UCL Faculty of Laws


Developing global norms for improved resolution of cross-border insolvencies

This case study is part of the 2021 REF submission in which UCL Laws was assessed as No.1 for research excellence in the UK.


Professor Ian Fletcher was a world-renowned expert on the law of international insolvency and specifically cross-jurisdictional resolution of transnational insolvencies. He joined UCL in 2001, and was Professor of International Commercial Law until he sadly died in July 2018.

Professor Fletcher's work had great impact, not just in the UK but globally. He was a world-renowned insolvency scholar, with his work informing policy-makers and shaping insolvency law for over 40 years.


Professor Ian Fletcher’s research has underpinned initiatives to develop globally applicable non-binding ‘soft law’ principles on cross-border insolvency, and guidelines on cooperation and communication between courts, which have:

  • Informed judicial support for a ‘universalist’ approach to cross-border insolvency proceedings; and
  • Spurred further soft-law initiatives for global court-to-court cooperation, leading to the guidelines  and  their  offshoots supporting  EU  law  reform  and being  listed  as  references  for courts and practitioners in practice directions and court procedure in countries including the UK, US, Singapore, the Netherlands, Australia, Korea, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. 

These developments have facilitated more coordinated and expeditious resolution of cross-border insolvencies, benefiting debtors, creditors, judges, practitioners and the stability of global commerce and investment.

References to the research

Ian Fletcher, ‘The Quest for Global Insolvency Law: A Challenge for our Time’(2002) 55 Current Legal Problems 427–445. https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/55.1.427. 

Ian Fletcher, Insolvency in Private International Law: National and International Approaches (OUP, 2nd ed 2005 and supplement 2007).

Gabriel Moss QC, Ian Fletcher  QC and Stuart Isaacs QC (eds.), The EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings:  A Commentary and  Annotated Guide (OUP, 2nd ed 2009) (chapters 3 and 4, authored by Ian Fletcher). 

Ian Fletcher and Bob Wessels, Transnational Insolvency: Global Principles for Cooperation in International Insolvency Cases. Report to American Law Institute, 2012, https://www.iiiglobal.org/sites/default/files/alireportmarch_0.pdf.