Michael joined Keele University as a lecturer in September 2013. He previously taught as an Associate Tutor at the University of East Anglia (UEA) from 2009-2013 and before that worked in the public sector. Michael holds an LLB Law (2008), an LLM in Employment Law (2010), and PhD (2015). His thesis explored whether genetic risks should be disclosed by doctors to the families of their patients. His current research focus is on the mental health of university students, academic identity and community belonging. He is also writing a Torts textbook for Oxford University Press. Michael is also an accredited Student Minds “Looking After Your Mate” trainer.
Michael is known for his love of using comic books and nursery rhymes to explain legal concepts. He is the Law School's director of Outreach and Recruitment. Michael was Keele Outreach Academic of the Year 2016, is consistently nominated for Keele Excellence Awards and Student Choice Awards, and was one of six finalists for the Oxford University Press Law Teacher of the Year 2017.
Research and scholarship
Michael’s current research interest is the mental health and wellbeing of university students, academic identity and community belonging. Together with Yvonne Skipper he is Principal Investigator on the project “Why Not Me?” which is funded by a Scoping Award from the Society for Research in Higher Education. “Why Not Me?” explores the development of students’ academic identity and their sense of belonging and membership of school-level communities. Preliminary results from the project have been presented at the Association of Law Teachers’ Conference 2018 and the Centre of Innovation and Research in Legal Education (CIRLE) symposium “Educating for Uncertainty: Education in Law and Criminal Justice in an Uncertain World”. Details of the project and next steps are also available on the Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) here. “Why Not Me?” has already generated interest among Student Services professionals, Student Unions and from Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity.
Michael also has broad interests in Medical Law, Mental Health and Negligence. His other current project (with Claire Melia) explores the concept of understanding in consent, and how the various frameworks on understanding in law (such as Montgomery, Al Hamwi and the Mental Capacity Act) intersect. He is also interested in the legal issues created by genetic technologies and genomic medicine.
Michael has written on clinicians’ liability to family members for nondisclosure of genetic risks; liability to parents for negligent communication of neonatal genetic information; nondisclosure of genetics and concepts of harm in negligence; and consent to innovative medical treatments (with Tina Cockburn). He was a co-investigator on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Seminar Series 2015-2017 ‘Liability v Innovation: Unpacking Key Connections’.
- Torts (Module Leader)
- Mental Health Law (Module Leader)
- Employment Law (Module Leader)
- Healthcare Law
- MA in Medical Ethics and Law
- MA in Child Care Law and Practice
- MA in Safeguarding Adults: Law, Policy and Practice
- MMedSci in Contemporary Challenges in Healthcare Ethics and Law
Awarded a PhD Scholarship, inclusive of an Associate Tutor post, from the University of East Anglia (2009-2013)
Selected Conference Papers
- “Drafting a Duty to Disclose” – Duty of Care Symposium, Mason Institute, University of Edinburgh (June 2018)
- “Student Mental Health – Academic and Student Perspectives” – Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching, Aintree, Liverpool (June 2018)
- “Academic Experience and Approaches to Outreach” – NEON Summer Symposium, University of Sussex, Brighton, (June 2018)
- “Why Not Me? – Belonging, Community and Student Mental Health” – Educating for Uncertainty Symposium, Leeds University (May 2018)
- “Why Not Me? – Student Stress and Community Belonging” – Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference 2018, Keele University (March 2018)
- “I have Strings: Consent in the Shadow of the Mental Health Act – a fiction?” – Safeguarding Adults and Legal Literacy (SALLY) ESRC Seminar, University of Chester (November 2017)
- “Consent to Innovation” – Liability vs Innovation ESRC Seminar Series, Durham University (September 2016)
Handpicked selected publications
- Consent and Medical Innovation (with Tina Cockburn) Journal of Law, Innovation and Technology (forthcoming, 2019)
- Tarafdar, S. A., Fay, M. ‘Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts’ (2018) InnovAiT, 11(1), 48–54.
- Mitchell, C., Kaye, J., Chico, V., Fay, M. et al ‘What is the extent of the legal duty of care with clinical next generation sequencing?’ (2017) 17(3) Med Law Int 158-182
- Fay, M., ‘Cousins, Genetic Diagnosis and Liability of Clinicians: Smith & Another v University of Leicester NHS Trust  EWHC 817 (QB)’ (2017) 25(4) Med Law Review 672-683
- Fay, M., ‘Genetic Risks, Disclosure and Foreseeable Harm: an unanswered question after ABC v St George’s Healthcare’ (2017) 24(3) Tort Law Rev
- Fay, M., ‘Negligence, Genetic and Families: A Duty to Disclose Actionable Risks’ (2016) 16(3-4) Med Law Int 115
- Fay, M., ‘Medical Law: A Very Short Introduction’ by Charles Foster, (2015) 23(1) Med Law Review 163-164.
- Fay, M., ‘Negligence and the Communication of Neonatal Genetic Information to Parents’ (2012) 20(4) Med Law Review 604-630.
- Fay, M., ‘Genomic Negligence: an interest in autonomy as the basis for novel negligence claims generated by genetic technology’ by Dr. V. Chico (2012) 20(4) Med Law Review 642-650.
- Fay, M., ‘Informing the Family: a geneticist’s duty to disclose genetic risks to relatives of the proband’ (2011) 27(2) Journal of Professional Negligence 97-111.
Full Publications Listshow
Consent to Innovative Treatment. Law, Innovation and Technology. full text>
Negligence and the Communication of Neonatal Genetic Information to Parents. Medical Law Review, 604-630, vol. 20(4). doi>2012.
Publication Review - Genomic Negligence: an interest in autonomy as the basis for novel negligence claims generated by genetic technology. Medical Law Review, vol. 4(20).2012.
Informing the Family: A geneticist's duty to disclose genetic risks to relatives of the proband. Journal of Professional Negligence, 97, vol. 2(27).2011.
Publication Review - Medial Law: A Very Short Introduction. Medical Law Review.
Opinion: Not all journalistic content should be exempt from the Online Safety Bill. link>2022.