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Dr David Sixsmith

Assistant Professor

Department: Northumbria Law School

I studied for both my undergraduate and LL.M. degrees at Northumbria University. I am a non-practising solicitor, having qualified in 2011. I moved into academia in 2016, joining the University of Sunderland where I was senior lecturer in law and Legal Practice Course programme leader, before moving to Northumbria in February 2023. My teaching specialisms include Wills and Administration of Estates, Trusts, and Dispute Resolution.

My research interests and publications are primarily in the area of civil dispute resolution, civil justice reform and online dispute resolution, and I was awarded my PhD, which put forward recommendations to enhance the proposed online dispute resolution model for low value civil claims in England and Wales, in February 2023. I am currently working on an edited collection concerning the role and function of mediation within the modern civil justice system with colleagues at the University of Leicester, to which I have contributed a chapter analysing the Ministry of Justice's most recent reforms concerning mandatory mediation in small claims. The book is scheduled for publication in late 2024. I am also working collaboratively on two projects in the field of civil dispute resolution more broadly. The first is an interview-based study which reports mediator perspectives on the role of the claimant lawyers in clinical negligence disputes. The second centres around developing proposals for a framework for resolving civil disputes which arise in space. 

My research interests also encompass legal education, particularly solicitor legal training and the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). I am currently working in collaboration with colleagues on a project assessing the impact of the SQE on undergraduate law provision, as well as on a separate project which considers whether qualifying work experience has changed the purpose of university law clinics. I am also the joint series editor of a series of revision guides designed to assist candidates with revising for their SQE1 assessments, Revise SQE. I authored the revision guide on Dispute Resolution from that series.

David Sixsmith

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The COVID-19 Response as a Mediation Blueprint for the Future? Mediators’ Perspectives on the Shift to Remote Mediation in Civil Disputes, Sixsmith, D. 15 Apr 2023, In: Mediation, Theory and Practice
  • To what extent, if at all, has the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) changed the purpose, aim and delivery of undergraduate legal education in universities in England and Wales", Dunn, R., Roper, V., Sixsmith, D. 17 Apr 2023, Association of law teachers annual conference 2023
  • Mediating online: the future or merely a sticking plaster?, Sixsmith, D. Oct 2022, In: Journal of Personal Injury Law
  • Falling at the First Hurdle? A Critical Analysis of HMCTS’s Implementation of Stage 1 of the Online Court, Sixsmith, D. 16 Nov 2021, In: Journal of Law, Technology and Trust

  • Law PhD February 01 2023
  • Law LLM July 31 2016
  • Law LLB (Hons) July 31 2009
  • Member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority 2011

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