International Advisory Council


Professor Kenneth Ayotte

Professor Kenneth Ayotte
University of California, Berkeley

Kenneth Ayotte is Professor of Law at Berkeley Law, where he teaches corporate finance and bankruptcy law. Professor Ayotte joined Berkeley Law in 2014. From 2007 to 2014, he was a Professor of Law at Northwestern University. From 2002 to 2007, he was an Assistant Professor in the Finance and Economics group at Columbia Business School, where he won the Dean’s Award For Teaching Excellence. Ayotte’s research interests are in the areas of bankruptcy, corporate finance, and law and economics. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, as well as law reviews, including University of Chicago Law Review and Michigan Law Review. His paper “Bankruptcy or Bailouts?” with David Skeel, analyzing the role of bankruptcy law in financial crises, was chosen as a Top 10 article in corporate and securities law by the Corporate Practice Commentator. Ayotte is currently a member of the Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights section of the AALS and an academic task force charged with making recommendations to Congress regarding large corporate bankruptcies.

Professor Anthony Casey

Professor Anthony J. Casey
University of Chicago

Tony Casey is Deputy Dean and Professor of Law at The University of Chicago Law School.  He is also the Faculty Director of the law school’s Center on Law and Finance. His research examines the intersection of finance and law, with a focus on corporate bankruptcy. He has written about topics including asset valuation, creditor priority, the constitutionality of bankruptcy courts, and intercreditor agreements. His broader projects explore business organization, civil procedure, and complex business disputes.

Before entering academia, Professor Casey was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His legal practice focused on corporate bankruptcy, merger litigation, white-collar investigations, and securities litigation. 

Professor Casey received his J.D. with High Honors in 2002 from The University of Chicago Law School. After law school, Casey clerked for Chief Judge Joel M. Flaum of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Professor Juanitta Calitz

Professor Juanitta Calitz
University of Johannesburg

Juanitta Calitz, LLB LLM LLD (UP) is currently an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Head of the Department of Mercantile Law as well as a member of the UJ Law Dean’s Committee. She presents undergraduate, postgraduate and extra-curricular courses in insolvency law as well as business rescue and has presented at national and international conferences. She has written various articles and book chapters on topics related to insolvency law and is a co-author of Mars: The Law of Insolvency in South Africa (10th edition). In her LLD thesis she investigated certain aspects of state regulation and proposed a framework within which the legislator could pursue legal reform based on comprehensive policy objectives. Her research interests include insolvency law and business rescue as well as the impact of Industry 4.0 on Insolvency law. On 1 April 2019, she was appointed chairperson of the INSOL Academic Group and is a member of the INSOL Legislative & Regulatory Steering Committee. She is an honorary member and national council member of the Southern Africa Restructuring & Insolvency Practitioners Association (SARIPA).

Judge Robert Drain

The Honourable Judge Robert D. Drain
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York

Robert Drain is a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York.

Judge Drain received his B.A. degree cum laude with honors from Yale University in 1979 and his J.D. degree in 1984 from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar for three years.

At the time of his appointment in 2002, he was a partner in the Bankruptcy Department of the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he represented debtors, trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, official and unofficial creditors committees, and buyers of distressed businesses and distressed debt in chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcy-related litigation and also was actively involved in several transnational insolvency matters.

Judge Drain is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member and board member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, a member of the International Insolvency Institute, a member and Secretary of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and a founding member and chair of the Judicial Insolvency Network.  He also is the current chair of the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Group established through the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and was appointed to the FDIC’s Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee through May 1, 2021.  He was an adjunct professor for several years at St. John’s University School of Law’s LLM in Bankruptcy Program and currently is an adjunct professor at Pace University School of Law and has lectured and written on numerous bankruptcy-related topics.

Since his appointment he has presided over such chapter 11 cases as Loral, RCN, Cornerstone, Refco, Allegiance Telecom, Delphi, Coudert Brothers, Frontier Airlines, Star Tribune, Reader’s Digest, A&P, Hostess Brands, Christian Brothers, Momentive, Cenveo, 21st Century Oncology, Tops, G A&T, Sears, Full Beauty Brands, Sunguard, Windstream, Purdue Pharma, and Frontier Communications.  He also has presided over the ancillary or plenary cases, as the case may be, of Corporacion Durango, Satellites Mexicanas, Parmalat S.p.A. and its affiliated United States debtors, Varig S.A., Yukos (II), SphinX, Galvex Steel, TBS Shipping, Excel Maritime, Nautilus, Landsbanki Islands, Roust and Ultrapetrol.  He has served as the court-appointed mediator in a number of chapter 11 cases, including New Page, Cengage, Quicksilver, LightSquared, Molycorp, Breitburn Energy, and China Fisheries.

He is the author of a novel, The Great Work in the United States of America.

Associate Professor Gao Simin

Associate Professor Gao Simin
Tsinghua University

Simin Gao is an associate professor and associate dean at the Law School of Tsinghua University. She received her doctorate degree in law (S.J.D.) from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was a former Russell Ackoff Fellow (2011–2012) at Penn’s Wharton School of Business. She brings interdisciplinary perspective to a wide range of emerging issues that encompass bankruptcy law, corporation Law, financial law, law and economic and comparative law. She have authored several publications on Bankruptcy Law , financial law and regulation which appeared on law journals in the U.S. and EU, like American Bankruptcy Law Journal, European Business Organization Law Review, American Business Law Journal, Texas International Law Review, Banking law Journal, Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, and International Corporate Rescue. She was the only winner majoring in social science to receive the Extraordinary Excellent Prize of Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financing Student Abroad in 2012. She received the Peking Excellent Junior Scholar grant and several start-up grants from Department of Justice, Department of Education and Tsinghua University. She serves as the editor or peer reviewer for Chinese and U.S. leading law journals.

Professor Jason Harris

Professor Jason Harris
University of Sydney

Jason is Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Sydney Law School where he teaches and researches in the areas of Corporate Law, Insolvency Law, Commercial Law and Contracts. Jason's research is focused on the public and private regulation of financially distressed companies, including debt restructuring, voluntary administration, corporate governance and directors’ duties during financial distress and the regulation of corporate groups. Jason has published widely in these areas with 13 books and over 90 papers in scholarly and professional journals. Jason’s research is frequently cited in Australian courts, including the High Court of Australia as well as in Commonwealth parliamentary committees and by academic works in Australia and internationally. Jason is an active participant in law reform initiatives through his policy work with the Governance Institute of Australia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Corporations and Insolvency Committees of the Law Council of Australia. Jason is a former President of the Corporate Law Teachers’ Association and a former chair of the academic committee of the Banking and Financial Services Law Association. Jason has previously held academic positions at UNSW, the ANU and UTS and has held visiting positions in Canada, England and the United States.

Professor Gerard McCormack

Professor Gerard McCormack
University of Leeds

Gerard McCormack is Professor of International Business Law at the University of Leeds (UK). He previously was a Professor of Law at the University of Manchester as well as Professor of Law and Dean of the School of Law at the University of Essex. His primary areas of teaching and research include corporate and commercial law, with particular emphasis on corporate insolvency law and the interaction of law and business. He has held visiting positions in Singapore (National University and Singapore Management University) and Germany (Centre for European Law & Politics, University of Bremen). He leads a research team at the University of Leeds that looks at how to boost growth through strengthening investor and creditor protection in China, and what China can learn from the UK experience. The project is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and equivalent body in China. He has been lead investigator on two large European Commission funded project involving research collaborators in many different jurisdictions that have investigated (i) the reform and harmonization of substantive business restructuring and insolvency laws across the European Union Member States and (ii) security rights and the European Insolvency Regulation. He has published extensively in the field of insolvency and commercial law. His publications include “Corporate Rescue Law – An Anglo-American Perspective” (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008); “Secured Credit under English and American Law” (Cambridge University Press, 2004); “Universalism in insolvency proceedings and the common law” (2012) 32  Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 325; “COMI and comity in UK and US insolvency law” (2012) 128 Law Quarterly Review 140,  “Jurisdictional Competition and Forum Shopping in Insolvency Proceedings” (2009) 68 Cambridge Law Journal 169; “European Insolvency Law: Reform and Harmonization” (G McCormack with Andrew Keay and Sarah Brown, Edward Elgar, 2017); and “Transplanting Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code into Singapore’s restructuring and insolvency laws: opportunities and challenges” (with Wai Yee Wan), published in the Journal of Corporate Law Studies. 

Mr Andres F. Martinez

Mr Andres F. Martinez
The World Bank

Andrés F. Martinez is a senior financial sector specialist for the World Bank Group’s Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice. Since 2011 Andres has been advising several countries on debt-resolution reform, including on insolvency systems and debt recovery in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. In his current position, he leads the dialogue with several governments on technical issues related to debt resolution and insolvency. Andres is a lawyer by training with over 15 years of experience and a Magister in corporate law. He joined the World Bank Group in 2008 to lead the Insolvency indicator of the World Bank-IFC Doing Business project. Before joining the World Bank Group, Andres worked as senior associate at the restructuring and litigation department of a top Argentine law firm in Buenos Aires for over 6 years, where he advised clients like Citibank, Visa, Unilever and other large domestic and international corporations in secured transactions, debt enforcement, restructurings and liquidations.

Professor Irit Mevorach

Professor Irit Mevorach
University of Nottingham

Irit Mevorach is a Professor of International Commercial Law and the founder and co-director of the University of Nottingham Commercial Law Centre ( She teaches and researches issues of corporate law, enterprise groups, insolvency, cross-border insolvency and bank resolution. She holds degrees in law from Tel-Aviv University (LLB, 1997, LLM in Commercial Law, 2001) and UCL, London (PhD, 2006). Between 1998-2003, she practiced law at Lipa Meir & Co (Tel-Aviv, Israel) where she led financing and secured transactions, commercial litigation, and advice in corporate restructuring, liquidations and administrations. Since 2006, Professor Mevorach has been acting as an expert adviser to the UK government's delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and in 2013-2016 she represented the World Bank at the Commission, in deliberations in the areas of insolvency and cross-border insolvency.

In 2013, Professor Mevorach was appointed Senior Counsel to the World Bank and headed the Bank's Global Initiative on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes (2013-2015). In that capacity, she advised governments of some ten countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean on reform of business and personal insolvency and creditor/debtor systems. She also headed the Bank's Global Task Force on Insolvency and Creditor Rights. Professor Mevorach has retained a consultancy with the World Bank and continues to provide training and advice in projects involving emerging markets. Professor Mevorach was elected to the International Insolvency Institute (III) membership in 2012 and is currently the vice chair of the III academic wing. She is also on the Editorial Board of the Global Restructuring Review (GRR) and she is serving as the UK Correspondent, Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts (CLOUT).

Professor Mevorach is the author of Insolvency within Multinational Enterprise Groups (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Future of Cross-Border Insolvency: Overcoming Biases and Closing Gaps (Oxford University Press, 2018), and the co-author of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Insolvency, a Modular Approach (Oxford University Press, 2018). She has also published numerous articles in the UK, Europe and the USA.

SGRI CJ Christopher S Sontchi

Chief Judge Christopher S. Sontchi
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware

Christopher S. Sontchi is Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and is a frequent speaker in the United States and abroad on issues relating to corporate reorganizations. He is a Lecturer in Law at The University of Chicago Law School and teaches corporate bankruptcy to international judges through the auspices of the World Bank and INSOL International. He is also a member of the International Insolvency Institute, Judicial Insolvency Network, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, American Bankruptcy Institute, and INSOL International.

Judge Sontchi has testified before Congress on the safe harbors for financial contracts. He has also published articles on creditors’ committees, valuation, asset sales and safe harbors.

Judge Sontchi attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and obtained a B.A. with distinction in Political Science. He received his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, after which he returned to his native Delaware to serve as a law clerk in the Delaware Supreme Court.

Professor Richard Squire

Professor Richard Squire
Fordham University

Richard Squire is Professor of Law at Fordham Law School, where he holds the Alpin J. Cameron Chair in Law. He received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Bowdoin College. Professor Squire publishes primarily on the subjects of corporate law and corporate bankruptcy. His research has been published by some of the world´s law journals, including the Columbia Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and the Harvard Law Review. Some of his papers have been named "Top 10 best corporate and securities articles" in the United States by the Corporate Practice Commentator. Professor Squire has also published a leading textbook on corporate bankruptcy and financial reorganization, and he has contributed as an author to many edited books on corporate and bankruptcy law, including the Research Handbook on Corporate Bankruptcy Law and the Oxford Handbook on Corporate Law and Governance. He has twice been elected Fordham Law School's Teacher of the Year. He previously taught at Harvard College, where he won the Allyn Young Award for excellence in teaching principles of economics. From 2001 to 2002 he clerked for Judge Robert D. Sack on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and between 2002 and 2005 he was an associate with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz in New York City. He has been the Karl W. Leo Visiting Professor of Business Law at Duke Law School, the Joseph F. Cunningham Visiting Professor of Commercial and Insurance Law at Columbia Law School, and the Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Dr Felix Steffek

Dr Felix Steffek
University of Cambridge

Felix Steffek is a University Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge and a Senior Member of Newnham College. He serves as Director of the Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law (3CL). His research interests cover corporate law, insolvency law, commercial law, dispute resolution and technology & law.

Felix Steffek is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies and other academic journals. He is a Member of the Education Taskforce of the UK LawTech Delivery Panel.

He has acted as policy advisor and expert for the European Commission, the European Parliament, the World Bank, the OECD, national governments, courts, parliaments and science foundations. He received his education at Cambridge (LLM), Heidelberg (PhD, undergraduate) and Hamburg (Habilitation, court clerkship).

Professor Wataru Tanaka

Professor Wataru Tanaka
The University of Tokyo

Wataru Tanaka is Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Social Sciences and Comparative Law. He received his L.L.B. and PhD in Law from The University of Tokyo, and he has been a Visiting Scholar at several institutions, including the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. He previously served as Research Fellow at The University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics and Assistant Professor of Law at Seikei University. He publishes extensively in the field of corporate law, insolvency law, and commercial law. 

Professor Michael Veder

Professor Michael Veder
Radboud University

Michael Veder is professor of insolvency law at the Radboud Business Law Institute, vice-dean of research of the Faculty of Law of Radboud University and adviser at the Amsterdam based law firm RESOR. Michael is admitted to the bar in the Netherlands. He specialises in (international) insolvency law and secured transactions. He holds a doctorate in law from Radboud University. He is a member of the European Commission Group of Experts on Restructuring and Insolvency Law and was a member of the European Commission Expert Group on cross-border insolvency. He chairs the Dutch Insolvency Law Commission (Commissie Insolventierecht) that advises the Dutch government and parliament on matters relating to insolvency and restructuring. He is fellow of the Dutch Insolvency Practitioners Association (Vereniging Insolventierecht Advocaten (INSOLAD)), member and former chair of the Netherlands Association of Comparative and International Insolvency Law, member of INSOL Europe, for which he was a member of its Council and chair of its Academic Forum, and member of INSOL International, for which he is a member of its Academics’ Steering Committee. Michael regularly publishes, lectures and advises on (international and comparative aspects of) property law, secured transactions, insolvency and restructuring (and related disputes) and frequently speaks at conferences in the Netherlands and abroad. He is course leader of the Global Insolvency Practice Course for the Fellowship of INSOL International. Michael advises the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on insolvency and restructuring issues.

Professor Kristin van Zwieten

Dr Kristin van Zwieten
University of Oxford

Kristin van Zwieten is Clifford Chance Associate Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Oxford and the Gullifer Fellow at Harris Manchester College. She is Director of the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College, a Research Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute, and a co-founder and editor of the Oxford Business Law Blog. Prior to taking up her post at Oxford, Kristin was the John Collier Fellow in Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

Kristin’s research interests are broadly in law and finance and law and development. She has a particular specialism in corporate insolvency law, and her published works in this area include Goode on Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law (5th ed, 2018) and Commentary on the European Insolvency Regulation (with Prof Dr Reinhard Bork and others, OUP, 2016). She acts as a consultant to the World Bank in relation to insolvency related law reform, and in this and other capacities has been involved in various insolvency law reform projects in emerging markets. She has a particular interest in Indian law, having completed a doctorate (in the Oxford Law Faculty) on the subject of Indian corporate insolvency law. Kristin previously qualified as a lawyer in an Australian corporate law firm.