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Sharon Thompson

Dr Sharon Thompson


Reader in Law

School of Law and Politics

+44 29208 74362
Law Building, Room 1.18, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Media commentator


I joined Cardiff in 2015, having previously been a Lecturer at Keele University (2013-2015) and a Visiting Fellow in 2014 at City University Hong Kong. I am module leader of Family Law and joint module leader of Legal History. I am also Director of Part Time Tutors for the School of Law and Politics.

I research the areas of divorce, family property, prenuptial agreements, and mid-twentieth century legal history, with a particular focus on feminist perspectives.

I am a member of the Network on Family Regulation and Society (comprised of Family Law academics from the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Cardiff). I am also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and I am on the advisory board of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. I am one of the editors of 'Transforming Legal Histories', a book series published by Routledge designed to showcase scholarship which uses historical theory, approaches or methods to analyse law and legal change. I am part of the central co-ordinating group of Family Law Reform Now, which aims to bring together individuals and ideas to pursue family law reform in England and Wales.
















Book sections






QUIET REVOLUTIONARIES: The Married Women's Association and Family Law

View the project website                                                                                       

Listen to the podcast

The influence and importance of the Married Women’s Association and its visionary leading lights ... ought to be much better known, not only among family lawyers but also among everyone who is interested in the movement for women’s equality. Sharon Thompson has enriched our knowledge and understanding by shining a light upon these quiet revolutionaries. --Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, former President of the Supreme Court of the UK [from the foreword] 

Quiet Revolutionaries brilliantly illustrates the value of taking a feminist approach to legal history. Meticulously researched and engaging, it shines a light on an overlooked but vitally important campaign for substantive equality within marriage and on the challenges of reforming the law. --Rebecca Probert, Professor of Law, University of Exeter, UK 

Economic dependence in marriage was an abiding concern for twentieth-century feminists, but until now we have known too little about how activists used the law as a tool for change. Deeply researched and highly readable, Sharon Thompson’s book recovers the dogged campaigning of the Married Women’s Association, revealing its steely efforts to reshape norms about gender, power and the value of women’s labour in the family. -- Helen McCarthy, Professor of Modern and Contemporary British History, University of Cambridge


  • Family Law (module leader)
  • Legal History (joint module leader)
  • Equity and Trusts


Education and qualifications

  • 2015: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
  • 2015: Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Keele University.
  • 2013: PhD. Queen’s University Belfast.
  • 2009: Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) First Class Honours. Queen’s University Belfast.

Career overview

  • 2020 – present: Reader in Law, Cardiff University.
  • 2018 – present: Editorial board member, Feminist Legal Studies.
  • 2018 – present: Book series editorial board member, Transforming Legal Histories.(Routledge)
  • 2017 – 2020: Senior Lecturer in Law, Cardiff University.
  • 2015 – 2020: Co-editor of case notes, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.
  • 2015 – 2017: Lecturer in Law, Cardiff University.
  • 2014: Visiting Fellow, City University Hong Kong.
  • 2013 – 2015: Lecturer in Law, Keele University.
  • 2009 – 2013: Law Tutor, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast.

Honours and awards

  • SLSA Socio-Legal Theory and History Book Prize, Winner, 2023.
  • Dillwyn Medal for Humanities and Creative Arts, Winner, 2022.
  • Dillwyn Medal for Humanities and Creative Arts, Highly Commended, 2021.
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) research grant, 2018.
  • Shorlisted, Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship, 2017.
  • Shortlisted, SLSA Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize, 2016.
  • Shortlisted, SLSA Socio-Legal prize for Early Career Academics, 2016.
  • Participant on Cardiff Futures Programme, 2016/17.
  • Outstanding Contribution Award for excellence in research, Cardiff University, 2016.
  • Visiting Fellow, City University Hong Kong, 2014.
  • Travel Award, Emily Sarah Montgomery Scholarship, 2011.
  • Travel Award, County Antrim Grand Jury Bursary, 2010.
  • Law Society Prize, Queen’s University Belfast, 2009.
  • McKane Medal and Scholarship (Law and Philosophy), Queen’s University Belfast, 2009.
  • Foundation Scholarship (awarded to top three Law students), Queen’s University Belfast, 2007.
  • McKane Medal and Scholarship (Jurisprudence), Queen’s University Belfast, 2007.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society.
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy.
  • Member of the GW4 Network on Family Regulation and Society.
  • Member of the International Society of Family Lawyers.
  • Member of the Research Committee on Sociology of Law International Working Group on the Legal Professions.
  • Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association.
  • Member of the Society of Legal Scholars.

Committees and reviewing

  • Co-editor, Transforming Legal Histories (Routledge book series).
  • External reviewer, REF.
  • Associate Editor, Feminist Legal Studies.
  • Co-director of Family Law Research Group.
  • Co-director of Law and History Research Group.
  • Co-director of Law and Gender Research Group.
  • Personal tutor.


  • Adult relationships
  • Financial consequences of relationship breakdown
  • Private ordering in the family context
  • Feminist perspectives on law
  • Feminist legal history