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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Dan Kraft (Banking and Finance LLM, 1997)

Dan talks about his busy legal and academic career that have included several relocations around the world since he graduated from CCLS in 1997.


Dan KraftMy study of business law and my in-house work in banks gave me the appetite for a greater knowledge of Clive Schmitthoff’s Lex Mercatoria. As he was one of the founders of CCLS, it made sense for me to attend that institute that had contributed so much to the understanding of markets and the law. Three years after getting a Master’s degree in International Commercial Contracts at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil) I joined CCLS. As a Chevening scholar, I enjoyed every aspect of the LLM in Banking and Finance Law.

My first daughter was 10 months-old when we moved to London. So my time at CCLS also turned out to be a rich and challenging experience for my family. Every morning, I kissed them goodbye, heading to interesting classes and amazing texts at the library. I went back home at night, fulfilled with knowledge, new ideas and eager to hear and tell about the past day experiences.

Dan with his family in 1997, shortly after their arrival in London
Dan with his family in 1997, shortly after their arrival in London

The diversity of both students and lecturers at CCLS is one of a kind. I was thrilled to discover the different ways markets can be structured and regulated, in times of great changes. I was also lucky to have had Professor Rosa Lastra supervising my dissertation on the legal framework of the Brazilian financial system. Our common interests led me even to translate and publish her book Central Banking and Banking Regulation in Brazil, in the year 2000 (Ed. Del Rey).

Upon my return to Brazil, after a brief experience at a prestigious City law firm’s Banking Group, I soon started my own private practice. At the same time, I became a lecturer at law and business schools in Brazil. From 1999 onwards, I became a lecturer at IBMEC, a prestigious Brazilian business school, while also coordinating their MBA with emphasis in law, later converted into an LLM. In the following decade, I wrote articles, book chapters and taught at universities in Brazil and abroad, while navigating the legal market with my associates.

The CCLS experience taught me that without intense field experience, it would be much harder, albeit impossible, to adequately impart business law knowledge. I have continued to pursue a career mix formula, aiming at a level of excellence I think my students deserve.

My practice and teaching experience brought me to Canada. In 2009, I moved to Montreal, along with my wife and two teenage daughters. While keeping my Brazilian firm active, I joined the Québec Bar and spent almost two years as Of Counsel at a global law firm’s Montreal office. In 2014, I was invited to join the University of Montreal as a guest lecturer, while keeping my practice as legal consultant. Since then, I have been assisting clients venturing into emerging markets and in finance, as well as teaching Legal Aspects of International Finance, International Economic Relations and Comparative Business Law for graduate and post-graduate students from all over the world. I also do research, as an associate of the Centre for Business Law and International Trade of the University of Montreal (CDACI).

As my interest in research and in-depth investigation continued, I started a PhD at the University of Montreal in 2017. I’m focusing on how transplanting banking regulation influences market concentration in Brazil and in Canada. I hope to finish my PhD in 2021, although the pandemic is causing much disruption and the reinvention of all sectors of society.

My wish is that in the near future I can visit CCLS, even if just virtually, in order to contribute to the wonderful work the Centre has been doing for so many years.



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