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Photo of Professor Richard Moorhead

Professor Richard Moorhead

Professor of Law and Professional Ethics


01392 727063

Amory B324


Richard Moorhead is an empirical legal scholar who has worked on lawyers’ ethics and regulation, the courts and legal services, and access to justice. Interdisciplinary in approach, he has worked alongside economists, management scientists, and psychologists in such work, as well as with judges, Parliamentarians, policy-makers, and, professional regulators and representatives. He blogs at  lawyerwatch and (on the mainstay of his current work, the Post Office Scandal) and regularly features in professional and national press.

Past research includes projects on lawyers’ ethics (for instance his 2018 book is on the Ethics of In-house Lawyers, with Vaughan and Godhino); litigants in person; quality in legal aid; the effects of funding regimes on lawyer behavior; and, legal aid reform (community legal services, public defenders and contracting in particular).

His teaching has championed new approaches to looking at lawyers and the future of legal practice. He was on the Data Evidence and Science Board at the Ministry of Justice and was a previous member of the Civil Justice Council, as well as the Legal Services Consultative Panel. Has advised three Select Committees legal aid inquiries and advises the Women and Equalities Select Committee on NDAs.

He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2019 and a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in May 2016. He sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of the Legal Profession, and the advisory boards of the Journal of Law and Society and Ethics and Behaviour.

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  • Lawyers, professional competence, and professional ethics
  • Design, evauation and technology in the delivery of law
  • Access to justice, the courts, and alternatives
  • The Post Office Scandal
  • Lawyers and corporate governance

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

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  • Moorhead R. (2020) Professional Ethics and NDAs: Contracts as lies and abuse?, Contents of Commercial Contracts: Terms Affecting Freedoms, Hart Publishing. [PDF]


  • Moorhead R. (2018) LawTech: Time for a cybernetic legal ethics?, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Vaughan S, Godinho C. (2018) In-House Lawyers' Ethics Institutional Logics, Legal Risk and the Tournament of Influence, Hart Publishing.


  • Moorhead R. (2017) In with the old, but with a new sense of purpose – innovation with users, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2017) AO, AO, AO: Weinstein’s men and the long arm of the law, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2017) Against Babbitry: What Legal History and Practical Leadership can Tell us about Lawyers’ Ethics, Legal Profession. [PDF]
  • . (2017) Legal Education at the Crossroads: Education and the Legal Profession, Routledge.
  • Moorhead R. (2017) Rolls Royce Service – risk, compliance, and ethics: where were the lawyers?, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2017) Never mind the result, what’s your reasoning? How far computers can tell you what a case says, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]


  • Moorhead R, Cahill-O’Callaghan R. (2016) False friends? Testing commercial lawyers on the claim that zealous advocacy is founded in benevolence towards clients rather than lawyers’ personal interest, Legal Ethics, volume 19, pages 30-49, article no. n/a, DOI:10.1080/1460728x.2016.1186453. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Denvir C, Cahill-O’Callaghan R, Kouchaki M, Galoob S. (2016) The ethical identity of law students, International Journal of the Legal Profession, volume 23, pages 235-275, DOI:10.1080/09695958.2016.1231462. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Godinho C, Vaughan S, Gilbert P, Mayson S. (2016) Mapping the Moral Compass: The Relationships between In-House Lawyers’ Role, Professional Orientations, Team Cultures, Organisational Pressures, Ethical Infrastructure and Ethical Inclination. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Denvir C, Sefton M, Balmer N. (2016) The Ethical Capacities of New Advocates. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Vaughan S. (2016) Legal Risk: Some ethical challenges, The Future of the In-house Lawyer The General Counsel Revolution (ed. Richard Tapp), The Law Society.


  • Godhino C, Moorhead R. (2015) Solicitors’ Professional Standards: Results from the Professional Standards Survey, 54 pages. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Hinchly V. (2015) Professional Minimalism? The Ethical Consciousness of Commercial Lawyers, Journal of Law and Society, volume 42, pages 387-412, article no. 3, DOI:10.1111/j.1467-6478.2015.00716.x. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2015) Some thoughts on how lawyers are responding to the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Vaughan S. (2015) Legal Risk: Definition, Management and Ethics. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2015) Corporate Lawyers: Values, Institutional Logics and Ethics, CEPLER Working Paper. University of Birmingham.


  • Moorhead R. (2014) Happy talk: Motivating lawyers, helping law students choose, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2014) Excalibur raises serious professional conduct concerns for Clifford Chance, Lawyer Watch. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2014) Precarious Professionalism: Some Empirical and Behavioural Perspectives on Lawyers, Current Legal Problems, volume 67, no. 1, pages 447-481, DOI:10.1093/clp/cuu004. [PDF]
  • Trinder L, Hunter R, Hitchings E, Miles J, Smith L, Moorhead R, Sefton M, Hinchly V, Pearce J, Bader K. (2014) Litigants in Person in Private Family Law Cases, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 228 pages. [PDF]



  • Moorhead R. (2012) On the wire, New Law Journal, pages 1080-1081, article no. 17 August. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2012) A legal rollercoaster Which way is the legal services market, New Law Journal, pages 1004-1005, article no. July.
  • Pleasence P, Balmer NJ, Moorhead R. (2012) A Time of Change: Solicitors’ Firms in England and Wales.
  • Moorhead R, Hinchly V, Parker C, Kershaw D, Holm S. (2012) Designing Ethics Indicators for Legal Services Provision. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Hinchly V, Parker C, Kershaw D, Holm S. (2012) Designing Ethics Indicators for Legal Services Provision.
  • Moorhead R. (2012) Ethics and conditional fee agreements, Amicus Curiae, volume 2000, pages 1-1, article no. 32.
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Rogers S. (2012) Willing Blindness? OSS Complaints Handling Procedures, Research Study 37.
  • Moorhead R. (2012) Cost Wars in England and Wales: The Insurers Strike Back, Cost and Fee Allocation in Civil Procedure, pages 117-125.


  • Moorhead R. (2011) Filthy lucre: lawyers’ fees and lawyers’ ethics - what is wrong with informed consent?, Legal Studies, volume 31, pages 345-371, article no. 3, DOI:10.1111/j.1748-121X.2011.00194.x. [PDF]
  • Fox C, Moorhead R, Wong K. (2011) Community Legal Advice Centres and Networks : A Process Evaluation, Civil Justice Quarterly, pages 95-112, article no. 2.
  • Moorhead R. (2011) Why there might be a market for lemons: some thoughts on competition, quality and regulation in legal service markets, Understanding the economic rationale for legal services regulation - a collection of essays, Legal Services Board, 24-28.


  • Moorhead R. (2010) An American Future? Contingency Fees, Claims Explosions and Evidence from Employment Tribunals, The Modern Law Review, volume 73, pages 752-784, article no. 5. [PDF]
  • Tucker J, Doughty J, Moorhead R. (2010) Alternative Commissioning of Experts Pilot Evaluation ’ Phase 2 Report.
  • Fox C, Moorhead R, Sefton M, Wong K. (2010) Community Legal Advice Centres and Networks: a Process Evaluation, 223 pages.
  • Moorhead R. (2010) Lawyer Specialization–Managing the Professional Paradox, Law & Policy, volume 32, pages 226-259, article no. 2.
  • Cahill R, Moorhead R, Morris A, Schalk JVD, Introduction I. (2010) Understanding Perceptions of Claiming – A Pilot Study, article no. July.


  • Devereux A, Tucker J, Moorhead R, Cape E. (2009) Quality assurance for advocates. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Cumming R. (2009) Something for nothing? Employment Tribunal claimants’ perspectives on legal funding, London: Department for Business Innovation and Skills, pages 105-105.
  • Moorhead R. (2009) The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services–By Richard Susskind, Legal Studies, volume 29, pages 692-696, article no. 4.
  • Moorhead R, Fenn P, Rickman N. (2009) Scoping project on no win no fee agreements in England and Wales.
  • Moorhead R. (2009) Regulated One-Way Costs-Shifting. [PDF]


  • Moorhead R, Hurst P. (2008) ’Improving Access to Justice’Contingency Fees: A Study of Their Operation in the United States. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Fenn P, Rickman N. (2008) Conditional Fee Agreements in Publication Proceedings - Success Fees and After the Event Insurance.
  • Moorhead R, Sefton M, Scanlan L. (2008) Just satisfaction ? What drives public and participant satisfaction with courts and tribunals What drives public and participant satisfaction with.
  • Moorhead R, Cumming R. (2008) Damage-Based Contingency Fees in Employment Cases.


  • Moorhead R. (2007) The passive arbiter: Litigants in person and the challenge to neutrality, Social & Legal Studies, volume 16, pages 405-424, article no. 3. [PDF]
  • Michael Napier Richard Moorhead PH. (2007) The Future Funding of Litigation – Alternative Funding Structures. A Series of Recommendations to the Lord Chancellor to Improve Access to Justice through the Development of Improved Funding Structures, Civil Justice Council.


  • Moorhead R, Robinson M. (2006) A trouble shared - legal problems clusters in solicitors ’ and advice agencies, 143 pages.
  • Bridges L, Cape E, Moorhead R, Sherr A. (2006) Setting up the Public Defender Service (i) The political and organisational background, pages 1-33.


  • Moorhead R, Sefton M. (2005) Litigants in person: Unrepresented litigants in first instance proceedings. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2005) Litigants in person : ghosts in the machine, pages 8-9, article no. November.
  • Cape E, Moorhead R. (2005) Demand Induced Supply? Identifying Cost Drivers in Criminal Defence Work, Legal Services Research Centre.
  • Douglas G, Moorhead R. (2005) Providing Advice for Lone Parents: From Parent to Citizen?, Child and Family Law Quarterly, volume 17, pages 55-74, article no. 1.


  • Moorhead R. (2004) Legal aid and the decline of private practice: blue murder or toxic job?, International Journal of the Legal Profession, volume 11, pages 159-190, article no. 3, DOI:10.1080/09695950500036568. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2004) Self regulation and the market for legal services, In: S. Holm and J. Gunning. eds. Ethics, Law and Society : Volume II. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 225-236. ISBN 10: 0 7546 4881 8, 1-10. [PDF]
  • Sherr MR, Avrom RHW. (2004) Specialist and tolerance work under civil contracts, Stationery Office.
  • Moorhead R, Harding R. (2004) Quality and Access : Specialist and tolerance work under civil contracts, 90 pages.
  • Moorhead R, Sefton M, Douglas G. (2004) The advice needs of lone parents, 108 pages.


  • Moorhead R. (2003) Access or aggravation? Litigants in person, McKenzie friends and lay representation, Civil Justice Quarterly, volume 22, pages 133-155. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Paterson A. (2003) What Clients Know: Client perspectives and legal competence, International Journal of the Legal Profession, volume 10, pages 5-35, article no. 1, DOI:10.1080/0969595032000130332. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Paterson A. (2003) Contesting Professionalism: Legal Aid and Non lawyers in England and Wales, Law and Society Review, volume 37, pages 765-808, article no. 4.
  • Moorhead R, Pleasence P. (2003) Access to Justice after Universalism : Introduction, Journal of Law and Society, volume 30, pages 1-10, article no. 1.
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A. (2003) An Anatomy of Access: Evaluating Entry, Initial Advice and Signposting using model clients, Legal Services Research Centre. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Pleasence P. (2003) After universalism: re-engineering access to justice, Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Harding R, Sherr L, Sherr A, Moorhead R, Singh S. (2003) Welfare rights advice in primary care: prevalence, processes and specialist provision, Family practice, volume 20, pages 48-53, article no. 1.


  • Moorhead. (2002) Housing disrepair - pre-action conduct after Woolf, Legal Action, volume July, pages 8-9.
  • Goriely T, Moorhead R, Abrams P. (2002) More Civil Justice? The impact of the Woolf reforms on pre-action behaviour, 420 pages. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R. (2002) An Ombudsman for the Accountancy Profession? in Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures, Accountancy Foundation Review Board, London.
  • Sherr L, Hardy R, Singh S, Sherr A, Moorhead R. (2002) A stitch in time-accessing and funding welfare rights through health service primary care, London, University College Royal Free School of Medicine and University of London.
  • Moorhead R. (2002) CFAS: A Weightless Reform of Legal Aid?, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, volume 53, pages 153-166, article no. 2.
  • Bridges Ed Cape M, Avrom Sherr L. (2002) Methods for Researching and Evaluating the Public Defender Service - A Consultation Document,, (Legal Research Institute, School of Law, University of Warwick and Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London) .
  • Harding Lorraine Sherr R. (2002) "Evaluation of welfare rights advice in primary care: the general practice perspective", Health and Social Care in the Community 10 (6) 2002, pages pp417-422.
  • Tamara Goriely Pamela Abrams RM. (2002) More Civil Justice? The Impact of the Woolf Reforms on Pre-Action Behaviour, The Law Society, Civil Justice Council.
  • Harding R, Sherr L, Singh S, Sherr A, Moorhead R. (2002) Evaluation of welfare rights advice in primary care: the general practice perspective, Health & social care in the community, volume 10, pages 417-422, article no. 6.
  • Bridges L, Cape E, Fenn P, Mitchell A, Moorhead R, Sherr A. (2002) Evaluation of the Public Defender.


  • Moorhead R. (2001) Beacon Council Research - Round 3 Theme Report, Community Legal Services.
  • Moorhead R. (2001) Tribunals, Advice and the Community Legal Service in Martin Partington (ed.) , The Leggatt Review of Tribunals: Academic Seminar Papers (Bristol: Bristol Centre for the Study of Administrative Justice) .
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A. (2001) Midnight in the garden of the CFA people, New Law Journal, volume 2001, pages 29-30, article no. 34.
  • and Sherr M. (2001) Quality, cost, competition and contracting, (2001) Legal Action, July, pages 9-10.
  • Moorhead. (2001) Quality, cost, competition and contracting with Avrom Sherr (2001), Legal Action, July, pp. 9-10.
  • Moorhead R. (2001) Third Way Regulation? Community Legal Service Partnerships, The Modern Law Review, (2001), volume Vol. 64,, pages 543-562.
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Webley L, Rogers S, Sherr L, Paterson A, Domberger S. (2001) Quality and Cost: Final Report on the Contracting of Civil, Non-Family Advice and Assistance Pilot, Stationery Office.


  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Rogers S. (2000) Compensation for Inadequate Professional Services.
  • Moorhead R. (2000) Pioneers in practice: the Community Legal Service Pioneer Project Research report, London: Lord Chancellor’s Department, pages 198-198.
  • Moorhead. (2000) Editorial Comment: Lawyers and Insurers: the next conflict? (2000), 7/2 International Journal of the Legal Profession 93-94.
  • Jon Robins Richard Moorhead SW. (2000) Justice for All? This week Sees the Launch of the Community Legal Service, Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine’s Much-Hyped Answer to the Problems of Legal Aid, Law Society’s Gazette, volume 97, article no. 14.


  • Moorhead R. (1999) Conditional fee agreements, legal aid and access to justice, U. Brit. Colum. L. Rev, volume 33, pages 471-471.


  • Moorhead R. (1998) Legal aid in the eye of a storm: rationing, contracting, and a new institutionalism, Journal of Law and Society, volume 25, pages 365-387, article no. 3. [PDF]


  • Armstrong N, Moorhead R. (1997) Bare Minimum, New Law Journal, pages pp. 487-501.
  • Richard Moorhead Avrom Sherr LW. (1997) Case Classification System for Legal Advice and Assistance, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
  • Moorhead R. (1997) Legal Education & Practice–Super-gentrification of the legal profession, Amicus Curiae, volume 1997, pages 20-21, article no. 2.
  • Moorhead R. (1997) Peer review literature review, unpublished.


  • Moorhead R, Boyle F. (1995) Quality of life and trainee solicitors: A survey, International Journal of the Legal Profession, volume 2, pages 217-251, article no. 2-3.


  • Sherr A, Moorhead R, Paterson A. (1994) Assessing the quality of legal work: Measuring process, International Journal of the Legal Profession, volume 1, pages 135-158, article no. 2, DOI:10.1080/09695958.1994.9960372. [PDF]
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Paterson A. (1994) Judging on Results? Outcome measures: quality, strategy and the search for objectivity, International Journal of the Legal Profession, volume 1, pages 191-210, article no. 2.
  • Sherr A, Moorhead R, Paterson A, Board LA. (1994) The report of the Birmingham Franchising Pilot, HM Stationery Office.
  • Sherr A, Moorhead R, Paterson A. (1994) Lawyers-the quality agenda vol. 1 Assessing and developing competence and quality in legal aid; the report of the Birmingham Franchising Pilot, London: HMSO.


  • Moorhead R. (1993) A strategy for justice?, New Law Journal, volume 143, pages 211-211.
  • Moorhead R, Sherr A, Paterson A. (1993) Painting by numbers, GAZETTE-LONDON-WEEKLY JOURNAL OF THE LAW SOCIETY-, volume 90, pages 19-19.


  • Sherr A, Board LA, Moorhead R, Paterson A. (1992) Transaction criteria.
  • Sherr A, Moorhead R, Paterson A, Brown LM. (1992) Franchising Legal Aid: Final Report.

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External impact and engagement

Richard has significant experience of engaging with:

  • National and international governments (on access to justice and legal services regulation)
  • Regulators of legal services and financial services
  • Leading practitioners and practitioner groups
  • Lawyers and in-house working in business, government, and the third sector
  • Innovatice legal service providers and organisations working in the law tech world
  • Media and press locally, nationally, and internationally

Those engagements have concentrated on legal education, professional ethics and regulation, non-disclosure agreements, and access to justice.

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Modules taught

  • LAW2154 - Lawyers Ethics in the Real World
  • LAW3202 - Lawyers Ethics in the Real World
  • LAWM687 - Socio-Legal Research Skills

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