Professor Gerard McCormack

Professor Gerard McCormack


I was previously 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.

I have taught at Queens University Belfast and the University of Southampton. I have also been a Visiting Professor in Singapore and a Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for European Law and Politics, University of Bremen.

Research interests

My research interests are in the corporate and commercial field, with particular emphasis on the interaction of law and business.

I also have an interest in property law and the harmonisation of law.

Currently, I am leading a team from the School of Law at the University of Leeds in a research project which commenced in February 2017 that looks at 'Boosting growth through strengthening investor and creditor protection in China: How China can learn from the UK experience.'

This project has been funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under its flagship Global Challenges Research Fund.  The Leeds funding is approximately £325K with an additional sum in excess of £200K going to our research collaborators in the Management School at the University of Wuhan. 

The principal research objective is to address whether and how growth in China can be sustained through development and reform of the financial and legal system taking on board both the historical experience in the UK and the interaction between the formal legal environment and less formal behavioural norms.

I have also been Principal Investigator on a number of projects that have been funded by the European Commission to the extent of €800,000.

One project - “Security Rights and the European Insolvency Regulation” - critically  evaluates the provisions governing rights in rem (security rights) and transactional avoidance in the European Insolvency Regulation and addresses whether there is scope for reform of the law.  The research findings have now been published in book form by Intersentia -

The second – a study for the Commission on substantive insolvency law and the prospects for greater EU harmonisation – involved colleagues Andrew Keay, Sarah Brown and Judith Dahlgreen from the University of Leeds, and a team of national reporters collecting data on insolvency law matters in the 28 EU Member States.  The Leeds project team then carried out horizontal, cross-cutting analysis of the data; identifying areas where  disparities in national laws produce problems that have impacts outside national boundaries.

The comparative evaluation and analysis is approached from the perspective of creating an environment that tries to avert business and personal economic failure but, at the same time, sanctions severely conduct that constitutes an abuse of the fundamental freedoms underpinning the EU legal order. The report and analysis is intended to achieve a greater concordance between insolvency law, the regulatory instruments of insolvency practice, and the Europe 2020 growth strategy of fostering economic recovery and sustainable growth.  The objective is to facilitate a situation where economic and social systems are adaptable, resilient and fair; where economic activity is sustainable and where human values are respected.

The results have been published in book form by Edward Elgar -

Current research projects:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BCL, LLM, PhD

Professional memberships

  • Barrister-at-Law (kings Inns Dublin)

Student education

My postgraduate teaching is in the areas of International Corporate Rescue, International Insolvency Law, International Law of Credit and Security and International Trade Finance Law.

In recent years I have also taught trusts at undergraduate level.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>