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) as well as Trier, Nottingham and Berlin (2015).
At the Paris conference, Professor Christoph Paulus (Humboldt University Berlin) was elected Chair of the Academic Forum for a three-year term from 2013 to 2016. Anthon Verweij (Leiden Law School) serves as Secretary to the Board, while Florian Bruder (Max Planck Institute, Hamburg), Jessica Schmidt (University of Bayreuth), Jenny Gant (Chair of the Young Academics Network’ in Insolvency), Myriam Mailly and Emmanuelle Inacio (INSOL Europe Technical Officers) as well as Rolef de Weijs (University of Amsterdam), Professor Michael Veder (Radboud University Nijmegen) are ordinary members of the Board. Professor Rebecca Parry (Nottingham Law School) 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 between 2007 and 2014 and now Shakespeare Martineau from 2014 onwards, the Academic Forum has been able to offer young scholars travel grants to attend its conferences, research grants for scholarly projects as well as prizes for outstanding legal scholarship awarded on the basis of monographs and publications. Edwin Coe LLP has also kindly sponsored an annual lecture to be given by a scholar of international repute. These have included Professor Jay Westbrook (University of Texas at Austin), Gabriel Moss QC (3/4 South Square, Gray’s Inn, London), The Hon Mr Justice Ian Kawaley (Supreme Court of Bermuda), Professor Karsten Schmidt (President of the Bucerius Law School, Hamburg), Professor Bob Wessels (Leiden Law School), Professor Ian Fletcher QC (University College London), Professor Rosalind Mason (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane) and Professor Axel Flessner (Humboldt University Berlin).
A series of publications arising from Academic Forum conferences was inaugurated in 2009 by reports from the 2008 Leiden and Barcelona events with the intention being to publish conference proceedings booklets from all of the conferences listed above. 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 and practitioners alike.
The Academic Forum’s next meeting will be the annual conference, which is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the INSOL Europe conference in Lisbon on 21-22 September 2016. Further events are being planned for 2016 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.