Impact and engagement

Centre for Business Law and Practice

law books

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 international conferences 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 policymakers. Staff members provide their expertise to law firms, global corporations, accounting bodies, national law reform bodies and government departments in various countries, and international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Transparency International, European Commission, European and Economic Social Committee, International Competition Network and others.

Some examples of Centre for Business Law and Practice (CBLP) members’ recent engagement activities include:


  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking at the Global Competition Review Live 2nd Annual IP, Antitrust and Innovation event on the ‘Digital platforms, data, innovation and market power’ panel (8 October 2019)
  • Dr Suren Gomtsian contributing a blog post on the Oxford Business Law Blog on shareholder engagement by large institutional investors (29 August 2019)
  • Professor Gerrard McCormack contributing to the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions’ (Eurofound) forthcoming white paper on ‘Debt Settlement and Debt Advisory Services’ (20 August 2019)
  • Dr Suren Gomtsian’s research on shareholder engagement by large institutional investors being referred to by the Financial Times (4 August 2019)
  • Dr Suren Gomtsian’s research on shareholder engagement by large institutional investors being reported by the Financial Times and the Institute of Directors (29 July 2019)
  • Professor Rita de la Feria’s comments sought by the Financial Times on VAT evasion and avoidance (29 July 2019)
  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking the Tenth Meeting of the UNCTAD Research Partnership Platform on competition and consumer protection policies in the digital era at the United Nations, Geneva, (10 July 2019)
  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking at the World Economic Forum on competition policy in a globalized, digitalized economy and leading the workshop ‘Digitalization and International Economic Policy: Tax, Competition, Trade and Investment’ in Geneva (8 July 2019)
  • Professor Pinar Akman appointed by the World Economic Forum to author a White Paper on Competition Policy in a Globalized, Digitalized Economy (July 2019)
  • Professor Joan Loughrey writing in Modern Law Magazine Issue 43 on ethical risk and culture in the legal profession (28 June 2019)
  • Professor Pinar Akman’s interview by BBC Radio Leeds/BBC Look North on Leeds City Council practices (24 June 2019)
  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking as an invited speaker at an international conference on the digital economy and economic concentration jointly organized by the Israeli Competition Authority, Tel Aviv University and Haifa University in Tel Aviv, where she spoke about online platforms and two-sided markets (11-12 June 2019).
  • Professor Fiona Smith’s participation in ‘Sharing legal knowledge: Working with Parliament, Business and Farmers on Brexit’, Policy Engagement in Practice, N8 Policy Week (10 June 2019).
  • Professor Fiona Smith speaking to policy advisers, Westminster MPs, Head of the Food Standards Agency, DEFRA at the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum Policy Conference: ‘Food regulation in the UK - adapting to the new regulatory framework and priorities post-Brexit’, London (4 June 2019).
  • The University of Leeds Interdisciplinary Global Food and Environment Institute being internally launched where Professor Fiona Smith, the Associate Director with responsibility for university research on agrifood supply chains, spoke about the university’s research on the topic (3 June 2019).
  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking as an invited speaker at the Slovak Competition Authority’s international conference on ‘Current Trends in Slovak and European Competition Law’, organised in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of Comenius University, in Bratislava, where she spoke on a panel concerning vertical restraints in competition law (22 May 2019).
  • Professor Gerrard McCormack acting as the national reporter for CERIL (Conference for European Restructuring and Insolvency Law) project on ‘Harmonisation of Transactional Avoidance Laws and Insolvency Proceedings in Europe’, launch symposium in Amsterdam (9 May 2019).
  • Professor Gerrard McCormack’s participation as external adviser and expert evaluator at JCOERE (Judicial co-operation for economic recovery in Europe) meetings at the University of Florence (6-7 May 2019).
  • Dr Nicolo Zingales giving a public lecture on Personal Data Stores at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Western Australia (3 May 2019).
  • Professor Joan Loughrey’s response to the Consultation on the use of non-disclosure agreements in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination, organized by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (April 2019).
  • Dr Suren Gomtsian’s response to the Consultation on the Proposed Revision of the UK Stewardship Code (April 2019).
  • Professor Rita de la Feria’s interview to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on the impact of the Panama Papers Leaks (March 2019), which also resulted in extensive printed media coverage worldwide. (April 2019).
  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking legal ethical challenges raised by Artificial Intelligence disruption in business at the Leeds Digital Festival, on a panel organised by the collaborative platform AI Tech UK (26 April 2019).
  • Dr Konstantinos Stylianou co-authoring a response to the Financial Conduct Authority's public consultation on the regulation of cryptoassets (24 April 2019).
  • The Peruvian Competition Authority, Indecopi Oficial, publishing Professor Peter Whelan’s two-part keynote lecture on cartel criminalisation which was delivered at the Authority as an e-book (in Spanish) (3 April 2019).
  • Professor Rita de la Feria’s various meetings and engagement with Brazilian stakeholders in the context of the ongoing Brazilian tax reform. (March 2019).
  • Dr Nicolo Zingales organizing and chairing meetups on Personal Data and AI and on Personal Data: the Business, Technical and Legal Challenges with the Mydata London Hub (13 March and 5 June 2019).
  • Professor Pinar Akman’s oral evidence being cited in the Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications on ‘Regulating in a digital world’ in the context of recommendations for a reformed application of competition law in digital markets (9 March 2019).
  • The Angolan Parliament’s approval of the new VAT law, which Professor Rita de la Feria assisted drafting, at the direct request of the Angolan Government, and the IMF. The law is expected to inter into force on 1 October 2019. (February 2019).
  • Professor Pinar Akman speaking at the inaugural OECD Competition Open Day in Paris where she spoke on a panel on vertical restraints in e-commerce and discussed some of her recent research findings in the area of online vertical restraints and platform most-favoured-customer clauses. The Open Day was attended by over 350 delegates and the webcast of the conference was watched in 45 countries (27 February 2019).
  • Dr Subhajit Basu discussing the challenges of regulating Artificial Intelligence with Risk Group (8 February 2019).
  • Professor Gerrard McCormack’s seminar on schemes of arrangement to the Singapore Judicial College at the Supreme Court of Singapore (23 January 2019).
  • Professor Whelan providing oral evidence to the Competition Law Review Committee, which was set up by the Indian Government to review and propose amendments to its Competition Act (18 January 2019).



  • Dr Paul Wragg designing and writing standards code and accompanying guidance as a member of the code committee of IMPRESS, the UK’s only recognised press regulator. This code is used by press members and the public in complaints about ethical breaches (2017).
  • Dr Colin Mackie being a member of a project team led by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (Irish EPA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which, between December 2015 and December 2017 developed guidance documents for operators and regulators on the issue of financial provision (e.g. insurance, bonds and guarantees) for environmental liabilities (2017).
  • Professor Andrew Keay's work Keay and McPherson Company Liquidation (Sweet and Maxwell, 2017, 4th ed) has been cited in numerous cases, including the UK Supreme Court in English Court of Appeal in Akers v Samba Financial Group [2017] UKSC 6, the English Court of Appeal in JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2018] EWCA Civ 1176, the Supreme Court of New Zealand in David Browne Contractors Ltd v Petterson [2017] NZSC 116, the New Zealand Court of Appeal in Finnigan v Ellis [2017] NZCA 488 the High Court of England and Wales in both Smile Stylist Ltd v Harte Solutions Ltd [2017] EWHC 2971 (Ch) and Hussein v Haus of Vanity Ltd [2017] EWHC 2615 (Ch) and the Western Australian Court of Appeal in Frigger v Kitay [2017] WASCA 139 (2017).
  • Professor Graham Dutfield being appointed to the Expert Working Group on Traditional Knowledge and Genetic Resources, at the Canada-based think tank Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) (2017).
  • Professor Peter Whelan having his book on cartel criminalisation relied upon and cited in a judgment rendered by the Competition Tribunal of Chile: Judgment No. 160/2017 (28 December 2017).
  • Professor Rita de la Feria writing an op-ed to the Guardian on how to tax multinationals (13 December 2017).
  • Professor Rita de la Feria working with BBC Panorama and the Guardian on the Paradise Paper leaks (6 November 2017).
  • Professor Pinar Akman giving evidence to the House of Lords on Brexit and competition (12 October 2017).
  • Professor Peter Whelan presenting his research at both the Annual Conference (Porto, Portugal) and the Annual Cartel Workshop (Ottawa, Canada) of the International Competition Network (10 May 2017 and 6 October 2017). 
  • Professor Peter Whelan delivering a keynote address on his research at the Kenyan Competition Authority in Nairobi, Kenya (29 September 2017). 
  • Professor Joan Loughrey speaking about her research on the role of compliance officers in law firms as an invited discussant at Clyde and Co Annual Compliance Officer Conference, London (attended by Compliance personnel of top 50 London law firms) (16 May 2017).
  • Dr Joanne Hawkins speaking to the North West Agricultural Society about the legal implications of shale gas exploration for landowners (4 May 2017).
  • Professor Andrew Keay’s work on enlightened shareholder value and derivative actions cited by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee report in relation to its inquiry into Corporate Governance (third session of 2016-17, HC 702) (April 2017).
    Professor Duncan Sheehan organising a conference in conjunction with the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project with academic and practitioner speakers, and representatives from BEIS and the Law Commission (6 January 2017).


  • Professor Duncan Sheehan submitting a response to the Law Commission’s consultation paper on Bills of Sale on behalf of the Chancery Bar Association, which was cited in agreement in the Law Commission Bills of Sale Consultation Responses – Analysis (2016) and in subsequent report Bills of Sale (Law Comm no 369 2016).
  • Professor Duncan Sheehan responding to the consultation on the 13th programme of law reform for the Law Commission (2016).
  • Professor Andrew Keay speaking to EC officers, legal and insolvency practitioners and officers of governments of Member States at the European Commission’s conference "Convergence of Insolvency Frameworks within the European Union – the Way Forward" in Brussels about Avoidance Actions in EU Insolvencies (12 July 2016).
  • Dr Joanne Hawkins speaking to members of Medact (an NGO which campaigns for global health on issues related to conflict, poverty and the environment) on health and fracking (10 June 2016).
  • Dr Joanne Hawkins speaking to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors on her article outlining legal and regulatory issues relating to fracking (28 April 2016).
  • Professor Duncan Sheehan participating in a meeting of the Secured Transactions Code Advisory Group of the City of London Law Society (5 January 2016).  
  • Professors Gerard McCormack, Andrew Keay, and Sarah Brown co-authoring major report on Restructuring, Second Chance, Over-indebtedness and Insolvency, which heavily influences European Commission's proposal for a Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the  efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures (January 2016).
  • Professor Peter Whelan having his work on hub-and-spoke cartels quoted in a reply  submitted to the Competition Tribunal of Chile by counsel for Walmart Chile in the case Requerimiento de la Fiscalía Nacional Económica en contra de Cencosud S.A. y otras, Rol C-304-2016 (2016).