Dr Gwilym Owen

Senior Lecturer in Property Law, Equity and Trusts

Contact info

Telephone: 01248 383812

Email: john.g.owen@bangor.ac.uk

Contact Info

Telephone: 01248 383812

Email: john.g.owen@bangor.ac.uk


  • Module leader for Land Law, and module leader for Roman Law and English Legal History. I teach through the medium of both English and Welsh.
  • MA in jurisprudence from Oxford University (1978). Qualified as a solicitor in 1981, and as a solicitor advocate (Higher Courts, Civil) in 1997. Practised as a solicitor for thirty years, specialising in property litigation, before becoming a law lecturer at Bangor University in 2011. I am an SRA-regulated solicitor in England and Wales, not practising.
  • Awarded a PhD by publication in September 2017, which analysed certain aspects of the laws of real property in England and Wales.
  • Appointed a senior lecturer in 2018.
  • Elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2019.
  • Civic mission lead, and English and French double degree lead in the School of History, Law and Social Sciences.
  • Organised the Law School's annual Law Fair between 2013-2019.



  • My research interests are in the fields of Land Law and Legal History.
  • Some of my proposals for Land Law reform are to be included in a scoping paper in the Law Commission's thirteenth programme for law reform as part of its trusts law project.

Teaching and Supervision

  • I teach on the Land Law, Equity and Trusts, Roman Law and English Legal History undergraduate modules.
  • I have supervised three PhD students to completion together with two LLM(Res) students, and one MPhil student. I am currently supervising two PhD students.


  • Undersheriff of Gwynedd since 2017.
  • Awarded a Bangor University Teaching Fellowship in 2013.
  • Finalist in the LawCareer.Net Law Lecturer of the Year Award National Finals in 2014.
  • Finalist in the Bangor University student led Teacher of the Year Awards in 2018.


Member of the following professional and learned societies:

  • FRHistS
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Committee member of the Welsh Legal History Society
  • Member of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
  • Legal Wales
  • Committee member of the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates
  • Member of the European Society for History of Law                                                                                                                            


Radio Cymru (2022)

Interview with Dei Tomos concerning the possible influences by Henry VIII on the marriage choices of a north Wales aristocrat

Modern Studies in Property Law (University of Oxford, 2022)

Can Consumer Law Succeed Where Property Law Has Failed? Evaluating Responses to the Crisis of Leasehold

Paper presented with Professor Helen Carr, Professor Caroline Hunter and Carl Makin

Cymdeithas Hanes Dyffryn Ogwen (Bethesda, 2022)

Harri'r 8ed a Chochwillan

Clwb yr Efail (Bangor, 2021)


Paper presented on four centuries of the social and legal history of a hill farm in Carmarthenshire

Modern Studies in Property Law (University of Northumbria, 2020)

Paper accepted for conference presentation on the experience of leaseholders in Wales

Anglesey Antiquarians (Oriel Môn Llangefni, 2019)

The Law in Anglesey under the Tudors

Star Chamber Conference (University of Durham, 2019)

Presented paper on Welsh identity with Professor Robin Grove-White

Cymdeithas Gruffydd ap Cynan (Conwy, 2019)

Presented paper on the Acts of Union 1536-43 (presentation given in Welsh)

BBC Radio Cymru (2019)

Interview with Aled Hughes about the marriages of Henry VIII and their possible influence on Edward Griffith of Penrhyn in his relationship with Agnes of Cochwillan

International Conference on Welsh Studies (NAASWCH) 2018 (Bangor)

The persistence of native Welsh law beyond the Acts of Union 1536-43

Ecclesiastical History Society Conference (University of Cambridge, 2018)

Paper presented with Professor Rebecca Probert, Bigamy Entails and the Church

Harvard Celtic Colloquium (2017)

The Acts of Union 1536-43—Were they really the end of the road for Welsh Law?

Modern Studies in Property Law Publication Workshop (University of Cambridge, 2017)

Dillwyn v Llewelyn: Was the case really all about proprietary estoppel?

Modern Studies in Property Law Conference (Queen's University Belfast, 2016)

To register or not to register?—That is the question

Institute of Welsh Maritime Historical Studies (Porthmadog, 2016)

Hen gyfreithiau â'r môr (Medieval Welsh Law and the Mid-Victorian Foreshore). Presentation made in Welsh

BBC Radio Cymru (2016)

Interview with Dei Thomas about the influence of Cyfraith Hywel in the nineteenth century case of Attorney General v. Jones concerning the ownership of the foreshore in Cemaes Bay, Anglesey

The British Legal History Conference (Reading, 2015)

Aspects of the legal history of the Penrhyn entail 1526-1580—A Family at War

Society of Legal Scholars (2014, 2015 and 2017)

A New Model for Overreaching (Nottingham, 2014)

Aspects of the legal history of the Penrhyn entail 1526-1580—A Family at War (York, 2015)

The Acts of Union 1536-43—Were they really the end of the road for Welsh Law (University College Dublin, 2017)

Irish Association of Law Teachers (Belfast, 2013)

Delivered paper on the legal history of the Griffith family of Penrhyn

Welsh Legal History Society (2012 and 2013)

Delivered paper on the Victorian case of Attorney General v. Jones to the Welsh Legal History Society in Cardiff (2012)

Organised conference at Oriel Môn, Anglesey on "Water in the Laws of Wales" (2013).

Legal Wales (2011 and 2016)

Delivered paper on the Welsh concept of cyfran on behalf of the Welsh Legal History Society in Cardiff (2011)

Chaired and organsied session on Landlord and Tenant Law: The Renting Homes (Wales) Act—where to now? Divergence between English and Welsh Law in Bangor (2016)

Spoke in breakout session concerning the emerging Welsh law library in Bangor (2016)



Grant Awards and Projects

Bangor University NERC Discipline-hopping for Environmental Solutions (December 2021)

History For the Future: unlocking archives to solve challenges


Member of the core project team

CAHB Seed Funding (October 2021), £2,700 Women, Property and Power in Wales, c. 1300-1600 (Principal Investigator)

Bangor University ESRC (IAA) (July 2019)

Opening the Vaults− a research project to make suggestions for an on-line toolkit to assist members of the public with archival research, £7,312 together with top up of £5,695 (Principal Investigator)

Bangor University ESRC (IAA) (September 2018)

A New Paradigm for Overreaching £8,687 (Principal Investigator)

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Interpretation of legal documents by reference to documents relating to the Penrhyn Estate, £1,440 (April 2013)


Research outputs (22)

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