Rita D'Alton-Harrison

Rita D'Alton-Harrison, Solicitor, LLB, MA, SFHEA, PhD

Dr, Dr, Professor

  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

Rita is a qualified Solicitor and began her professional career working as a litigator in private practice. Rita has 10 years post qualification experience, primarily in class actions, commercial litigation, personal injury and medical negligence. Rita has been in Higher Education since June 2001 and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has taught on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. She has also worked as an External Examiner for the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority where she monitored standards on the accredited Legal Practice Course (the former professional qualification for solicitors).

Rita was recruited to help establish Royal Holloway's first LLB programme and new School of Law in 2014 and served as the school's Director of Teaching and Learning (2015-2018). She continues her involvement with new and existing programmes as well as assisting external providers of legal professional programmes. Rita is also the series editor of the SQE2 Guides to Legal Practice series (Routledge) and also sits on the editorial board of the Journal Medical Law International. Rita is a former committee member of the Law Society's Digital Education Taskforce Committee and has written and designed bite-size courses for legal professionals. Rita also serves as a member of the AdvanceHE Race Equality Charter judging panel and the Society of Legal Scholars Libraries Committee.


Research interests

Rita's research interest is primarily in the field of Human Fertilisation and the impact of scientific advancements on the creation of the 'new family'. Her work has been cited by the Supreme Court of Ireland, the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission. Rita was awarded her PhD at Leicester University in March 2018 with a thesis titled 'Governance of the Legal and Domiciled Parent: International Surrogacy, Border Controls and the 'Disconnected' Family' in which she examined the legal experiences of commissioning couples involved in international surrogacy arrangements as told through documents in case files. The research used a mixed methodology of narrative research, forensic linguistics and thematic analysis.  

Rita is interested in supervising areas focusing on one or more of the school's research themes, for example, Health, Medicine and Regulation, Children, Young People and Families, Social Identity and Divisions, Crime, Law and Justice. In particular, empirical work involving Family, Intimacy, Identity or Legal Regulation of Medical Technology is welcomed.


Rita also has a particular interest in the student experience in Higher Education especially in relation to the effects of widening participation.


Rita's teaching specialisms include the law of tort, evidence, crime, medical law, litigation, personal injury and clinical negligence and advocacy.

Educational background

University of East Anglia: LLB (Hons), Guildford College of Law: Law Society Finals, Law Society: Admission to Roll of Solicitors, University of Hertfordshire: MA (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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