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Helen Rutherford

Senior Lecturer

Department: Northumbria Law School

A qualified solicitor, Helen Rutherford graduated from Newcastle University in 1989 with an LL.B (hons) degree and then completed the Law Society Finals at the College of Law in York. 

She completed her training contract with Hay and Kilner solicitors in Newcastle and on qualification worked in the litigation department handling claimant personal injury and clinical negligence cases. After six years she moved to Crutes Law Firm (now DWF) where she conducted defendant personal injury and clinical negligence litigation on behalf of insurance companies and the NHSLA. Helen is a qualified teacher, a member of the Society for Education and Training and a fellow of the HEA. She joined the University in 2012 as a senior lecturer. Helen teaches Civil Litigation, Trials of Dissenters and Inquests on the MLaw and LLB degrees. She manages a civil firm in the Student Law Office. Helen has an MA in North East History from Newcastle University and her research interest is in relation to inquests and trials in the nineteenth century. She is carrying out PhD research at Newcastle University into the life and work of the Victorian Coroner for Newcastle upon Tyne, John Theodore Hoyle (provisionally titled: The Coroner in an Emerging Industrial Society- Newcastle upon Tyne 1831-1886). 

Helen Rutherford

Campus Address

CCE 313


  • History MA
  • Law DipHE
  • Law
  • LLB (Hons)
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Law Society- Member
  • Newcastle Law Society- Member
  • Qualified Teacher Learning & Skills (QTLS)
  • Society for Education and Training- Member
  • Solicitor (Non-Practising) Roll of Solicitors

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • “13 yards off the big gate and 37 yards up the West Walls”, Rutherford, H., Sandford-Couch, C. 25 Nov 2019, Crime and the Construction of Forensic Objectivity from 1850, Palgrave
  • ‘Crowner Stoker, whe’s spectacles myeks him far-seeted/ He’s a h-ll of a fellow for getting folk reeted’, Rutherford, H. Apr 2019
  • Murderous assault on a solicitor: ‘from the position of the parties, the affair has caused a good deal of talk in the town’, Rutherford, H. May 2019
  • English Legal System [3rd edition], Wilson, S., Rutherford, H., Storey, T., Wortley, N. 28 Apr 2018
  • From the ‘Death of a Female Unknown’ to the Life of Margaret Dockerty: Rediscovering a Nineteenth Century Victim of Crime, Rutherford, H., Sandford-Couch, C. 12 Feb 2018, In: Law, Crime and History
  • George Vass: the making and un-making of a monster, Rutherford, H., Sandford-Couch, C. 14 Jun 2018
  • George Vass: The role of the Newcastle press in the making and un-making of a monster, Rutherford, H. 6 Jun 2018
  • “An awful spectacle presented itself”: the strange case of Archibald Bolam, Rutherford, H. 30 Apr 2017
  • "Deep mystery surrounds the trial of Archibald Bolam": a microhistorical study of a most peculiar case, Rutherford, H., Sandford-Couch, C. 5 Sep 2017
  • Squaring the circle: exploring the use of reading circles to encourage law students to read, Rutherford, H., Taylor, J. 5 Apr 2017


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