Scholars of Tort Law: Professor Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953)

James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019) 165–201

39 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2020

See all articles by Donal Nolan

Donal Nolan

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 3, 2019

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with Sir Percy Winfield, arguably the most influential scholar of the English law of tort in the relatively short history of the subject. The chapter is divided into three main parts. The first part (‘The Life’) consists of a short biography of Winfield. In the second part (‘The Work’), I discuss Winfield’s principal writings on tort law, their reception and their influence. And in the final part (‘The Scholar’), I seek to identify Winfield’s key characteristics as a scholar. I conclude that a number of reasons can be identified for the impact and endurance of Winfield’s writings on tort: his technical brilliance; his intellectual openness; his clear and attractive style; his prescience and forward-thinking approach; his thoroughgoing pragmatism; and a measure of good fortune. Underlying all of this, however, lay an even more basic foundation for his scholarly achievements, namely a profound and very broad knowledge of the common law and its history.

Keywords: tort law, intellectual history, tort scholars, Sir Percy Winfield

Suggested Citation

Nolan, Donal, Scholars of Tort Law: Professor Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953) (October 3, 2019). James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019) 165–201, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3718531 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3718531

Donal Nolan (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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