative Law 11(2).

Supervision students