The INSOL Europe Academic Forum, founded in 2004, is a constituent body of INSOL Europe, a Europe-wide association of practitioners in insolvency. The Academic Forum’s primary mission is to engage in the representation of members interested in insolvency law and research, to encourage and assist in the development of research initiatives in the insolvency field and to participate in the activities organised by INSOL Europe. The membership of the Academic Forum includes insolvency academics, insolvency practitioners with recognised academic credentials as well as those engaged in the research and study of insolvency. The Academic Forum meets annually in conjunction with the main conference of INSOL Europe and also arranges half-yearly conferences around suitable themes of interest to the practice and academic communities. Previous meetings have taken place in Prague (2004), Amsterdam (2005), Monaco (2007), Leiden and Barcelona (2008), Brighton and Stockholm (2009), Leiden and Vienna (2010), Milan, Venice and Jersey (2011), Nottingham and Brussels (2012), Trier and Paris (2013), Leiden and Istanbul (2014), Trier, Nottingham and Berlin (2015) as well as a further visit to Berlin (2016). A number of smaller events, including University seminars and colloquia, are also co-hosted by the Academic Forum with institutions across Europe.
At Paris, Professor Christoph Paulus (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany) was elected Chair of the Academic Forum for a three-year term. Anthon Verweij (Leiden University, the Netherlands) serves as Secretary to the Board, while Florian Bruder (Max Planck Institute, Germany), Jessica Schmidt (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Jennifer Gant (Chair of the Young Academics’ Network in Insolvency Law), Emmanuelle Inacio and Myriam Mailly (INSOL Europe Technical Officers), Rolef de Weijs (Amsterdam University, the Netherlands) and Michael Veder (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands) are ordinary members of the Board. Professor Rebecca Parry (Nottingham Trent University, the United Kingdom) is the Editor of the Conference Proceedings series and ex officio a member of the board. A Supervisory Committee has also been established as a consultative board for Academic Forum projects whose membership includes senior insolvency academics and practitioners.
With sponsorship made available by Edwin Coe LLP over a seven-year period from 2007-2014 and Shakespeare Martineau from 2015 onwards, the Academic Forum has been able to offer young scholars travel grants to attend its conferences. The sponsorship has also permitted for an annual lecture to be given by a scholar of international repute. These have included Professor Jay Westbrook (University of Texas, the United States), Gabriel Moss QC (3/4 South Square, Gray’s Inn, the United Kingdom), The Hon Mr Justice Ian Kawaley (Supreme Court of Bermuda), Professor Karsten Schmidt (President of the Bucerius Law School, Germany), Professor Bob Wessels (Leiden Law School, the Netherlands), Professor Ian Fletcher QC (University College London, United Kingdom), Professor Rosalind Mason (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Professor Axel Flessner (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany).
These lectures and many of the presentations at the Academic Forum conferences have been collected in the conference proceedings booklets that have been regularly published since the publications series arising from conferences was inaugurated in 2009 by reports from the 2008 Leiden and Barcelona events. The intention is that conference proceedings booklets will be published from all of the conferences listed above and will accompany other publications in the Technical Series produced by INSOL Europe and the Judicial Wing. Overall, the publications are intended to form a comprehensive report of the conferences and contain accounts of recent research in the insolvency field useful for academics, judges, policy-makers and practitioners alike.
The Academic Forum’s next meeting is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the INSOL Europe conference in Cascais, Portugal on 21-22 September 2016, with further conferences being planned for 2017 and beyond. Details of academic conferences will be posted at the Academic Forum website at: <www.insol-europe.org/academic/> as and when available. An on-line registration facility for academic conferences as well as further information about the work of the Academic Forum can also be obtained via the website as well as a dedicated Facebook page.