Ewan McGaughey

Ewan McGaughey


  • Professor of Law, Laws
    • 52

    Personal profile

    Biographical details

    Dr Ewan McGaughey is a Reader who specialises in law, economics and history. He joined King's full time in 2014, after completing a PhD at the London School of Economics, and working on precarious part-time, fixed-term contracts since 2008 at King's, the LSE and UCL. He holds degrees from King’s, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the LSE. He grew up in Luton, Milton Keynes and Sydney and went to Great Linford primary school, Forest Lodge, and Fort Street High School.

    Before becoming a teacher, Ewan worked delivering newspapers, at a pizza company as a ‘wobbleboarder’, at a chemist, a toy factory, a supermarket checkout, a cinema, a bank, a heritage consultancy, a clothing company warehouse, a homeless charity, Wembley council, Lambeth council, the Prison Ombudsman, Parliament, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, a consumer and competition regulator, a housing association, a law firm, and as a double-decker bus tour guide. This made Ewan interested in labour rights and our economic constitution. 

    Ewan is also a research associate at the University of Cambridge, Centre for Business Research, teaches each year at the Paris School of Economics, and is a volunteer for the Free Representation Unit. He has held visiting positions at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016, Fukuoka University in 2017, and the University of Sydney in 2019.

    Research interests

    Ewan’s core research interests are economic and social rights, particularly in the governance of enterprises. He specialises in corporate law, labour law, insolvency, pensions and institutional investment, private law, law and economics, and legal history, in the Commonwealth, the European Union and the United States. He is particularly interested in law’s social role, and its consequences for equality, fairness and justice.

    All papers are freely downloadable from SSRN or LawArXiv.



    • Principles of enterprise law
    • Contracts
    • Labour law
    • Constitutional and administrative law
    • European Union law
    • Trusts
    • Land law
    • Corporate and insolvency law

    Ewan welcomes Ph.D. candidate applications for fields especially including corporate governance and institutional investment, regulated industries and public services, climate damage and its solutions, business and the environment or human rights, labour law and pensions, law and economics, and law and economic history.

    Research interests (short)

    Governance of enterprise, corporate law, labour law and the social role of private law. All journal articles are freely available on SSRN or LawArXiv as working papers.


    • A Casebook on Labour Law (Hart 2019)
    • Principles of Enterprise Law: the Economic Constitution and Rights (Cambridge University Press 2022)
    • The Cambridge Handbook of Labour in Competition Law (Cambridge University Press 2022) co-edited with Prof Sanjukta Paul and Prof Shae McCrystal 
    • A Very Short Introduction to the Corporation (Oxford University Press 2023) forthcoming

    Articles on corporate governance and worker voice

    Articles on a Green Recovery and Green New Deal

    • 'Green Recovery Act, and explanatory notes' (2020
    • 'Green New Deal: policies to stop climate damage by 2025' (2019

    Articles on labour law and policy

    • ‘Will robots automate your job away? Full employment, basic income and economic democracy’ (2018) Cambridge, CBR Working Paper no 496
    • 'OECD Employment Protection Legislation Indicators and Reform' (2019) Remarks to the OECD
    • 'Unions’ Freedom to Establish and Provide Services' in T Papadopoulos (ed), Cross-Border Mergers: EU Perspectives and National Experiences (2019) 171
    • ‘A human is not a resource’ (2020) King's Law Journal
    • Uber, the Taylor Review, mutuality and the duty to not misrepresent employment status’ (2019) 48(2) Industrial Law Journal 180
    • 'Taylorooism: When Network Technology Meets Corporate Power' (2018) 49(5-6) Industrial Relations Journal 459
    • 'Social Rights and the Function of Employing Entities' (2017) 38(2) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 482
    • ‘Behavioural economics and labour law’ (2014) LSE WPS 20/2014, shorter version published as Can behavioural psychology inform labour law?’ in A Blackham and A Ludlow (eds), New Frontiers in Empirical Labour Law Research (Hart 2015) ch 6

    Articles on private law

    Articles on constitutional law

    Reported court cases

    • Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd and Doherty [2019] IRLR 322 (EAT) on the burden of proof for direct race discrimination, the need to provide a contract of employment, and effectiveness of rights 

    Short articles, speeches, blogs

    • 'How do we stop an unemployment pandemic?' (19 May 2020) Guardian
    • 'COVID-19 and job security: How to prevent a ‘pandemic of unemployment’' (17 May 2020) LSE Politics
    • 'Ten things the government can do right now to stop a coronavirus depression' (18 March 2020) IER
    • 'Why we need a Democracy Protection Act before the general election' (10 September 2019) LSE Brexit 
    • 'EU law empowers a big Green New Deal and state aid rules stop corporate welfare' (12 December 2018) LSE Politics
    • 'Corporate Law Should Embrace Putting Workers On Boards: The Evidence Is Behind Them' (September 2018) Harvard Law Corporate Governance Forum (translated into Chinese)  
    • 'If 'Vote Leave' Broke the Law, Could Brexit be Void?' (June 2018) VerfBlog and LSE British Politics and Policy
    • 'We need full employment and fair incomes, not unemployment and basic incomes' (June 2018) LSE Business Review
    • 'Ending shareholder monopoly: why workers' votes promote good corporate governance' (November 2017) LSE British Politics and Policy and the Oxford Business Law Blog
    • ‘Good for Governance: Erzberger v TUI AG and the Codetermination Bargains’ (August 2017) Oxford Business Law Blog
    • ‘How democratic is the protection of workers’ rights within the UK?’ (12 July 2017) democraticaudit.com
    • ‘Do Asset Managers and Banks Control Share Voting Rights on Your Money?’ (5 June 2017) OxfordBLB
    • ‘Donald Trump is fascism-lite. We have the US Supreme Court to thank for it.’ (21 February 2017) USApp
    • ‘We’re All in “It” Together: Without Votes at Work, People’s Wages Are Pressed to the Minimum Wall’ (15 September 2015) LSE International History
    • ‘Member nominated trustees and corporate governance’ (26 June 2013) Association of Member Nominated Trustees

    On the media 

    • BBC Radio 5 Live (17 September 2019), BBC Radio Wales (19 September) and BBC Radio Kent (20 September) to talk about the constitutional case of Parliament being shut down by the Johnson executive.
    • NPR, The Indicator from Planet Money (31 July 2019) What if Workers Sat on Corporate Boards? (Transcript.)
    • RT (5 December 2018) discussing Brexit and how the Kremlin attacks western democracy, and RT is a propaganda outlet fuelling far-right climate damage denial.
    • 'Brexit can now be legally voided due to corruption, Dr Ewan McGaughey from KCL tells me why' (5 November 2018) YouTube with Chris Hoar.
    • Roundtable, TRT World (12 June 2018) discussing corporate governance and insolvency policy post-Carillion, and Erdogan's problems with elections.
    • Newshour, Al Jazeera English (4 September 2017) interviewed by Julie MacDonald, on the ‘McStrike’ by McDonalds restaurant employees, comparing McDonalds' suppression of workers' rights to Qatar.
    • LCP Assemble Nationale, Détours Europe: Destination Londres (January 2011) for French Parliament TV, on a series on EU member sociology, I was interviewed on UK collective labour rights. See at 14:00 mins.

    In the media 

    • J McGregor, 'This investor wants to put an employee on Google’s board' (20 February 2019) Washington Post and (24 February 2019) Seattle Times
    • R Merrick, 'Brexit: High Court to rule if referendum vote ‘void’ as early as Christmas after Arron Banks investigation' (24 November 2018) Independent 
    • J Fox, 'Why German Corporate Boards Include Workers' (24 August 2018) Bloomberg
    • T Piketty, 'Re-thinking the capital code' (12 September 2017) Le Monde
    • M Alfonso, ‘Robótica. A tecnologia que vai revolucionar o mercado de trabalho’ (20 July 2017) SAPO, I was interviewed by this Portuguese news and internet organisation on whether robots will take our jobs.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    External positions

    Research Associate, University of Cambridge

    1 Apr 2016 → …


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