School of Law

Centre for Business Law and Practice

In this Section:

The Centre for Business Law and Practice is a leading research centre.  Its expertise includes corporate and financial law, commercial and consumer law and, competition/antitrust law.

It is large and well-established, with over 20 academic members, half of which are professors. Our members have established international reputations in the broad field of business law, and in particular in corporate and financial law.

Dissemination of Research

The Centre promotes all forms of research, including doctrinal, theoretical (including socio-legal) and empirical research. Its work is disseminated as widely as possible by publishing monographs, articles, reports, and through regular seminars and high profile conferences (see links on the left) which engage with both the academic community, the legal profession, policy-makers and regulators. 

Members' research is regularly cited by the courts and referenced by policy makers. Staff members have acted as consultants to law firms, accounting bodies, national law reform bodies and government departments in various countries, and international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Transparency International.

National and International Networks

The Centre has strong international connections which include the Centre for Economic Law Vrijie Universiteit of Brussels, the Centre for Markets, Law and Regulation, University of New South Wales, the Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law, National University of Jodphur and East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai.

It has links with the Leeds University Business School (which is adjacent to the Law School) and with the local and national business community and profession.

It is a member of the Leeds Professional Services Hub, based in the Leeds University Business School.


Centre members have been successful in attracting grants from bodies such as the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and the AHRC amongst others.

Research Students

The Centre has a strong research culture and is supportive of its PhD students. It runs an annual PhD student conference and a 'brown bag' lunch seminar series at which students can meet and hear about each other's research as well as the research of Centre academics. We welcome applications from students wishing to conduct research within the Centre’s sphere of expertise: please see individual staff web pages for further information.

Our centre manages several postgraduate research and postgraduate taught degree programmes. We also oversee the delivery of several undergraduate business law modules.

We offer both full-time and part-time taught postgraduate schemes in most aspects of business law from an international, European and domestic perspective. We also run specialist programmes in insolvency law, international corporate law, and banking and finance law.

Our cente offers five LLM programmes and one MSc. The schemes also have postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates options available.

Postgraduate research

We also offer postgraduate research opportunities.

We welcome applications falling within any field of Business Law and Practice, particularly within our key research strength areas.

The Centre for Business Law and Practice conducts research in a wide range of areas and employs various approaches including the following : doctrinal, theoretical (including socio-legal) and empirical research. Much of the research is international and transnational in focus.

Corporate Law

Our research covers most areas of corporate (company) law. We have particular interest in corporate governance (objective of public companies, directors' duties, shareholder remedies and litigation, governance and the legal profession, EU Corporate Governance, Comparative Corporate Governance, Law and Economics approach) and corporate insolvency (comparative approaches to Corporate Rescue, liquidation, administration, transactional avoidance, forum shopping and jurisdictional competition in the context of international insolvency proceedings).

Researchers: Andrew Keay, Gerry McCormack, Joan Loughrey

Banking and Finance Law

The focus in banking and finance law is on bank insolvencies, money laundering, analysis of secured credit regimes (including assessment of their efficacy in promoting economic development using law and economics and other models), and role of the UN Commission on International Trade Law and other supra-governmental and international finance organisations in promoting notions of globalised finance law. We also have expertise in the regulation of conduct in financial services.

Researchers: Andy Campbell, Gerry McCormack, Joan Loughrey

Contract, Consumer and Commercial Law

In contract and consumer law, we concentrate on consumer credit and overindebtedness, analysis of the law of guarantees from efficiency and redistributional perspectives, the role of EC institutions including the Commission and the Parliament in the harmonisation of European Private Law, and norms of consumer protection in the realm of financial contracting with consideration of national and European approaches.

In commercial law, one area we specialise in is international commercial dispute resolution. Under this, we cover various subjects in international commercial arbitration and litigation. In particular, we have expertise on commercial conflict of laws/private international law, judicial cooperation, recognition and enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards, collective redress/class action, and the European/international harmonisation of conflicts rules.

We also have expertise on the law relating to lawyers with a particular focus on legal professional privilege and conflicts of interest as they pertain to corporate lawyers and their firms and expertise of the regulation of such firms.

Another area of research activity is intellectual property law, especially in the context of the pharmaceutical industry. This business sector has been highly effective in shaping the patent system, and in managing intellectual property rights to further commercial interests. Concerns have been raised, though, as to whether the present legal and policy framework promotes optimal outcomes from a social justice perspective. Accordingly, our research also takes into account the social welfare dimensions of this area of business law.

Researchers: Roger Halson, Gerry McCormack, Sarah Brown, David Pearce, George Zhou, Joan Loughrey, Graham Dutfield

Competition/Antitrust Law

Our research covers most areas of competition (antitrust) law. Our researchers have particular interests in abuse of dominance, anticompetitive agreements, public and private enforcement of competition law, economic regulation, the objectives and historical foundations of competition law, the imprisonment of executives for cartel activity, the intersection between competition law and other areas such as contract law, consumer law and behavioural economics, and international cooperation in competition enforcement.

A future focus of our research in this area will involve analysis of whether the principle of legal certainty is respected in practice in substantive EU competition law.

Researchers: Pinar Akman, Peter Whelan, George Zhou, Konstantinos Stylianou 


Our work in the regulation domain includes regulatory theory and regulatory economics. We look into when, how and why regulate industries, and we develop sector-specific expertise mainly in the information, communication, technology (ICT) and energy markets. We also look into how regulation intersects with competition/antitrust and into whether and how technological developments affect the applicability of regulatory tools and strategies.

Researchers: Konstantinos Stylianou, Joanne Hawkins, Pinar Akman, George Zhou

    Board Accountability in Corporate Governance

    Ongoing. Principal Investigator:

    The work involves a comprehensive study and assessment of the accountability of boards of directors as part of the governance of public companies.

    Business Judgment And The Courts

    October 2016 - October 2018. Principal Investigator:

    This project in collaboration with the University of Liverpool seeks to understand business judgment and how courts apply this concept, then access to what extent directors' decisions in England and Wales should be subject to review by the courts.

    Derivative Actions in Corporate Law

    Ongoing. Principal Investigator:

    The project examines the statutory regime that permits the initiation of derivative actions by shareholders in the UK.

    Examination of Transactional Avoidance in the Context of European Insolvencies

    April 2015 - July 2016. Principal Investigator:

    The study considers the law concerning the right of liquidators and other insolvency practitioners to challenge transactions that were entered into before insolvency proceedings were commenced against a debtor and examines the position that exists in the Member States of the EU and particularly difference and commonalities that one finds in different States.

    Security Rights and the European Insolvency Regulation

    May 2014 - May 2016. Principal Investigator:

    The project will critically analyse and evaluate the provisions governing rights in rem (security rights) and transactional avoidance in the European Insolvency Regulation (Regulation 1346/2000) and address whether there is scope for reform of the law.

    Study on Substantive Insolvency Law

    April 2015 - January 2016. Principal Investigator:

    This is a European Commission contracted Study on Substantive Insolvency Law which will enhance the knowledge base of the Commission and potentially inform future legal change in the field of insolvency, both corporate and personal, and over-indebtedness.

    The Governance of Chinese Listed Companies

    Ongoing. Principal Investigator:

    This research project investigates whether board accountability, as provided for in Anglo-American jurisdictions, exists in China and whether other values are provided for in Chinese corporate governance that address some of the concepts inherent in accountability.

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