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Zoe Adams



Labour Law, Legal Methodology, Social Ontology, Corporate Governance, Private Law, EU Law


Labour Law and Poverty Alleviation in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Personal background

Zoe graduated 5th in her year with a First Class degree in Law from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2013. She started work for the CBR that summer. She has since been working alongside Simon Deakin on a number of projects including research on labour law in developing countries funded by the DFID/ESRC Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation. She has been involved in creating a dataset that measures the legal content of labour laws in over 80 countries. She has since co-authored a number of articles on labour law, european union law, and legal methodology. Her research focuses on exploring the relationship between law and capitalism, and teasing out the implications of this relationship for labour law scholarship and practice. She completed her solicitors’ Legal Practice Course in June 2014 and was awarded an LLM from the EUI, Florence, in September 2014.  She has began studying for her PHD at Pembroke College, Cambridge in October 2015, and was awarded her PhD in June 2018, for which she was awarded the Yorke Prize in 2019. In 2018, she became aJunior Research Fellow at King’s College Cambridge, before becoming Fellow, and Admissions Tutor at King’s in 2021. Her first monograph, based on her PhD was entitled “Labour and the Wage: a Critical Perspective” and her second monograph, published in November 2023, is entitled “The Legal Concept of Work”. Both are published by Oxford University Press. She is also co-author of two textbooks, Markesinis & Deakin’s Tort Law (Eighth Edition, Oxford University Press 2019) and Deakin and Morris Labour Law (7th edition, Hart Publishing 2021). 

In terms of teaching, Zoe has been supervising labour law at Cambridge since January 2016, and has also supervised tort law. She has been an affiliated lecturer with the Cambridge Law Faculty since 2017, lecturing labour law, and advanced labour law. She has also lectured on the economics of law and regulation (LLM). 

Selected publications

Adams Z, Legal Concept of Work (Forthcoming, OUP) Adams Z, ‘Invisible Labour: Legal Dimensions of Invisibilization’ n/a Journal of Law and Society, accessed 11 May 2022 

Adams Z, ‘A Structural Approach to Labour Law’ [2022] Cambridge Journal of Economics

Adams Z, ‘One step forwards for employment status, still some way to go: The Supreme Court’s decision in Uber v Aslam under scrutiny’ (2021)The Cambridge Law Journal, 221 

Adams Z, ‘La Proposta Di Direttiva UE Relativa Ai Salari Minimi Adeguati: Ripensare La Funzione Sociale Dei Salari Minimi.’ (2021) 31 Diritto delle relazioni industriali: rivista della Associazione lavoro e riceche 283 

Adams Z, Adams-Prassl A and Adams-Prassl J, ‘Online Tribunal Judgments and The Limits of Open Justice’ (Social Science Research Network 2021) SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3835790, accessed 19 September 2021 

Adams, Z, ‘Labour Law, Capitalism and the Juridical Form: Taking a Critical Approach to Questions of Labour Law Reform’ Industrial Law Journal, accessed 24 October 2020. 

Adams Z and Grosse Ruse-Khan H, ‘Work and Works on Digital Platforms in Capitalism: Conceptual and Regulatory Challenges for Labour and Copyright Law’ International Journal of Law and Information Technology, accessed 16 October 2020. 

Adams, Z, Labour and the Wage: A Critical Perspective (Oxford University Press 2020). 

Adams, Z ‘The EU Minimum Wage Directive: A Missed Opportunity?’ UK Labour Law Blog, 12 November 2020,  

Adams, Z, ‘Le Rôle Central Des Autorités Publiques et Des Tribunaux Dans La Régulation Des VTC’ [2019] Chronique Internationale de l’IRES 155. 

Adams A, Adams Z and Prassl J, ‘Legitimizing Precarity: Zero Hours Contracts in the United Kingdom’ in Michelle O’Sullivan and others (eds), Zero Hours and On-call Work in Anglo-Saxon Countries (Springer 2019) accessed 26 December 2020 

Adams, Z, ‘Labour Law and the Labour Market: Employment Status Reconsidered’ (2019) 135 Law Quarterly Review 611.

Adams Z, ‘Understanding the minimum wage: Political economy and legal form’ (2019) 78 CLJ

Adams, Z; “‘Wage’, ‘Salary’ and ‘Remuneration’: A Genealogical Exploration of Juridical Terms and their Significance for the Employer’s Power to Make Deductions from Wages”Industrial Law Journal

Adams, Zoe, and Deakin, Simon “Institutional Solutions to Precariousness and Inequality in Labour Markets.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 52.4 (2014): 779-809.

Adams, Zoe, et al. “Labour regulation over time: new leximetric evidence.” 4th conference of the Regulating for Decent Work network, ILO, Geneva. 2015.

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) “Work is intermittent but capital is not: what to do about zero hours contracts”Institute for Employment Rights blog, 1 May

Adams, Zoe, and Deakin, Simon. “Freedom of Establishment and Regulatory Competition”, The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law, July 23 2015

Deakin, Simon, and Zoe Adams. “Corporate Governance and Employment Relations”, The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance, June 9 2015

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) “Quantitative labour law.” Centre for Business Research Working Paper. Cambridge: University of Cambridge (presented to the Symposium on New Frontiers in Empirical Labour Law Research, Cambridge, April 2014)

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) “Work is intermittent but capital is not: what to do about zero hours contracts.” Institute for Employment Rights blog, 1 May

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) “Freedom of establishment and regulatory competition.” In: Arnull, T. and Chalmers, D. (eds.) The Oxford handbook of European Union law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (forthcoming)

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) “Corporate governance and employment relations.” In: Gordon, J. and Ringe, W.-G. (eds.) The Oxford handbook of corporate law and corporate governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (forthcoming)

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014) “Quantitative labour law.” Centre for Business Research Working Paper. Cambridge: University of Cambridge (presented to the Symposium on New Frontiers in Empirical Labour Law Research, Cambridge, April 2014)

Contact details

Dr Zoe Adams
Fellow and Admissions Tutor at King’s College, Cambridge
Affiliated Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge CB2 1ST

Tel: 01223 (7)61819