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Professor Annette Morris

Professor Annette Morris

Professor in Law

School of Law and Politics

Email
morrisa7@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

Overview

Prior to retiring from ill health in 2021, Annette was the leading UK analyst of the personal injury claims process - a highly politicised and contentious area of tort law - and examined the socio-economic, political and commercial reality of tort in operation.  She had a distinctive voice among tort scholars around the world because, whilst most tort scholars focus on legal doctrine, she focused on the tort system and was an interdisciplinary and empirical researcher with previous experience in legal practice and lobbying and so her work filled an important gap in the international literature. She presented her research nationally and internationally at academic, policy and practitioner conferences and was invited to undertake a visiting scholarship at Monash University, Australia. She was best known for her work on compensation culture.

Since joining academia in 2003, Annette was passionate about teaching and was nominated for a Law Lecturer of the Year Award. She taught (and later led) Tort on the undergraduate course although, over the years, she also taught: Legal Foundations; Lawyers: Practice and Ethics; Commercial Legal Practice and Legal Rights and Civil Justice.  She supervised numerous undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on a range of topics, including: compensation culture; no-fault compensation and the civil justice system. She also supervised PhD students and, with Irwin Mitchell LLP in London, she secured an ERSC Wales DTP 1+3 Studentship on technology and the personal injury claims process.

Annette was a committed citizen within the school and university and had extensive experience of administration, for example, she was Director of Postgraduate Research Studies and was a member of the school's Senior Management Team.  During her time in Cardiff, she was proud to be awarded two Outstanding Contribution Awards and she was nominated twice for a Celebrating Excellence Award - one for Exceptional Enhancement of the Student Experience and the other for Excellence in Support of Teaching and Research.  She was also nominated four times for an Enriching Student Life Award from the Cardiff University Students' Union.

Externally, Annette was an Executive Officer of the Society of Legal Scholars (Subject Sections Secretary) and also convenor of its Tort section. She was on the editorial boards of: the Journal of Law and Society; the Journal of Personal Injury Law and Professional Negligence.  She was appointed as a Fellow of the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law, based in Vienna, and was also its England and Wales rapporteur.  Within the Socio-Legal Studies Association, she was convenor of its Law and Neo-liberalism stream and also co-convenor of its Law, Politics and Ideology stream.  She was external examiner for: Queen Mary, University of London; Essex University; Westminster University and BPP University.  She was also appointed as Academic Advisor to the Personal Injury Committee on the Civil Justice Council and appointed to a government-led working party on claims advertising.

Biography

Originally from Aberystwyth, Annette graduated from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 1996 with a first class honours degree in Law with European Legal Systems and achieved a School of Law Prize for my academic achievement. During 1994-1995 she also studied at the University of Limburg in Maastricht, The Netherlands as an ERASMUS student. She was awarded my Masters by Research from UEA, which concerned damages for personal injury, in 1998.

Before joining Cardiff in 2003, she worked as a legal assistant in the claims department of the Norwich and Norfolk NHS Trust; was a pupil barrister at 4 Pump Court, Temple - a defendant-oriented common law and commercial chambers in London - and was policy research officer at the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

Honours and awards

  • Outstanding Contribution Award, Cardiff University (2018)
  • Nominated for Celebrating Excellence Award - Exceptional Enhancement of the Student Experience, Cardiff University (2018)
  • Nominated for Enriching Student Life Award - Most Uplifting Member of Staff, Cardiff University Students' Union (2018)
  • Nominated for Celebrating Excellence Award - Excellence in Support of Teaching and Research, Cardiff University (2017)
  • Cardiff University Centre of Education Innovation Award on Enhancing Access to Learning and Teaching in Law (2017)
  • Nominated for Enriching Student Life Award - Teaching, Cardiff University Students' Union (2015)
  • Visiting Scholar, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (invited) (2015)
  • Cardiff University Research Leave Felowship (2015)
  • Outstanding Contribution Award, Cardiff University (2014)
  • Nominated for Law Lecturer of the Year Award, LawCareers.Net (2014)
  • Nominated for Enriching Student Life Award (Best Personal Tutor), Cardiff University Students' Union (2014)
  • Best Personal Tutor Award, Cardiff University Student Law Society (2014)
  • Appointed as Fellow, European Centre for Tort and Insurance Law, Vienna, Austria (2013)
  • Cardiff University Research Opportunity Placement Award (2013)
  • Appointed as judging panels of Society of Legal Scholars' Annual Best Paper Prize and Best Poster Prize (2012-2017)
  • Appointed as Executive Officer of Society of Legal Scholars (Subject Sections Secretary) (2012-2017)
  • Nominated for Enriching Student Life Award, Cardiff University Students' Union (2011)
  • Appointed as Academic Advisor to Personal Injury Committe, Civil Justice Council (2009-2011)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic (2007 and 2008)
  • Appointed to Government-led Working Party on Claims Advertising, Department for Constitutional Affairs (2006)
  • Junior Scholarship, Gray's Inn (1998)
  • School of Law Student Prize, University of East Anglia (1996)

Professional memberships

  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Fellow, European Centre for Tort and Insurance Law, Vienna, Austria

Speaking engagements

Date

TitleEvent
June 2018The McDonaldization of Civil Justice: A Personal Injury PerspectiveNorwich Law School, UEA
May 2018The McDonaldization of Civil Justice: A Personal Injury PerspectiveLaw and Society Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada
Oct 2017Whiplash ReformNext Steps for Civil Justice Reform, Westminster Legal Policy Forum, London
June 2017Understanding the Commoditization of Law: A Personal Injury PerspectiveLaw and Society Association Annual Conference, Mexico City, Mexico
Mar 2016The Personal Injury Claims Process in England and WalesThe Personal Injury Claims Process: Comparing Legal Cultures, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London 
Dec 2015Tort and Economic LiberalisationPrivate Law in the 21st Century, Brisbane, Australia
June 2015Proportionality and Procedural Rationing: A Critique of Civil Justice in the UKLaw and Society Association Annual Conference, Seattle, USA
Sept 2014Deconstructing Public Policy Debates on TortSchool of Law, Reading University
May 2014Deconstructing Public Policy Debates on TortCompensation Culture or Accident Culture, University of Limerick, Ireland
July 2013Tort and Social Justice in the UKLaw on the Edge, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
June 2013The UK 'Compensation Culture': Trends and TribulationsLaw and Society Association Annual Conference, Boston, USA
Mar 2013Pleural Plaques, Social Justice and Tort in the UK: Is Adversarial Legalism Taking Root?Legal Mobilization: Europe in Comparative Perpective, European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions, Mainz, Germany
September 2012Compensation Culture Revisited: The Road Traffic Accident ExceptionSociety of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Bristol University
April 2012Tort Law Culture in the United Kingdom: Image and Reality in Personal Injury Compensation (with Richard Lewis)Cultures of Tort Law in Europe, European Centre for Tort and Insurance Law, Vienna, Austria
Oct 2011The Politics of Tort and the Compensation CultureWorkshop on Tort and the Legislature (funded by British Academy), York Law School, York University
June 2011The Politicisation of Tort and Adversarial Legalism: The Anglo-American Way?Law and Society Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, USA
July 2010Claims for Sale: Injured Ethics?International Legal Ethics Conference IV, Stanford University, California, USA
April 2009Asbestos Wars and the Battle Over Pleural PlaquesSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, Leicester
November 2008The Liability of Public Bodies and the Law Commission's Paper on Administrative RedressInformal Seminar, Cardiff Law School
September 2007The Proposed Streamlined Procedure for Lower-value Personal Injury ClaimsAssociation of Personal Injury Lawyers Costs and Funding Conference , London
July 2007Small Claims, Big Problem? The Personal Injury PerspectiveW G Hart Workshop on access to justice , Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London
October 2006The Compensation Culture and Empirical ResearchPanel on Compensation Culture, Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Keele
May 2006Coping with the Costs War: The Judiciary and the Conditional Fee RegimeChanges of Judicial Culture and Decision Making in Different Branches of Law, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
January 2006Haltom and McCann's 'Distorting the Law'Cardiff Law School Research Away Day, Cardiff
December 2005Spiralling or Stabilising? The Compensation Culture and our Propensity to Claim Damages for Personal InjuryDoes the Litigation System in England and Wales Deliver Access to Justice and Value for Money?, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford
October 2005The Compensation Culture Debate: Lies, Damned Lies and StatisticsSociety of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Glasgow
May 2005No-win, No-fee, No Stopping Us?Cardiff Law School Staff Seminar , Cardiff
Apr 2005Making a Bad System Worse? The Relationship between CFAs and the Tort SystemSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, Liverpool

Committees and reviewing

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Law and Society
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Personal Injury Law
  • Advisory Board (formerly Assistant Editor and Acting Editor), Professional Negligence
  • Member, ESRC DTP Peer Review College and +3 Assurance Checker

Publications

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

  • Morris, A. and Oliphant, K. 2010. England and Wales. In: Koziol, H. and Steininger, B. C. eds. European Tort Law 2009. European Tort Law Yearbook Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 134-168.

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

Teaching

Over the years, Annette taught numerous modules on the undergraduate and the postgraduate courses.

Undergraduate (LLB)

  • Tort - Module leader, lectuter and tutor
  • Legal Rights and Civil Justice - Lecturer and tutor
  • Lawyers: Practice and Ethics - Lecturer and tutor
  • Legal Foundations - Acting module leader, lecturer and tutor

Postgraduate

  • Commercial Legal Practice, LLM - Module leader, lecturer and tutor
  • Empirical Studies in Law, MSc SSRM - guest tutor

Summary

Annette was an internationally respected and widely referenced interdisciplinary and empirical researcher on personal injury compensation - a highly policitised and contentious area of tort law.

She had a distinctive voice among tort scholars internationally because, whilst most tort scholars focus on legal doctrine, Annette focused on the tort system. Her basic premise is that an understanding of the tort system is fundamental to an understanding of the role and importance of tort law in society. As the system affects both levels of claiming and the extent to which claims outcomes reflect tortious legal principles, the system dictates what the law is able to achieve.In other words, questions about who should receive compensation, in what circumstances, and in what measures are answered not only within the substantive law itself but through the system that gives effect to it.

Before she retired from ill health, there were three main tranches of her research.

1. Compensation Culture

Annette's international reputation emerged from her work on compensation culture. Concerns surrounding litigiousness were an international phenomenon and she was widely recognised as the leading UK authority on the issue. Drawing on empirical data and adopting a social constructionist critique, her research challenged misconceptions surrounding trends in claiming and explained how those misconceptions arose.

2. Socio-Legal Analysis of Personal Injury Claims in England and Wales

She completed (with Richard Lewis) the England and Wales part of the first ever European comparative empirical investigation into the personal injury claims system. This was a ground-breaking project funded by the Institute of European Tort Law, Vienna led by Ken Oliphant.  The research drew on 29 elite interviews of claimant and defendant lawyers, barristers and one insurer and explained how the claims process is affected by a wide range of non-legal factors, including the economics of legal practice.

3. Deconstructing Policy on the Tort System

There is a large distinction between what tort law offers in principle and what it delivers in practice, as tortious legal principles are mediated through complex institutional arrangements involving liability insurance, legal services and the civil justice system. In combination, these arrangements dictate the extent to which the injured are able and willing to seek tort compensation and what they, both individually and collectively, are able to achieve through the pursuit of tort actions. However, these instititional arrangements are contingent upon the political, socio-economic and commercial environment. Annette explained why these arrangements changed over the years and, by doing so, she explored how these political, socio-economic and commercial developmenrs were affecting the use, nature and the role of tort law as a means of: distributing the cost of injury; managing complex social relations and regulating behaviour.

Before she had a stroke, Annette was drawing together the empirical and theoretical strands of her work to link current trends on how we 'do' tort law with broader social phenomena, including the commoditisation of legal processes and the McDonaldization of civil justice.

Funding

  • Cardiff University Research Leave Fellowship - £3,000 (2015-2016)
  • ERSC Wales DTP 1+3 Studentship on Civil Justice - £38,000 including £8,000 contribution from Irwin Mitchell solicitors, London (2014-2018)
  • A Socio-Legal Analysis of Personal Injury Claims in England and Wales (with Lewis), Institute of European of European Tort Law, Vienna - £12,000 (2013-2014)
  • Cardiff University Research Opportunity Placement - £1,360 (2013)
  • Understanding Perceptions of Claiming: A Pilot Study (with Moorhead, Cahill-O'Callaghan and Van der Schalk), Civil Justice Council - £8,600 (2010)

Supervision

Past projects

  • Co-Supervisor (50%) for Oliver Wannell - The Role of Technology in the Resolution of Personal Injury Claims (awarded 2021) (awarded an ESRC Wales DTP 1+3 Studentship with a contribution from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors LLP)
  • Co-Supervisor (50%) for Rachel Cahill O-Callaghan - The Influence of Personal Values on Legal Judgments (awarded 2016)
  • Second Supervisor for Taiwo Oriola - Risks, Responsibility and Rights in Transgenic Plant Technology Governance: A Transnational Perspective (awarded 2016)

External profiles