Dr Sean Thomas, LLB, PhD, PGCert, FHEA
Sean joined Durham University as a Senior Lecturer in August 2015, having previously held positions at the University of Leicester (2010-13, Lecturer in Commercial Law; 2013-15, Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law) and Anglia Ruskin University (2008-10, Senior Lecturer in Law). He holds an LLB from Durham University and a PhD from the University of Manchester (where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant). He also hold a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Sean’s research concerns, broadly, the transfer of ownership of personal property. He approaches this fundamental issue from multiple disciplinary perspectives, particularly historical, comparative and doctrinal angles. He has expertise in title conflicts (particularly comparative analysis with United States law), the historical development of commercial law, and the interface between goods and intellectual property. He also has a longstanding interest in radical property practices, and his work on freeganism has been cited widely across disciplinary boundaries and has attracted media and other interest.
Most recently Sean has developed an interest in the implications of Circular Economy. He has written work looking generally at how circular economic thinking and law can complement each other, and how this may lead to problematic consequences, especially as a result of developments in smart technologies.
Sean has engaged with the Law Commission in their work on reforming Bills of Sale. He is also engaged in the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project, where he works with academics and practitioners in the specific area of priorities. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Wellcome Trust funded project on 'Everyday Cyborgs 2.0: Law's Boundary-work & Alternative Legal Futures' (PI: Prof M Quigely)
In 2018-19 Sean will be teaching Contract Law and Land Law at undergraduate level. At postgraduate level he will be teaching Advanced Law of Obligations and Applied Research Methods in Law.
- Anglo-American Commercial Law
- Circular Economy
- Freeganism and Radical Property Practices
- Legal History
- Sale of Goods
- Secured Transactions
- Smart Technology
Chapter in book
- Thomas, S. (Forthcoming). Circular Economy, Title, and Harmonisation of Commercial Law. In The Future of Commercial Law: Ways Forward for Harmonisation. Akseli, O. & Linarelli, J. Hart.
- Thomas, S. R. (Forthcoming). English Commercial Law: Chasing Shadows. In Modernisation, National Identity, and Legal Instrumentalism: Studies in Comparative Legal History. Gałędek, M. & Klimaszewska, A. Brill. 76-97.
- Thomas, Sean (2018). Law and the Circular Economy. Journal of Business Law
- Thomas, Sean (2018). Law, Smart Technology, and Circular Economy: All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace?. Law, Innovation and Technology 10(2): 230-265.
- Thomas, Sean (2017). Security interests in intellectual property: proposals for reform. Legal Studies 37(2): 214-247.
- Thomas, S. R. (2015). Mortgages, fixtures, fittings and security over personal property. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 66(4): 343-365.
- Thomas, S. (2014). Sale of Goods and Intellectual Property: Problems with Ownership. Intellectual Property Forum (96): 25-43.
- Thomas, S. (2014). The Development of the Implied Terms on Quantity in the Law of Sale of Goods. The Journal of Legal History 35(3): 281-318.
- Thomas, S. (2014). The Role of Authorization in Title Conflicts Involving Retention of Title Clauses: Some American Lessons. Common Law World Review 43(1): 29-61.
- Thomas, S (2012). Goods with embedded software: Obligations under Section 12 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 26(2-3): 165.
- Thomas, S (2012). The right to reject for short delivery and termination. Journal of International Trade Law and Policy 11(1): 44.
- Thomas, S (2012). Transfers of documents of title under English law and the Uniform Commercial Code. Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 573-605.
- Thomas, S (2011). The Origins of the Factors Acts 1823 and 1825. The Journal of Legal History 32(2): 151.
- Thomas, S (2010). Do freegans commit theft?. Legal Studies 30(1): 98.
- Thomas, S (2008). Mistake of Identity: A Comparative Analysis. Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 188-213.
- Thomas, S. (2014). Iceland bin “thieves” should have had their day in court. The Conversation