Dr Riz Mokal

Called to the Bar 1997

Riz joined Chambers as an Academic Member in 2005 and took up full-time practice in 2016. His practice covers all aspects of English and cross-border insolvency, restructuring, and bank resolution law, as well as company, commercial, and trust law.

Since 2016, he has been instructed in relation to some of the most significant insolvency and restructuring proceedings in England and abroad, including those of Bell Group (Curaçao), British Steel (England), Greensill Capital (England), Hanjin (South Korea), Lehman Brothers (England, New York), NMC Healthcare (Abu Dhabi), OW Bunker (Denmark), Primeo (Cayman Islands), Seadrill (Texas), Unister (Germany), Yukos (Switzerland), and The Z Trusts (Jersey). He also acts in personal bankruptcy matters (for example Tyshchenko and Makki).

Riz has particular expertise in the insolvency of financial institutions, and regularly advises and represents the Financial Conduct Authority and other stakeholders on issues at the intersection of insolvency and financial regulation. In addition to Lehman Brothers, he has acted in relation to Allied Wallet, Beaufort, Dolfin Financial, Fysche Horton Finney, ipagoo, Reyker, and Sova, amongst others.

He also serves as an expert witness in proceedings in foreign courts. For example, an expert opinion on the interaction between insolvency law and the Cape Town Convention given jointly with Professor Louise Gullifer, Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at Cambridge University, was accepted by the High Court of Malaysia in its pathbreaking February 2021 AirAsiaX judgment, while an opinion on derivative actions and breach of fiduciary duty in Cayman Islands law given jointly with Felicity Toube QC was accepted by the Supreme Court of New York in its precedent-setting May 2020 Renren judgment.

Prior to taking up full-time practice at the Bar, Riz was Senior Counsel to the World Bank and Head of the Bank’s Global Initiative on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes (2009-2013). He has also held several academic positions, including the Chair of Law and Legal Theory at University College London (2008-2016). He has worked on law and practice reform with the governments of some twenty countries, and his scholarship has influenced legislation in several jurisdictions and has been cited with approval by several courts, including the House of Lords (Spectrum, 2005); the Australian High Court (Ansett, 2008); the Courts of Appeal of England & Wales (Sonatacus, 2007), New Zealand (Strategic Finance, 2013), Ontario (Nortel, 2015), and Victoria (Ansett, 2006); and the English High Court (Virgin Active, 2021; Houst, 2022; also Hong Kong Airlines, 2022).

Riz is a member of several invitation-only international organisations: He is one of nine UK-based Fellows of the American College of Bankruptcy, and a member of each of the Global Task Force on Insolvency Law convened by the World Bank, the International Insolvency Institute, the Bowen Island Group, the International Exchange of Experience on Insolvency Law, and several expert groups on aspects of insolvency law convened by the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. In August 2020, he was named amongst the 500 leading global restructuring and insolvency lawyers by Lawdragon.

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