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ILA President's Column - Welcome To Our Insolvency Academic Members

06/12/10

It gives me great pleasure to announce that, with effect from 1 December 2010, we have taken into our fold the large and energetic community of insolvency academics in the UK. 

One of the first manifestations will be at the ILA's pre-conference colloquium to be held on Friday 25 March 2011 in Oxford.

The following 11 distinguished academics are already honorary members of our Academic Advisory Group: Sir Roy Goode QC, David Milman, Adrian Walters, Sarah Worthington QC, Harry Rajak, Ian Fletcher, Andrew Keay, John Tribe, Fiona Tolmie, Paul Omar and Vanessa Finch.  

With effect from 1 December 2010, approximately 70 more academics have become members for a calendar year, and we will look to renew the arrangements, perhaps more formally, in a year's time.

This development is designed to provide mutual benefits for members and academics alike, and reflects the enormous advantages that the practising profession has enjoyed from the clarity of thought from the academic community since the birth of the ILA in 1989. 

For instance, in January 1990 Professor Roy Goode signed off his preface to the first edition of "Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law", a revolution in its time. Few practitioners had hitherto brought to bear on the subject anything like the intellectual rigour which Roy Goode introduced in his little book.  And now, with a 4th edition to be published in 2011, as the intervening editions amply demonstrate, many of the earlier thoughts of Sir Roy (as he now is) merged with or stimulated new ideas and concepts. Academic learning of such a high quality feeds into practitioners' case strategies and legal submissions, which eventually find their way into the leading judgments, thereby contributing directly to the dynamism of insolvency law which we have experienced over the last 20 years. If any evidence is needed, then the Spectrum decision in the House of Lords provides it.

It is invidious to name names in this way, but each of our current honorary members has made an enormous contribution to our stock of ideas over the same period. Other leading academics such as John Armour and Sandra Frisby, to name a couple, have produced work which has caused practitioners to be ever more informed and sophisticated in their assessment of their cases, and the issues within their cases.

They have provided and continue to offer our members an enormous benefit.  

For our part we consider that the ILA has much to offer them:

(i) access to our technical output. They will automatically receive all our technical bulletins, like any other member;

(ii) the ability to publish material on our website;

(iii) the sponsorship of an insolvency law colloquium on Friday 25 March 2011 in Oxford;

(iv) special rates to encourage attendance as a day delegate at our annual conference on Saturday 26 March 2011 in Oxford;

(v) access to our practising membership (e.g. for the announcement of relevant academic events or to gather data for research projects) and

(vi) attendance at our annual dinner in common with the whole membership.

In return, the academics have agreed:

(i) to launch, moderate and use the forum on our website - to that end, John Tribe of Kingston University has agreed to chair a sub-committee with Jeremy Bamford and others (reporting into Council member and chair of Technical Committee, Rita Lowe);

 (ii) to attend the ILA's pre-conference insolvency colloquium on Friday 25 March 2011 at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford. The ILA will pay reasonable travel expenses for those travelling to and from Oxford for ther colloquium (unfortunately, largesse runs out at accommodation). Professor David Milman will appoint a sub-committee with some of our practitioner members to organise the event, to establish the structure and content of the day, any invitations to overseas participants, and to identify the materials to be generated from the event for publication on our website and

 (iii) the provision of written materials and papers for publicationto our members via our website.

With this initiative, we are giving proper recognition to the enormous contribution which the academic community has made and will continue to make in the development of what our members do from day to day, year to year.  From the International Insolvency Review to Insolvency Intelligence, they are all supported by distinguished editorial boards of nationally and internationally respected insolvency academics and practitioners. Council is of the view that the ILA should also benefit from a closer collaboration with our academic colleagues. They are very welcome.

Peter Cranston

President