UCL Faculty of Laws

Prof Graham Penn

Prof Graham Penn

Professor of International Finance Law

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2003

Research summary

Graham’s research and teaching spans various fields of corporate and international finance law with particular focus on complex structured finance, including securitisation, in which he is recognised as a pre-eminent authority. 

Teaching summary

Graham has taught postgraduate courses in corporate and international finance law at UCL for almost 30 years.  Prior to his appointment at UCL he taught both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in banking and international finance law, Company Law and International Trade Finance Law at a number of leading universities in the UK.

Graham has written extensively on the law and regulation of corporate and international finance, including a number of leading textbooks and is the editor of the Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation.  He regularly presents papers at both academic and industry conferences in the UK and abroad.


Graham has worked in the European securitisation market since its inception on many ground breaking transactions.  He has also written extensively on structured finance and securitisation, most recently in June 2021 ('Regulating Securitisation in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis: Lessons from Europe', Penn and Papadogiannis, (2021) 36 JIBLR, Issue 6).  In addition to focusing on the legal issues arising from the way in which corporate and international finance transactions are structured he is also interested in the regulatory drivers and how the regulatory framework impacts such transactions.  Recent research focus includes conference papers and publications analysing the role debt finance instruments play in aspects of corporate governance and the regulatory treatment of securitisation in the aftermath of the most recent Global Financial crisis.  Graham's teaching is entirely research led and focuses on debt finance instruments which are currently used in the corporate and international finance markets.  Graham was awarded the UCL Laws' Excellence Award for Legal Teaching in 2017 and 2019.  

In addition to his academic position, Graham is apartner at one of the worlds’ largest law firms.  He has practiced as an international finance lawyer for over 30 years for a broad range of clients including large corporates, investment banks, sovereign states, funds, trustees and a broad range of corporate borrowers and investors.  He also regularly advises various governments and state related bodies on the introduction of new laws and regulation to facilitate and expand access to the international (cross border) capital markets.  Graham was included as one of the top 10 "European Legal Innovators of the Year" by the Financial Times whose report credited Graham as "a pioneer in structured finance and securitisation" noting that he "has been involved in some of the most ground-breaking transactions of the past two decades".  He was also included in the inaugural Chambers 100, a new ranking which ranked him as one of the top five capital markets lawyers in the UK and praised for his "superior legal knowledge" and his "ability to understand and document complex financing structures". He is listed in Euromoney's Expert Guide for Banking, Finance and Transaction 2021 as a world leading practitioner in Capital Markets and Structured Finance and Securitisation. He is consistently recognised year on year as a leading international finance lawyer by Chambers, The Legal 500, IFLR 1000, Who's Who Legal and, most recently, by Best Lawyers 2021.