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Dr Emma Hitchings

Dr Emma Hitchings

Dr Emma Hitchings
L.L.B., Ph.D.(Wales)

Senior Lecturer

Office 3.37
Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 5341


Family Law


Emma Hitchings is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at Bristol University. Emma's main research interests lie in the field of family law. Since 2007, she has been the academic member on the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales and in 2010 she was appointed as an advisory board member for the Law Commission (Marital Property Agreements). The main focus of her work is in the area of financial provision on divorce (previously known as ancillary relief) and family justice.

Emma has held and been involved with a number of research grants awarded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice. Currently, Emma is involved in a Bar Council funded project with Dr Leanne Smith (Cardiff) to explore the work of McKenzie Friends in private family law cases. She is also the co-principal with Joanna Miles (Cambridge) on a research project examining the settlement of financial disputes on divorce. The first findings from the project focused on the 'how, when and why' of settlement and were published in November 2013. The current phase of the project examines the content of settlements reached.

Her other empirical work in the financial remedy field has included a project investigating family solicitors' responses to the impact of leading financial remedy jurisprudence in the 'everyday case'; two empirical research projects into how practitioners advise clients where a marital (or civil partnership) property agreement was required (funded by the Law Commission) and a Ministry of Justice funded research project investigating litigants in person in private family law cases as part of a Consortium (led by Professor Liz Trinder – Exeter). This research report was published in November 2014.

Emma is a founding member of the Network for Family Regulation and Society and together with colleagues from Bath, Cardiff and Exeter Universities, was a co-principal on a GW4 accelerator grant to develop appropriate research methods to investigate the new and unexplored 'delegalised space' in which family disputes are increasingly resolved following the withdrawal of legal aid and the encouragement of private settlement.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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