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Photo of Dr Monica Vessio

Dr Monica Vessio


Dr Monica Vessio is module convenor for Commercial Law in the Law School. She joined Exeter in 2021 as Lecturer in commercial and contract law (Education and Research). Her research is on circular economy principles and disruptive technologies in the commercial arena (with consumer considerations) and how they can be regulated in sustainable and ethical ways.  

She was part of a Circular Economy Project (WEFO/ESIF funded) where the on-chain smart contract was being utilised to bolster a circular economy model. She drafted the advisory document for the B2B and B2C agreements which would be part-automated for the partner organisation.

Monica has a keen interest in ethical and sustainable issues regarding supply chains and developments in digital banking law and regulation, especially with regards CBDCs and privacy concerns.  

Prior to joining Exeter she held lecturing posts at the University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg and the University of the West of England. She was also a guest lecturer at Catolica University in Porto. In South Africa, Monica collaborated with the Black Lawyers Association in an outreach programme to train and upskill attorneys (in rural areas) in the commercial legal sector. 


Monica practised as a commercial attorney and legal commercial consultant (to financial institutions and banks) for over 12 years. 


She holds a BA and LLB from Rhodes University, her LLM cum laude, with honorary colours and LLD (PhD) from the University of Pretoria.  


Monica is a member of the Centre for Commercial and Corporate Law at the Univeristy of Exeter and Research Associate at the Centre for Banking Law at the University of Johannesburg.


Her work has been cited in the following cases:

Constitutional Court:

Supreme Court of Appeal 

  • Margo and Another v Gardner, Gardner and Another v Margo and Another [2010] ZASCA 110


  • Nedbank Ltd and Others v The National Credit Regulator and Another [2011] ZASCA 35


  • Bornman v National Credit Regulator [2013] ZASCA 130


High Court

Monica has published extensively and is the co-author of Banking Law and Practice, an annually updated practitioner’s publication. (

Research group links

Research interests

Dr Vessio has a broad range of research interests: she started reading for her doctorate in the fields of contract and consumer credit law, then turned her focus onto various aspects of banking law.


Having been in practice for many years she has a keen understanding of commercial transactions. She is particularly interested in how the supply chain can be looped to support more circular and sustainable solutions.  


She has also focused her attention on smart contracts, looking at the regulatory aspects of looping the supply chain while automating it at the same time. 

Research supervision

Dr Vessio has and is supervising LLM and LLD students writing dissertations and thesis in the fields of banking, consumer, commercial and contract law. 

She acts as examiner for LLD and LLM students.   

External impact and engagement

Dr Vessio worked on an exteranlly funded (ESIF/WEFO) business led project. Where she researched the benefits and risks of implementing deep leasing as a service and product solution and how smart contracts can facilitate these complex transactional models. The project spanned over two years, where she worked closely with Riversimple, a hydrogen vehicle manfucatuer in developing and implementing these relational synergies to be underpinned by formal agreements.

The project resulted in the publication of two advisory documents:

Report on Drafting on-chain Smart Contracts with Circular Economy Aspects 


Relational Contracts: Theory and Application for Riversimple

(co-authors Severine Saintier and Ethan O'Gorman Davies)

                                                                       (documents avaiable on request)

Modules taught

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