2020 applicants

Professor Christopher Willett

School of Law
Professor Christopher Willett
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872556

  • Location

    4SB.5.14, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Monday 11:00-12:00 and Friday 11:00-12:00



For 30 years I have taught, researched, published and advised in the areas of UK, EU and global consumer and contract law; commercial law; sales law; food law; digital content law; services of general interest; financial services law; and unfair terms and practices law. I have worked at Essex since 2011, before which I taught at the Universities of De Montfort, Warwick, Brunel and Oxford Brookes. I am a Visiting Professor at the University of Udine in Italy; and also have close research links in Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, the Middle East, the Netherlands and Serbia. I regularly conduct studies and research reports and advise on law reform for the UK government, the EU and other bodies, e.g. I worked closely with the UK government on the recent Consumer Rights Act and I was one of the authors of the recent Fitness Check of EU Consumer and Marketing Law, a report carried out for the European Commission which has led the Commission to propose a variety of law reforms. Between 2014-2017 I served as a Council Member of the consumer organisation Which?


  • LL.B (Hons)

  • PhD

  • Certificate in Curriculum Development (Higher Education).

Research and professional activities

Research interests

UK, EU and global consumer and contract law

commercial law

services of general interest

unfair terms and practices law

quality and safety of goods and services

financial services

digital content law

Current research

major legislative reform of UK consumer law

reform of UK and EU financial services law

the values and ethics of UK and EU consumer law

global regulation of light pollution

Conferences and presentations

The Domestic Battle Between Information and Substantive Rights, Consumer Protection Conference, Exeter, December 2012

Exeter, United Kingdom, 2012

The Unfair Practices Directive in the UK, Experiencing the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, December 2012


Competing Ethics of Consumer Protection, European Consumer Protection conference, Leicester, December 2010

Leicester, United Kingdom, 2010

The Limits of Transparency as a Consumer Protection Tool, Consumer Protection Conference, Leeds, December 2009

Leeds, United Kingdom, 2009

Key Issues in Modernising Unfair Terms and Practices Law, Keynote Address to the Australian Consumer Law Roundtable, Monash University, February 2009

Melbourne, Australia, 2009

Direct Producer Liability, Manchester (Manchester/Munster/European Commission conference on Modernising and Harmonising Consumer Law), January, 2009

Manchester, United Kingdom, 2009

Social Justice in UK Consumer Law, EUI, Florence, November 2008

Florence, Italy, 2008

Unfairness Under the UCPD, Durham, Conceptualising Unconscionability, September, 2008

Durham, United Kingdom, 2008

A New Framework for Services of General Interest, Capetown, April 2007.

Cape Town, South Africa, 2007

Mapping the Relationship Between European Private Law and National Legal Cultures (with E. Bergamini), Helsinki, August 2006

Helsinki, Finland, 2006

The Conceptual Basis of Liability for Services, International Association of Consumer Law, Lima, Peru, May 2005.

Lima, Peru, 2005

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Consumer Contract Law (LW241)

  • Commercial Contract Law (LW242)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

  • Contemporary Issues in Commercial and Business Law (LW663)

Previous supervision

Asam Saud S Alsaiat
Asam Saud S Alsaiat
Thesis title: To What Extent Management Bodies Have Special Privileges in Saudi Administrative Contracts.
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 8/6/2020
Abdulaziz Fahad A Aljohar
Abdulaziz Fahad A Aljohar
Thesis title: Finality of Arbitral Awards: Comparing Approaches in Sharia Law and International Law
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 28/11/2016
Abdullah Nasser Rashid Al Mandhari
Abdullah Nasser Rashid Al Mandhari
Thesis title: Applicable Law and Stabilisation Clauses in State Contracts with Foreign Investors: with Special Reference to the Sultanate of Oman
Degree subject: Law
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 1/10/2014


Journal articles (12)

Willett, C., (2018). Re-theorising Consumer Law. Cambridge Law Journal. 77 (1), 179-210

Fejos, A. and Willett, C., (2016). Consumer Access to Justice: The Role of the ADR Directive and the Member States. European Review of Private Law. 24 (1), 33-60

Willett, C., (2013). Transparency and Fairness in Australian and UK Regulation of Standard Terms. University of Western Australia, Law Review. 37 (1), 72-85

Willett, C., (2012). GENERAL CLAUSES AND THE COMPETING ETHICS OF EUROPEAN CONSUMER LAW IN THE UK. The Cambridge Law Journal. 71 (2), 412-440

Koutsias, M. and Willett, C., (2012). The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in the UK. Erasmus Law Review. 5 (4), 237-251

Willett, C., (2012). General Clauses and Competing Ethics of European Consumer Law in the UK. The Cambridge Law Journal. 71 (02), 412-440

Willett, C., (2011). The Functions of Transparency in Regulating Contract Terms: UK and Australian Approaches. International and Comparative Law Quarterly. 60 (02), 355-385

Willett, C., (2010). Fairness and Consumer Decision Making under the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Journal of Consumer Policy. 33 (3), 247-273

Twigg-Flesner, C., Weatherill, S. and Willett, C., (2002). Law Information and Product Quality. Introductory Remarks by the Editors of the Special Issue. Journal of Consumer Policy. 25 (3-4), 291-297

Oughton, D. and Willett, C., (2002). Quality Regulation in European Private Law. Journal of Consumer Policy. 25 (3-4), 299-328

Willett, C., (1994). Can disallowance of unfair contract terms be regarded as a redistribution of power in favour of consumers? A comment spurred by the article by Wilhelmsson in JCP, 1994, Nos. 3–4. Journal of Consumer Policy. 17 (4), 471-482

Rawlings, P. and Willett, C., (1994). Ombudsman schemes in the United Kingdom's financial sector: The insurance ombudsman, the banking ombudsman, and the building societies ombudsman. Journal of Consumer Policy. 17 (3), 307-333

Books (1)

Atwood, B., Thompson, K. and Willett, C., (2010). Food Law (3rd edition). Tottel Publishing. 9781847660954

Book chapters (18)

Willett, C., (2019). Regulating Prices and Charges in the UK: Information versus Substance, General Clauses versus Rules Developed by Regulators. In: Control of Price Related Terms in Standard Form Contracts. Editors: Atamer, YM. and Pichonnaz, P., . Springer

Howells, G., Twigg-Flesner, C. and Willett, C., (2018). Protecting the Values of Consumer Law in the Digital Economy: The Case of 3D-Printing. In: Digital Revolution - Challenges for Law. Data Protection, Artificial Intelligence, Smart Products, Blockchain Technology and Virtual Currencies. Editors: De Franceschi,, A., Schulze, R., Graziadei, M., Pollicino, O., Riente, F., Sica, S. and Sirena, P., . Beck - Hart - Nomos

Wilhelmsson, T. and Willett, C., (2018). Unfair terms and standard form contracts. In: Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law, Second Edition. 139- 171. 9781785368202

Rott, P. and Willett, C., (2018). Consumers and services of general interest. In: Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law, Second Edition. 267- 307. 9781785368202

Howells, G., Twigg-Flesner, C. and Willett, C., (2017). Product liability and digital products. In: EU Internet Law: Regulation and Enforcement. Editors: Synodinou, T-E., Jougleux, P., Markou, C. and Prastitou, T., . Springer. 183- 195. 9783319649559

Howells, G. and Willett, C., (2016). 3D Printing: The Limits of Contract and Challenges for Tort. In: Digital Revolution Challenges for Contract Law in Practice. Editors: Schulze, R. and Staudenmayer, D., . Nomos/Hart. 67- 86. 9781509907335

Willett, C., (2014). Contra Emptor Interpretation-Protecting Service Providers from EU Law. In: Varieties of European Economic Law and Regulation: Liber Amicorum for Hans Micklitz. Editors: Purnhagen, K. and Rott, P., . Springer. 709- 732. 978-3-319-04902-1

Koutsias, M. and Willett, C., (2014). Implementation, Approximation and Harmonization: UK implementation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. In: The European Unfair Commercial Practices Directive Impact, Enforcement Strategies and National Legal Systems. Editors: van Boom, W., Garde, A. and Akseli, O., . Ashgate. 21- 44. 978-1-4724-2340-5

Willett, C. and Farah, Y., (2013). Unfair Contract Terms: Rethinking Remedies and Enforcement. In: Rights and Remedies for the Consumer in The European Union. Editors: Buttigieg, E., . Gutenberg Press. 29- 48. 978-99957-0-452-0

Willett, C. and Morgan-Taylor, M., (2012). Recognising the limits of transparency in EU consumer law. In: European Consumer Protection. Cambridge University Press. 143- 163. 9781139003452

Willett, C., (2011). Social justice in the office of fair trading versus commutative justice in the Supreme Court. In: The Many Concepts of Social Justice in European Private Law. 359- 383. 9781849802604

Willett, C. and Oughton, D., (2010). Consumer Protection. In: Commercial and Consumer Law. Editors: Furmston, M. and Chuah, J., . Pearson. 9781405873673

Rott, P. and Willett, C., (2010). Consumers and Services of General Interest. In: Handbook Of Research On International Consumer Law. Editors: Howells, G., Ramsay, I., Wihelmsson, T. and Kraft, D., . Edward Elgar. 295- 332. 9781847201287

Willett, C., (2010). Unfair terms. In: A Factual Assessment of the Draft Common Frame of Reference. Editors: Antoniolli, L. and Fiorentini, F., . Sellier European Law Publishers. 53- 76. 9783866531222

Willett, C., (2010). Unfair terms, and standard form contracts. In: Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law. Editors: Howells, G., Ramsay, IM. and Wilhelmsson, T., . Edward Elgar. 158- 191. 9781849806312

Willett, C., (2010). Unfairness under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. In: Unconscionability in European Financial Transactions Protecting the Vulnerable. Editors: Kenny, M., Devenny, J. and Fox O'Mahony, L., . Cambridge University Press. 350- 374. 9780521190534

Willett, C., (2009). Direct producer liability. In: Modernising and Harmonising Consumer Contract Law. Editors: Howells, G. and Schulte, R., . Sellier European Law Publishers. 189- 209. 9783866530829

(2009). European Perspectives on Producers' Liability. In: European Perspectives on Producers' Liability: Direct Producers' Liability for Non-conformity and the Sellers' Right of Redress. Sellier de Gruyter. 505- 514. 9783866530553

Reports and Papers (1)

Willett, C., (2017). Fitness Check of EU Consumer Law


+44 (0) 1206 872556


4SB.5.14, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Monday 11:00-12:00 and Friday 11:00-12:00