Staff Directory

Rob wilks 1x1 2483

Contact Details


  • PhD Law – University of Leicester (2020)
  • PG Certificate Developing Professional Practice in Higher Education – University of South Wales (2015)
  • LLM Law of Employment Relations – University of Leicester (2007)
  • PG Diploma Legal Practice (LPC) – Cardiff University (2003)
  • PG Diploma Law (GDL) – University of the West of England (2002)
  • BA (Hons) History – Swansea University (2001)


Originally from Newport, I am a Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user and teach through the medium of BSL.

I have a BA (Hons) degree in History, and commenced my legal training by completing the Graduate Diploma in Law in 2002 and the Legal Practice Course in 2003. I qualified as a solicitor in 2007 following a secondment to South West London Law Centres and Hugh James Solicitors whilst employed by the Royal Association for Deaf people.

On an academic level, I achieved a LLM with Distinction in Law of Employment Relations with the University of Leicester in 2007 and was awarded a doctorate in 2020 by the University of Leicester exploring whether equality law is working for Deaf people and whether sign language recognition will achieve transformative equality.

My specialist area of law is Equality Law and Employment Law, and I am module leader for these optional modules on the LLB programmes.

My research interests – aside from employment and equality law – include sign language recognition and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I am also passionate about the benefits of clinical legal education and am a strong advocate of clinical work being on par with teaching and research in HE institutions.

I have a website, which you can find here.


Between 2003 and 2014, I worked for the Royal Association for Deaf people, and my last role before leaving was Director of Legal Services. I was responsible for the RAD Deaf Law Centre which delivered legal advice services to the Deaf community nationally before it closed in 2014 due to the legal aid cuts which took effect after the Legal Aid and Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 was passed.

I also practised as a Consultant Solicitor under Setfords Solicitors between 2014 and 2018, and dealt with a range of employment and discrimination matters, and provided a will-writing service for Deaf people.


Course Leader:

  • Legal Practice Course
  • LLM Legal Practice

Legal Advice Clinic Supervisor

Module Leader:

  • Advanced Legal Practice (LLB Legal Practice)
  • Advanced Legal Skills and Ethics (LLB Law)
  • Employment Law (LLB Law)
  • Employment Law (MSc Human Resources Management)
  • Equality Law (LLB Law)
  • Equality, Rights and Society (LLM Laws)
  • Government, Politics and the Law (CertHE Legal Studies)
  • Law in Context (Foundation Year)
  • Legal Practice Research Project (LLM Legal Practice)
  • Research Methods (LLM Laws)
  • Skills for Legal Practice (LPC)


Contributions to books








  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Discrimination Law Association


  • Sign language recognition
  • Theories of equality
  • Equality law
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Clinical legal education
  • Critical disability theory
  • Deaf Legal Theory
  • Legal ethics
  • Teaching through BSL
  • Deaf people and the legal system
  • Employee status
  • BSL/English Interpreting in the legal system
  • Criminal justice for Deaf people

I am happy to supervise students completing MPhils, PhDs or Master’s level dissertations on any of the above topics or in human rights and social welfare law.

Current Supervisions


None at present


None at present

Areas of Expertise

  • Disability discrimination
  • Equality law
  • Sign language recognition
  • Employment law
  • Legal ethics



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