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Prof Riz Mokal
Prof Riz Mokal profile picture
  • Honorary Professor
  • Faculty of Laws

Riz Mokal is an Honorary Professor at UCL Laws and practises at the English Bar. Previously, he held the Chair of Law and Legal Theory at UCL (2008-2016), was a Visiting Professor at the University of Florence (2015-2018), and a Research Associate at Cambridge University's Centre for Business Research (2003-2007).  

From 2009 to 2013, Riz was Senior Counsel to the World Bank, and headed the Bank’s Global Initiative on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes. Since then, he has served as Senior Law Reform Consultant to the Bank. In these capacities, he has advised the governments of some twenty countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe on reform of insolvency and creditor/debtor systems. His work involves policy analyses of national legal and regulatory regimes, helping national authorities to rewrite legislation and strengthen judicial capacity, and engagement with the full range of stakeholders.

As part of the World Bank’s delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law from 2009 to 2013 and of the United Kingdom delegation since, Riz has been an active participant in the Commission’s work on insolvency law. His particular focus has been on the bankruptcy of cross-border enterprise groups, the duties of directors in the period approaching bankruptcy, and the enforcement of bankruptcy-derived orders and judgments.

Riz is a member of the editorial board of the journal International Corporate Rescue, and was previously also a member of the boards of Current Legal Problems and the International Journal of Law in Context. He has taught on programmes related to London University’s External LLB, and at Brunel University. 

Riz started teaching at UCL Laws in October 1996, joined it full-time in March 2001, and was a Reader from 2004 to 2008. He graduated from UCL with an LLB in 1996 and a PhD in 2002, and is the recipient of numerous academic prizes, scholarships and awards. He has co-chaired the UCL Colloquium on Legal and Social Philosophy, and was the founding chair of the UCL Laws Postgraduate Board of Examiners. 

Research Summary

Riz's research ranges over financial sector regulation, bankruptcy, property and trusts, and legal theory. This work has influenced law reform in the UK, and has been cited with approval by several courts, including the House of Lords, the Australian High Court, and the Courts of Appeal of England & Wales, New Zealand, Ontario, and Victoria.

As part of his work at the World Bank (2009 to date), Riz co-authored several IMF/World Bank Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (‘ROSCs’) on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes. These diagnostic reports, usually confidential to the Government requesting them, provide analysis and recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform. ROSCs are based on analysis of legal and regulatory texts complemented by information derived from surveys and a comprehensive range of meetings with key public and private sector stakeholders, including those from the Ministries of Justice, Finance, and Economy; the Central Bank; senior judiciary; credit history and security interest registries; financial institutions; chambers of commerce and industry; and legal, in-solvency, audit, and financial consultancy professionals. ROSCs are peer-reviewed by World Bank specialists and international and/or national experts.

The ROSCs co-authored by Riz include:

  • Vietnam (2013)
  • Romania (2013)
  • Kenya(2013)
  • Bangladesh (2013)
  • Kosovo (2012)
  • Russia (2012)
  • Kuwait (2012)
  • Mongolia (2012)
  • Saudi Arabia (2010)

Amongst other policy documents Riz has co-authored are a plan for the restructuring of Vietnam's banking and state-owned enterprise sectors (2013), an assessment of and input into several draft statutes on debtor/creditor issues in Ukraine (2013), an assessment of and input into the Insolvency and Company Bills in Kenya (2012), and recommendations on the restructuring of state-owned enterprise sector in Belarus, which won a World Bank Team Award (2012).

Teaching Summary

Riz currently has supervisory responsibilities on the UCL LLM Independent Research Essay programme. He has previously taught on the LLB Property I, Property II, Jurisprudence, and Corporate Insolvency courses and on the LLM Corporate Insolvency, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Law and Regulation, and Legal Framework for Enterprise Credit ones. He also supervised several doctoral students researching topics in legal theory and legal philosophy, criminal and international criminal laws, comparative competition law, public international law, and comparative restructuring and insolvency laws and practices.

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