Newcastle Law School

Staff Profile

Professor Alison Firth

Visiting Professor



Alison Firth originally read Physics at Oxford and has an MSc in polymer physics. She later qualified as a barrister, practising in intellectual property chambers from 1983. From 1987 to 2004 she held full time teaching posts at the centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London. From 2005 to 2009 she was Professor of commercial law at Newcastle Law School. She now holds a chair in law at the University of Surrey.

Roles and Responsibilities

Supervision of research students
Engagement with North-East's intellectual property community


MA (Oxon), MSc, barrister, Cert Ed

Previous Positions

Professor of commercial law, Newcastle Law School, January 2005-January 2009


Royal Society of Arts (fellow)
Society of Legal Scholars
Intellectual Property Bar Association
Chancery Bar Association
Chartered Institute of Patent Agents (associate)
Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (associate)


English, basic Spanish and French

Informal Interests

croquet, cycling, walking


Research Interests

The law of intellectual property and its interaction with other areas of law, such as contract, competition law, civil and criminal procedure, conflict of laws, human rights

Postgraduate Supervision

Intellectual property, related areas of commercial law including franchising, technology transfer, competition law, civil and criminal procedure

Esteem Indicators

2000-1 Steering Group member for the dTi's Quinquennial review of the UK Patent Office
Intellectual Property Section Convenor for the Society of Legal Scholars
Member of Chartered Institute of Patent Agents’ Litigator Accreditation Board
‘January term’ visiting professor, University of Western Ontario, January 2005 & keynote speaker at Western’s intellectual property workshop, 21 January 2005
Honorary legal adviser to British Copyright Council; elected Chair of British Copyright Council’s working group on private international law and copyright