A former Keele Law student, Lara graduated in 1998 with first class honours. She obtained her first lectureship at the University of Leicester in 2001, was awarded her PhD in late 2004 and re-joined the School of Law at Keele in 2006. She is now a Reader in Law and a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

As the School’s Director of Education, Lara has played a leading role in the redesign of the UG core curriculum, the development of new courses and the design and delivery of flexible digital education in Law. She has an extensive record of cross-institutional engagement and is an active contributor to the University’s Standing Validation Panel. Lara coordinates the School’s Learning and Teaching Forum and, most recently, she was a co-lead for the School on an Advance HE collaborative project on Assessment and Feedback in Law.

Lara has published on a variety of areas in mainstream property law. She is a co-author of Haley & McMurtry, Equity & Trusts (now in its 6th edition).

Research and scholarship

Lara’s research interests lie in Property Law, Equity and the Law of Trusts, and include the regulation of mortgage enforcement, the informal acquisition of interests in property and aspects of charity law regulation and practice.



Lara is currently the Module Leader on Equity 2 (Equity & Trusts from 2022). She contributes to teaching on Law of Real Property (Level 5) and Introduction to Property (Level 4).


Lara is willing to supervise students in the areas of Land Law, Equity and Trusts. She has recently supervised two PhD students with research projects covering the law of servitudes and a comparative study of ownership acquisition (Saudi Arabia and UK law).


Selected recent publications include:

  • L McMurtry and M Davys, “Online Open-book Assessment: A Case Study” (Advance HE, November 2021, forthcoming)
  • M Haley and L McMurtry, Equity and Trusts (Sweet & Maxwell, 6th ed. 2020)  
  • L McMurtry, “Charitable Purposes, Demonstrable Benefit and the Role of the Charity Commission: The Fourth Pemsel Head Recast” (2020) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 445-465, vol. 70(4). link> full text>

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