The Institute of Banking and Finance Law is a centre of excellence in research and teaching of banking and finance law and is part of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) in the School of Law at Queen Mary, University of London. The Institute is a leading centre on banking and finance law in the world. Its members offer a wide range of courses in banking and finance law, organise and contribute to conferences across the globe, and influence national, European and international regulatory developments.
The members of the Institute of Banking and Finance Law include four leading professors in this area: Professor Rosa Lastra (chair), Professor Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, Professor George Walker, and Professor Sir William Blair; one reader, Dr Gabriel Gari; one senior lecturer, Dr Costanza Russo; and one lecturer, Dr Katrien Morbee. In addition, Professor Kokkoris, Professor Miriam Goldby, Dr Marco Bodellini, and Dr Andromachi Georgosouli contribute to the teaching in this area. Professor Olivares-Caminal is the director of the MSc Law and Finance and the LLM in Law and Economics programmes.
The Institute of Banking and Finance Law offers three LLM programmes, one MSc programme, a certificate programme and a diploma programme. The specialisation attracts a large number of students and the Institute’s modules are amongst the most popular choices amongst our students.
The combined expertise of the academic staff provides students with a wide range of skills to go into practice, the judiciary, academia, regulatory agencies, the financial world or international organisations. Professor Rosa Lastra teaches in the areas of banking and central banking law, financial regulation and international economic law; Professor Olivares-Caminal teaches in the areas of insolvency, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and sovereign debt; Professor George Walker teaches in the areas of banking, FinTech and international finance; Professor Sir William Blair teaches in the area of dispute resolution, finance and ethics; Professor Kokkoris teaches in areas of corporate finance law and law and finance in practice; Dr Gabriel Gari teaches in areas of finance and development and international economic law; Dr Andromachi Georgosouli teaches in areas of securities regulation, insurance law, and principles of regulation; Dr Costanza Russo teaches in areas of corporate governance and ethics in finance; Dr Marco Bodellini teaches in areas of investment banking law and securities regulation; and Dr Katrien Morbee teaches in areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and art and money, sustainability and green finance.
For more details on each programme, together with the specific modules on offer, visit the Courses section.
The Institute’s research covers 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, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and green finance. A more detailed description of the Institute’s current research projects is available on the Research section.
The Institute has 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. The MoU signed with Georgetown has offered a platform for further collaboration in the fields of sovereign debt and international economic and financial law. Under the 1+1 Masters Programme agreement signed between QMUL - Centre for Commercial Law Studies and Georgetown University, suitably qualified students may apply to study an LLM (or Masters Programme) with Georgetown University and an LLM with Queen Mary. Students may choose to study the first year at Georgetown University and the second year at QMUL or vice versa, i.e. the first year at Queen Mary and the second year at Georgetown University. Moreover, Professor Lastra has developed a partnership with Yale Law School, Georgetown Law Institute of International Economic Law, Tulane Law, Cornell Law, and the Bank of England to organise an annual Conference on Law and Macroeconomics (see here for updates). 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 Sir William Blair and others on how to create an ethical culture in the banking sector.
In Europe, the Institute has close links with several universities; the links with the University of Bergen as well as other Scandinavian Universities has resulted in our successful Diploma and Certificate in International Financial Law. Links with Universities in Hong-Kong, Shanghai and Singapore are also a result of the individual links forged by our members. Moreover, strong links have been developed with Latin American Universities, including Universidad de Montevideo in Uruguay and Universidad del Externado in Colombia. In Africa, the Institute has developed a MoU with Strathmore University in Kenya.
The Institute’s members are actively involved with organising and contributing to conferences across the globe. The institute hosts the London Financial Regulation Seminar, i.e. an interdisciplinary and intercollegiate group of experts specialising in financial regulation, which holds seminars, and more occasional conferences, on topics relating to this field.
The institute members 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 Institute can be followed via the News and Events sections. In 2021 Professor Lastra was Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords in the inquiry conducted by its Economic Affairs Committee on the quantitative easing program of the Bank of England. The report of the House of Lords was published in July 2021 and received extensive media coverage.
The Institute 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. Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal is an Oriental Scholar (Shanghai Ministry of Education, China), a major accolade, and Senior Insolvency Expert at the World Bank. Moreover, he has been appointed to represent the creditors of Cuba’s sovereign debt. Both Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal and Rosa Lastra serve in the Financial Market Law Committee of the Bank of England. Professor Lastra and Professor Sir William Blair, moreover, are members of the Monetary Committee of the International Law Association (with Professor Lastra serving as Vice-Chair of MOCOMILA since 2021-2022). Professor Lastra is a member of the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee and of the European Banking Institute and Co-Director of the Sovereign Debt Forum, a joint initiative with Georgetown University. Professsor Walker has been a Visiting Scholar at the Bank of England working on digital currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and FinTech.
The Institute’s members have ongoing links with other Universities in the UK. For example, Professor Lastra is the external examiner for the Oxford Msc in Law and Finance (MLF) and Professor Walker was also the Robert S Campbell Fellow at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.