Chair of Scots Law

University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom

Chair of Scots Law

Vacancy Ref: : 047572 Closing Date : 15-Jul-2019
Contact Person : Professor Martin Hogg Contact Number : 0131 650 2071
Contact Email :

Applications are invited from scholars working in the field of Scottish private law for the prestigious Chair of Scots Law which becomes vacant on the retirement of Professor Kenneth Reid on 31 August 2019.

The University of Edinburgh School of Law is based at Old College in the heart of the city. With over 90 full-time members of staff and a vibrant body of undergraduate and postgraduate students, it is home to a number of prestigious institutes and centres. Since 1722, when the Chair of Scots Law was established, the Edinburgh Law School has been a leading centre for the study of private law, and has placed particular emphasis on comparative and historical methodologies.

The University seeks to appoint an outstanding scholar working in any area of Scottish private law, including commercial aspects of private law. As well as providing leadership in research and teaching in and beyond the Private Law Subject Area, he or she will contribute to undergraduate teaching in Scottish private law, the LLM in Comparative and European Private Law, and the supervision of research students.

The successful candidate will be expected to take up the appointment on or shortly after 1 August 2020.

The School of Law particularly welcomes applications from candidates belonging to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the subject, including, but not limited to, women and ethnic minorities. For more information on our family-friendly policies please visit

This is a full time, open ended appointment, which attracts a salary on the professorial scale.

Closing Date: Monday 15th July 2019, 5pm GMT

Informal enquiries may be made to the Head of School, Professor Martin Hogg (

1. Job Details

Job title: Chair of Scots Law
School/Support Department: Law
Unit (if applicable): Private Law Subject Area
Line manager: Professor Martin Hogg, Head of the Law School

2. Job Purpose

To teach Scottish private law at undergraduate level, to teach comparative private law at postgraduate level, to undertake writing and research in Scottish private law, to provide academic leadership in the field of Scottish private law, and to contribute to the Law School's academic administration and management. Scottish private law is understood to include, among other things, its commercial applications.

3. Main Responsibilities

• Deliver research-led teaching in private law at undergraduate level and at masters level including the LLM in Comparative and European Private Law.

• Supervise doctoral students, and develop Edinburgh's reputation as a centre for postgraduate research in private law.

• Undertake original research in the field of private law and especially the private law of Scotland, leading to influential publications.

• Enable and encourage a strong research culture in the field of Scottish private law.

• Provide research leadership by mentoring early-career colleagues, organising conferences and workshops, fostering research links with other jurisdictions, and winning external research funding.

• Contribute to the activities of the Edinburgh Centre for Private Law and, through the Centre and by other means, enhance the position of the Edinburgh Law School as an acknowledged leader in the field of private law.

• On occasion to act as Subject Area Head leading and managing a team of colleagues within the Private Law Subject Area and contribute effectively to academic leadership and management across the Law School.

• Foster and sustain productive relationships with the legal profession in Scotland and with the wider professional and civic community there.

4. Planning and Organising

• Contribute to teaching, assessment and research-planning within the Private Law Subject Area on an annual basis.

• Contribute to the longer-term (three to ten years) strategic plans for the sustainability, growth and development of the Subject Area.

• Explore the scope for collaboration and exchange between colleagues in the Private Law Subject Area and those a) in other parts of the School of Law and b) beyond the School.

• Participate in the strategic planning discussions for the School as a whole.

• By agreement and at an appropriate time undertake a position of leadership responsibility on behalf of the School.

• Represent the School in wider University forums as required.

5. Problem Solving

• When Subject Area Head address the distribution of workloads among colleagues within the Private Law Subject Area in order to fulfil its obligations in respect of teaching, supervision and assessment at all levels whilst protecting adequate time for research on the part of all relevant colleagues

6. Decision Making

• When Subject Area Head decide the allocations of supervision and marking within the Subject Area.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

• Work in collaboration and cooperation with senior office bearers including the Head of School, Director of Research, Director of Learning and Teaching, and Director of Professional Services to develop private law at Edinburgh.

• Engage with the academic legal community in Scotland, in the rest of the UK, and beyond, by giving lectures and papers, by developing research-informed CPD and knowledge exchange activities, and by other means.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job



• An outstanding academic profile, with a PhD or equivalent.

• An outstanding record of published research in any area of Scottish private law, including potential to produce further significant work during the tenure of the Chair.


• Qualification as an advocate or solicitor in Scotland.



• Experience of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

• Experience of mentoring and developing colleagues at various career stages.

• A proven research interest in Scottish private law.

• An interest in comparative law.


Any or several of:

• a research interest in the private law of a jurisdiction other than Scotland;

• a research interest in comparative law;

• a research interest in legal history; and

• experience of legal practice in Scotland.

Knowledge, Skills and Competencies


• Proven ability to lead and motivate people, to manage resources, and to contribute to the running of the Law School.

• A vision for the support and development of a strong research culture in Scottish private law.

• Excellent communication and inter-personal skills.

• Ability to contribute effectively to the long-term development of the study of Scottish private law in the Law School and in the wider academic community.


• Experience of leadership in programme and curriculum development.

• Experience of leadership in initiating new research projects and in knowledge exchange.

• Experience in promoting the impact of research beyond academia.

• Working knowledge of a second language.

Personal Attributes


• Ability to work as part of a team.

• Commitment to promoting a collegial, nurturing and mutually supportive working environment.

• Commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace

9. Dimensions

Teach and assess at least one course at each of undergraduate ordinary, undergraduate honours, and masters levels.

Co-supervise three or more PhD students.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

In addition to their main application candidates are requested to upload a statement explaining how they meet the criteria set out in the Further Particulars. They are also requested to provide a summary of their four best research outputs since January 2014, including their originality and significance, and provide copies of those outputs. Please download and upload to your application the document here

We anticipate interviews will be held in early October. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.
The closing date is 5pm GMT on 15th July 2019.

Eligibility to Work
In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).
Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme
This role is grade UE10 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our Pensions website.


The role is grade UE10 and attracts an annual salary on the professorial scale for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

School of Law
Edinburgh Law School ( is situated in the historic Old College, at the heart of Edinburgh's legal centre. For over three hundred years the School has been providing world-leading education and research in the eclectic discipline of law. As one of the eleven constituent Schools of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, the School encourages multi- and interdisciplinary connections throughout its teaching and research.

The School values diversity across all staff and students, and supports flexible and family-friendly working. The School provides active support and professional development (including mentoring, training, and networking opportunities) for all staff.

The School is fully committed to promoting equality and diversity, and to welcoming and including all who choose to study, work, or visit us.

With over 1400 students and 150 members of academic, research and professional services staff, Edinburgh Law School is an international, vibrant community dedicated to providing research and teaching with local and global reach and impact.

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a large and diverse part of the University. Led by Vice-Principal Professor Dorothy Miell, it has 13,800 undergraduates, 5,500 taught postgraduates, 1,300 research students and more than 3,800 academic and professional services staff. The College incorporates 11 Schools (Business; Divinity; Economics; Edinburgh College of Art; Education; Health in Social Sciences; History, Classics and Archaeology; Law; Literatures, Languages and Cultures; Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences; and Social and Political Science), the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and the Centre for Open Learning. The College is located on multiple sites across Edinburgh, with the majority of Schools and College Offices based close to the central George Square area. The College, which is recognised as one of the world's leading centres for the arts, humanities and social sciences in research and teaching, has been growing and investing strongly in recent years.

Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014)

The College operates at the highest levels of international quality across a very wide range of disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences and submitted the work of more than 750 staff to 23 Units of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The College achieved a superb result, combining a large-scale, broad and diverse submission with very high quality outcomes: 86% of its research impact and 76% of the overall quality profile were assessed as world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*). Using the widely used Research Power index (which combines the submission's overall score for 3* and 4* work with the volume of staff submitted), 12 of the College's Units were ranked within the top five in the UK, and 18 were ranked first in Scotland. With an assessment of more than 95% at 3* and 4*, we're particularly proud of the outstanding research environment we create for staff and research students.

The University of Edinburgh
For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They've explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.
The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 41,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 14,500 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.

As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working and childcare vouchers. See our University Initiatives website for further information.

University Family Friendly Initiatives

Equality Networks:

Staff Pride Network for LGBT+ colleagues and allies
Disabled Staff Network

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

In your application, please refer to


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