Dr Virág Blazsek
- Position: Lecturer in Commercial, Corporate and Banking Law
- Areas of expertise: banking law and regulation; bank bailouts; bank resolution; financial crisis and financial stability-related legal, regulatory, institutional, and policy issues
- Email: V.I.Blazsek@leeds.ac.uk
- Location: 2.36 Liberty Building
- Website: Personal Website | SSRN | Twitter | LinkedIn | Researchgate | ORCID
I am a Lecturer in Commercial, Corporate and Banking Law and the Study Abroad Programme Coordinator of the School of Law at the University of Leeds. Before joining the Faculty in Leeds, I held various research and teaching positions at Central European University (2014-18), Fordham University School of Law (2016), Columbia Law School (2017), Budapest Business School (2018), and the George Washington University School of Law (2018-19). Currently, I also serve as an External Examiner at King’s College London, a Visiting Lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University, and I am listed on the expert roster of the International Monetary Fund (banking law and bank resolution).
I earned Jur. dr., LLM, SJD and PhD degrees in the U.S. and Hungary. I also studied Commercial Law, International Law, and EU Law at the University of Girona School of Law, Spain for two semesters. Further, I served as a DAAD scholar at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and I was a Thomas Buergenthal scholarship recipient at the George Washington University School of Law, Washington, D.C. I came back to academia after a decade of law practice: prior to my doctoral studies, I worked on business and commercial law issues and also developed legal compliance curriculum related to housing mortgages, state-subsidized housing loans, consumer protection and competition law. Earlier, I worked at prestigious law firms, including at Winston & Strawn’s Paris Office on international investment arbitration matters, and in 2007-14, as an in-house counsel and manager before, during, and in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis at a market-leading financial institution’s Legal Directorate in Budapest. Before joining the faculty in Leeds, I worked as an attorney on the legal support of global investments and operations at the Office of Investment Management of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund in New York, NY.
I am native in Hungarian, fluent in Spanish (DELE Superior), and I also speak German (ZMP).
- School of Law Study Abroad Coordinator (University of Leeds)
- External Examiner (King's College London)
- Visiting Lecturer (Eötvös Loránd University)
My scholarship is focused on financial stability-related legal, regulatory, institutional, and policy issues from a comparative perspective. I regularly serve as an ad hoc reviewer for law and economics journals and publishers. I have worked in various research projects in the U.S., the U.K., the EU, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Hungary.
I have been a fellow in the Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship programme (2022-23): I received funding for my research project aiming to create a professional network and external partnership activities between the University of Leeds School of Law and stakeholders in the Leeds Financial and FinTech hub and to make policy recommendations. This is a brief project video taken at the 11 May 2023 ‘Leeds Financial and Fintech Law Conference 2023’ I organised in order to creat the Leeds Financial and FinTech hub.
My research to date has encompassed the following issues: legal-regulatory responses to the 2008 global financial crisis in the U.S. and the EU, the comparative analysis of the bank bailouts in the U.S., U.K., the EU, Spain and Hungary, the role of constitutional public debt-ceiling and public finances-related provisions in the post-2008 legal framework, bank resolution regimes, and the state aid and antitrust aspects of bank bailouts. I am the author of the book, Banking Bailout Law: A Comparative Study of the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union (Routledge U.S. & U.K., 2020). The book addresses the timely subject of banking bailout law, investigating the question of “what went wrong with the European bank bailouts” after the 2008 financial crisis, and asking how bailouts could be regulated and conducted more successfully in the future. It examines the different bank bailout and resolution techniques and tools through carefully selected case studies from the U.S., the EU, the U.K., Spain and Hungary. The pros and cons of the different legal and regulatory options are identified in order to reconstruct a regulatory framework that might better serve countries in future financial crises. According to one of the reviewers, a chief strengths of the book is the construction of several useful analytical frameworks, the creation of the set of guiding principles, the systematization of bailout ‘building blocks’ and the ‘effectiveness’ criteria. The overall argument of the book is that regulators should put in place reasonable bailout rules ex ante rather than sticking their heads in the sand. Recently, I published two blog posts related to my book in Columbia Law School’s Blue Sky Blog and Duke University School of Law’s FinReg Blog.
I am the co-editor of the Conference Report, Inaugural Conference on Recent Developments in Insolvency Law Reflections on the Pandemic and Brexit hosted by the Centre for Business Law and Practice at the University of Leeds on 13 May 2022.
I have participated in three major comparative legal research projects, all of which culminated in book or other publications in Remedies in Contract Law in Europe (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., forthcoming 2023), in Security Rights and the European Insolvency Regulation (Chapter 8. Central and Eastern European Systems - Hungary, Poland and Lithuania) (Intersentia Publishing House, Cambridge, U.K., 2017) and in Estate Planning (in Hungarian) (Közjegyzői Akadémia Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary, 2015). Recently, I contributed to a study on resolution authorities and their institutional settings in EU Member States, Legal Research Publication Series, Bank of Italy with a Research Report on Bank Resolution in Hungary (July 2023).
My co-authored article, ‘Conservatorship, quantitative easing, and mortgage spreads: a new multi-equation score-driven model of policy actions’, in Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics (March 31, 2022), the effects of United States policy actions on mortgage-backed security and mortgage loan spreads are measured, by using data before, during, and after the US subprime mortgage crisis.
My article, ‘The European Aspects of Global Financial Developments’ (11 J. Bus. Entrepreneurship & L. 233, 2018), focuses on three key issues; Europe’s post-2008 bank bailouts and its consequential sovereign-debt crisis, the role of the international credit rating agencies, and the EU’s major recent regulatory developments related to the financial sector. Some of the EU’s post-2008 reforms -- such as stress testing, stricter prudential requirements, and enhanced consumer protection -- have been in line with international regulatory tendencies. But that slow and expensive decision-making, member states’ failure to compromise on fundamental issues, and misguided rules for bank resolution and supervision have harmed the EU’s global competitiveness.
My article, ‘Sovereign Debt-ceiling Rules in the Spanish and Hungarian Constitutions and their Interplay with the Relevant EU Laws’ (International Conference on Trade, Business, Economics and Law Proceedings, St. Anne’s College, Oxford University, Oxford, U.K., 2015) builds upon the existing literature on the constitutional dimension of financial crises, and applies those findings to the context of Spain and Hungary. In particular, it focuses on the constitutional debt-ceiling rules and interprets the Spanish and Hungarian developments not only as a response to the requirements set out on a supranational level, but also as part of the post-crisis architecture of economic governance and the forming bank union.
In my other article, titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of the Bad Asset Management Companies of Spain and Hungary: the Devil is in the Details’ (Queen Mary Law Journal Volume 8: Conference Issue, London, U.K., 2016), I argue that the creation of bad banks may have had positive short-term effects, such as the enhanced protection of investors’ and shareholders’ interests, and the promotion of the banking system’s stability, yet, in the long-term, bad banks may increase sovereign debt and contribute to economic instability.
During the 2008 financial crisis, the European Commission temporarily deflected from the EU’s antitrust laws in order to allow the rescue of the “too big to fail” banks. My article, ‘Competition Law and State Aid for Failing Banks in the European Union and its Specific Implications for Central and Eastern European Member States’ (Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies, vol. 9(14), Warsaw, Poland, 2016), concludes that bank bailouts led to different effects on market structure and consumer welfare in the EU’s Eurozone and non-Eurozone areas and may have distorted the common market inadvertently.
My master’s thesis (published monograph), ‘The 2009 Credit Card Interchange Fee Decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority: a Comparative Case Study’ (Lap Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, 2011), built upon my previous work as an in-house counsel in the bank card interchange fee proceedings of the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA). I compared and analyzed the decision of the HCA with the relevant Visa and MasterCard decisions of the European Commission, the competition authority of the EU. I acquired a deeper understanding of the bank card industry, two-sided markets, and the crucial importance of economic analysis in antitrust matters.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- Certificate in Excellence in Teaching in Higher Education
- SJD and LLM in International Business Law, Central European Univeristy
- LLM in Business and Finance Law, George Washington University
- LLM in U.S. and Global Business Law, Suffolk University
- PhD in Law and Jur. dr., Eötvös Loránd University
- Fellow, Higher Education Academy (2023-present)
- Society of Legal Scholars (2022-present)
- American Bar Association (2020-2021)
- American Branch of International Law Association (Investment Law Committee-member) (2016-2021)
I currently teach on the following modules:
- International Banking Law: The Regulatory Framework (LAW5562M);
- International Corporate Insolvency Law (LAW5461M); and
- Central Issues in Arbitration (LAW5952M).
I am the Module Leader for Central Issues in Arbitration (LAW5952M). I am also the Programme Coordinator and Module Leader for the School of Law’s study abroad programme [Study Abroad (LAW9001) and Study Abroad: Criminal Justice and Criminology (LAW9004)].
In previous years I have also taught on the following modules:
- Contract Law (LAW1030);
- Insolvency Law (LAW5460M); and
- Commercial Law: Commercial and Consumer Sales (LAW3371).
I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in various areas of Business Law and Law and Finance.
In 2022-2026, I have been serving as an External Examiner for five law modules on two LLM programmes at King’s College London.
I am a regular Visiting Lecturer in the Fiscal and Financial Federalism in the EU course on the LLM in International and European Taxation program (in English) at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law, Budapest, Hungary. In previous years, I was a Visiting Lecturer at Central European University (Vienna, Austria), Corvinus University (Budapest, Hungary), Budapest Business School (Hungary), and Hult Business School (Cambridge, MA, USA).
I hold a Certificate in Excellence in Teaching in Higher Education, which was awarded by Central European University.
I am happy to supervise PhD students in areas of my expertise, especially in banking and financial law.
Skill-building is a significant part of legal education. Coming back to academia after having practiced law for ten years enables me to assist students in skill-building in an authentic way; students get many chances throughout my courses to improve their relevant skills, such as thoroughness, problem-solving and analytical skills. Innovative teaching methods such as blended learning are especially efficient in this respect; combining classroom learning with the usage of a variety of online teaching tools is great because it is so flexible and blended environments can help facilitate learning as digital surfaces enable a more customized instruction, support and feedback for students. Online tools enable to form learning communities which multiplies the available information too. In the area of social sciences, one needs to be interdisciplinary and comparative. Separating any legal issue from its economic and social context is artificial. Legal-regulatory changes in the financial sector have been turbulent in the past decade or so, and similar tendencies can be predicted. Therefore, innovative and interdisciplinary approach in the legal education is a must in order to meet the needs of the job market.
Coming from a region which has been in dynamic legal-economic transition in the past thirty years enables me to understand the post-2008 legal developments in banking more profoundly and in their global context. Having studied macro- and micro-economics, taxation, accounting, sociology, philosophy, and psychology during my legal studies enables me to apply a truly interdisciplinary approach in my teaching. Having gained experience in different education systems as a student allows me to reflect on their attributes which has also shaped my teaching philosophy.
Research groups and institutes
- Centre for Business Law and Practice