Kenneth Reid, CBE FBA FRSE WS


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Personal profile


Kenneth Reid studied history at St John's College, Cambridge and law at the University of Edinburgh, thereafter qualifying as a solicitor. He was appointed to the Chair of Property Law in 1994, having previously been a lecturer (from 1980) and then a senior lecturer. Since 2008 he has held the Chair of Scots Law. His inaugural lecture for that Chair, given on 18 September 2012, can be viewed at

For a period of 10 years, beginning in 1995, Professor Reid served as a Scottish Law Commissioner, directing a major programme of reform in the field of land law. Much of this was implemented by legislation: by the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000, the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003, the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004, the Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012, and the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012. 

Professor Reid is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2000), a Fellow of the British Academy (2008), and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2005). In 2015 he was awarded the honourary degree of LLD by the University of Cape Town.

Professor Reid has been a Visiting Professor at Tulane University and at Loyola University, New Orleans as well as a Fellow of the Business and Law Research Centre at Radboud University, Nijmegen. Since 2015 he has been a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. Professor Reid has participated in various working groups on European private law under the auspices of Nijmegen University and of the Trento Project. He has given lectures and papers at universities in many countries including England, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Hong Kong, and the USA. 

A former editor of the Edinburgh Law Review, Professor Reid now edits a monograph series, Studies in Scots Law as well as a series for historical reprints, Old Studies in Scots Law.

Research Interests

Professor Reid's main research interests lie in the general area of property law, both moveable and immoveable, and including: the classification of proprietorial rights; servitudes and other perpetual restrictions on the use of land; the transfer of property; land registration; trusts; succession; and comparative property law. He is also interested in legal history, especially of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.



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