Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Banking and Finance Law


The Banking and Finance group at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) promotes teaching and research in banking and financial law and regulation. Its activities resort under the umbrella of the Institute of International Finance Law.

Members of the Banking and Finance group include three leading professors in this area: Professor Rosa Lastra (chair of the group), Professor George Walker, Professor Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal; one reader, Dr Gabriel Gari, one senior lecturer, Dr Costanza Russo and one lecturer, Ms Katrien Morbee. In addition, Professor Kokkoris, Professor Philip Rawlings, Dr Marco Bodellini, Dr Andromachi Georgosouli, Dr Miriam Goldby, Dr S. Patel, Dr L. Steinberg, Dr Leon Vinokour, Mr Safdar Alam and Mr K. Lazarus contribute to the teaching in this area. Leon and Rodrigo - jointly appointed by CCLS and the School of Economics and Finance - are the co-directors of the MSc Law and Finance programme. Rodrigo also heads the LLM in Law and Economics programme.

Banking and Finance members have developed close links with other universities around the world. In the USA, regular contacts with Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, SMU in Texas and NYU enrich our teaching and research capabilities. In Europe we have close links with several universities; the links with the University of Stockholm as well as other Scandinavian Universities has resulted in our successful Diploma and Certificate in International Financial Law. A similar programme has been established with Strathmore University, Kenya. Links with Universities in Hong-Kong, Shanghai and Singapore are also a result of the individual links forged by Banking and Finance members. Strong links have also been developed with Latin American Universities, with two Deans of Postgraduate Studies from top Argentine Universities visiting in 2014-15. Dr Costanza Russo has developed a partnership with the Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics based in Kansas, and is working on a research project with Justice Blair and others on how to create an ethical culture in the banking sector. Professor Rodrigo Olivares Caminal has established links with the World Bank in connection to the Global Forum on Law Justice and Development.

Teaching and Education



The LLM in Banking and Finance Law is one of the most popular LLM programmes and financial law modules are an integral part of the Certificate and Diploma in International Finance Law. The European Banking and Finance group offers a joint MSc in Law and Finance and LLM in Law and Economics with the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary.

The LLM in Law and Economics and the MSc in Law and Finance have also developed some new modules, some of which are open to general LLM students: Law and Finance in Practice, Economic Application of the Law and Macro-economics for Lawyers. In addition we run a series of distinguished guest speakers in international finance with world leading policy makers and practitioners and a series of "CCLS Open Lectures", organised by the banking and finance group.

Banking and Finance members attract high profile guest speakers to deliver classes and lectures, ranging from high officials of the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Bank of England, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund; as well as QCs, judges and qualified practitioners from leading law firms in the world as well as from insurance companies and Lloyd’s. This gives our students exposure to private practice and to the work of national and international financial institutions.

Expertise and Research Activities

Our areas of expertise cover the most topical subjects in the field of banking and finance and include: central banking, international banking, international capital markets, international monetary law, derivatives, corporate finance, M&As, EU financial law, resolution and insolvency of financial institutions and financial crisis management, banking and financial regulation, Islamic law, WTO law, Preferential Trade Agreements, international investment law, sovereign debt management and restructuring, insurance law, ethics in business and finance, and corporate social responsibility. The specialisation attracts a large number of students to our LLM programme and Banking and Finance modules are amongst the most popular choices amongst our students.

Banking and Finance members are actively involved with organising and contributing to conferences across the globe. Some are regularly interviewed or quoted in the media worldwide. For example, Professor Lastra organised several high-level conferences with the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, with the Financial Markets Group of the London School of Economics, with Georgetown and BICCL, with Banco de España/MOCOMILA in Madrid, with the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. She also gets regularly invited to high-level conferences, for example in the Universidad de Navarra and Oxford. The recent activities of the banking and finance group can be followed via the events and news tab.

Banking and Finance members influence national, European and International financial regulatory developments. For instance, Dr Costanza Russo was invited by Sir Richard Lambert to contribute to the creation of the new Professional Body for Banking Standards advocated by the UK Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. Professor Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal advised the World Bank and IFC in reviewing insolvency laws in Latin American Countries as well as training judges and has also collaborated with the AfDB advising on debt contract management. 

Banking and Finance members are actively involved in the LLM in Paris programme. In Paris, Dr Costanza Russo designed a series of roundtables in “Banking and Finance” bringing together practitioners and academics to discuss regulatory developments.

In terms of research outputs, Banking and Finance members have been successful in publishing books and articles in internationally refereed journals. Thus, they combine excellent in teaching with excellence in research.