Dr Sundeep Aulakh


I am an Associate Professor in the Work, and Employment Relations Division at Leeds University Business School. My research focuses on professional occupations, the organizations within which they work, and how they are regulated. I am particularly interested in the changing dynamics of the legal profession. As well as exploring the emergence of new organizational forms, business models, and the implications this raises for traditional notions of expertise, I  am also interested in professionalism, ethics, and misconduct. My work has been published in high-ranking peer-reviewed journals, such as Work, Employment and SocietyThe British Journal of Sociology, The Journal of Law & Society, The International Journal of the Legal Profession. Alongside academic research, I have contributed to the work of various professional bodies, including advising the Legal Services Board on its 2017 study on external investment, supporting the Competition and Markets Authority with its study of competition in the legal services sector in 2016, and led a project commissioned by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority examining diversity in the solicitors’ profession (https://bit.ly/2XdeFLY).

I undertook my PhD at the Centre for Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, graduating in 2002.  


  • Academic Lead and Member of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Professions & Organization.
  • Deputy Programme Director MSC. Management Consulting

Research interests

Focusing on professions and professional organizations, my research interests include:

  1. AI and lawtech discourse, technological innovation in legal services and its impact on providers, practitioners, and the prospects for social justice.
  2. Market dynamics, new organizational forms, and business models delivering professional services.
  3. Liberalization of, and competition in, professional services,  the introduction of new forms of regulating professional conduct, and their effect on ethics and misconduct. 
  4. Professional associations (their functions, relevance, and future prospects) and routes to occupational professionalization (e.g. licensing, credentialing, and alternative forms of closure).
  5. Diversity, equality & inclusion in professional occupations, and practitioner well-being.


  • PhD Welfare state restructuring & the enabling role of local government.
  • BA (Hons.) Community Management
  • HND Business and Finance

Student education

I have extensive experience in teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.  I am the Deputy Programme Director of the MSC in Management Consulting and deliver several of the programme’s core modules. I am also involved in teaching Research Methods, designing and delivering new content relating to digital research methods, and the unique ethical challenges associated with collecting online data. I am interested in supervising PhD candidates with similar research interests.  

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Current postgraduate researchers