Riz Mokal +44 (0)20 7696 9900 rizmokal@southsquare.com


Practice Managers

Riz Mokal

Riz Mokal Riz Mokal

Riz Mokal

Called to the Bar 1997
+44 (0)20 7696 9900
Riz Mokal
Called to the Bar 1997
Riz specialises in all aspects of domestic and cross-border insolvency, restructuring, bank resolution, and trust law, with a particular focus on matters involving complex policy considerations.
Riz completed his pupillage at South Square in 2005, was an academic member of Chambers for the subsequent decade, and joined as a practicing member in September 2016. Since then, his work has included a variety of trust, insolvency, company, and tort law matters, including:
Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (2016-, High Court in London) — instructed with David Allison QC on behalf of Wentworth in relation to (i) the treatment of claims by Barclays Capital Inc.; the matter involves questions relating to the MiFID / CASS regime, set-off, statutory interest, and a range of equitable doctrines; and (ii) the statutory interest ‘Lacuna’ application
Re Webinvest Ltd [2017] EWHC 2446 (Ch) — instructed with Antony Zacaroli QC (insolvency practitioner conflicts of duty; use of material compulsorily obtained under Insolvency Act powers; disclosure; privilege) 
Re Ocean Rig UDW Inc (FSD 100-103 of 2017, Grand Court of the Cayman Islands) — instructed with Antony Zacaroli QC on behalf of lenders in relation to a successful restructuring through schemes of arrangement
Treatment of insolvent trusts (2016-, Royal Court of Jersey) — instructed with Tom Smith QC
Riz also regularly appears unled in the High Court and county courts in a broad range of matters, including in relation to winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, administration applications, company restoration and dissolution, possession orders, injunctions, and public examinations under the insolvency legislation. 
From 2009 to 2013, Riz served as Senior Counsel to the World Bank and Head of the Bank’s Global Initiative on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes. In this capacity, and subsequently as a Consulting Counsel to the Bank, Riz has worked with the governments of some twenty countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East on reform of insolvency and creditor/debtor systems. His work involves policy analyses of existing laws and practices, the development of new legislation, and the training of judges, lawyers, insolvency practitioners, central bankers, and other stakeholders. 
Riz Mokal held the Chair of Law and Legal Theory at University College London until 2016 and has since been an Honorary Professor there, is a Visiting Professor at the University of Florence, and has previously held a research position at Cambridge University. His scholarship — which ranges over financial sector regulation, insolvency, property and trusts, and legal theory — has influenced law reform in the UK, and has been cited with approval by several courts, including the House of Lords, the Australian High Court, and the Courts of Appeal of England & Wales, New Zealand, Ontario, and Victoria.
As part of the World Bank’s delegation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (‘UNCITRAL’) from 2009 to 2013 and of the United Kingdom delegation from 2013 to 2017, Riz has been an active participant in UNCITRAL’s work on insolvency law. His particular focus has been on the revision of the Guide to Enactment and Interpretation to the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, the insolvency of cross-border enterprise groups, the duties of directors in the period approaching insolvency, and the enforcement of insolvency-derived orders and judgments.
Riz sits on the editorial boards of a number of key publications, including International Corporate Rescue.


Insolvency and Restructuring

Banking and Finance

Commercial Litigation and Arbitration


2016- Honorary Professor, UCL
2015- Visiting Professor University of Florence, Department of Law
2013-2016 Consulting Counsel, The World Bank
2009-2013 Senior Counsel and Head of Global Initiative on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes, The World Bank
2008-2016 Professor of Law and Legal Theory, UCL
2005-2016 Academic Member of South Square
2004-2008 Reader in Laws, UCL
2004-2005 Pupil at South Square
2003-2007 Research Associate, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge
2001-2004 Lecturer in Laws, UCL
1997 Called to the Bar of England and Wales
1996-2001 Visiting Teacher in Laws, UCL


2017- Invited Member, International Exchange of Experience on Insolvency Law
2014- Member of the International Insolvency Institute   
2009- World Bank’s Global Task Force on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes


Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes

As part of his work at the World Bank, Riz co-authored several IMF/World Bank Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (‘ROSCs’) on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes. These diagnostic reports, usually confidential to the Government requesting them, provide analysis and recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform. ROSCs are based on analysis of legal and regulatory texts complemented by information derived from surveys and a comprehensive range of meetings with key public and private sector stakeholders, including those from the Ministries of Justice, Finance, and Economy; the Central Bank; senior judiciary; credit history and security interest registries; financial institutions; chambers of commerce and industry; and legal, in-solvency, audit, and financial consultancy professionals. ROSCs are peer-reviewed by World Bank specialists and international and/or national experts. The ROSCs co-authored by Riz include:

  • Vietnam (2013)
  • Romania (2013)
  • Kenya (2013)
  • Bangladesh (2013)
  • Kosovo (2012)
  • Russia (2012)
  • Kuwait (2012)
  • Mongolia (2012)
  • Saudi Arabia (2010)

Other Co-authored World Bank Policy Documents

  • Vietnam – Restructuring of banking and state-owned enterprise sectors (2013)
  • Ukraine – Assessment of and input into several draft statutes on debtor/creditor issues (2013)
  • Kenya – Assessment of and input into Insolvency and Company Bills (2012)
  • Croatia – Assessment of draft statute on credit claim enforcement (2012)
  • Belarus – Restructuring of state-owned enterprise sector (2012) (Winner, World Bank Team Award)
  • Latvia – Assessment of debt resolution legal and regulatory framework (2012)
  • Pakistan – Assessment of draft Corporate Rehabilitation Bill (2010-2011)
  • Turkey – Assessment of enterprise insolvency framework (2010)
  • Egypt – Assessment of debt resolution legal and regulatory framework (2009)

Books and Book Chapters

  • The Insolvency of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises – A Modular Approach (forthcoming, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) co-authors: Ronald B Davis, Stephan Madaus, Alberto Mazzoni, Irit Mevorach, Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, Barbara Romanine, Janis Sarra, and Ignacio Tirado
  • Corporate Insolvency Law – Theory and Application (Oxford: OUP, 2005)
  • Rizwaan Jameel Mokal and Daniel Lightman, ‘Duties and Liabilities of Administrators’, in Sir Gavin Lightman, Gabriel Moss, Ian Fletcher and Richard Snowden QC (eds.), The Law of Receivers and Administrators of Companies (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)
  • Daniel Lightman and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Duties and Liabilities of Administrative Receivers, in Sir Gavin Lightman, Gabriel Moss, Ian Fletcher and Richard Snowden QC (eds.), The Law of Receivers and Administrators of Companies (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)
  • Robin Dicker QC, Adam Goodison, and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Voluntary Arrangements (Companies)’, in Peter Totty and Gabriel Moss (eds.), Insolvency (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2005)
  • ‘The Floating Charge – An Elegy’, in Sarah Worthington (ed), Commercial Law and Commercial Practice (Oxford: Hart, 2003), 479-509


The abstracts and ‘working paper’ versions of several of the following can be found on the Social Science Research Network.

  • ‘Shopping and Schemeing, and the Rule in Gibbs’ (2017), South Square Digest 58-63
  •  ‘Liquidity, Systemic Risk, and the Bankruptcy Treatment of Financial Contracts’ (2015) 10(1) Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law 15
  • ‘What Liquidation Does for Secured Creditors, and What it Does for You’ (2008) 71(5) Modern Law Review 699
  • ‘At the Intersection of Property and Insolvency’ (2008) 20 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 495
  • ‘Encumbered Assets and the Statutory Trust’ (2008) 21(9) Insolvency Intelligence 129
  • Look Chan Ho and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Barber v CI: Preference Equals Undervalue?” (2006) 22(5) Insolvency Law & Practice 183-186; arguments discussed in the Court of Appeal, and approved obiter by Lady Justice Smith, in Re Sonatacus Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 31
  • Michael Crystal QC and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘The Valuation of Distressed Companies: A Conceptual Framework – Part II’ (2006) 3(3) International Corporate Rescue 123-131
  • Michael Crystal QC and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘The Valuation of Distressed Companies: A Conceptual Framework – Part I’ (2006) 3(2) International Corporate Rescue 63-68
  • Stephen Atherton QC and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Charges over Chattels – Issues in the Fixed/Floating Jurisprudence’ [2005] Company Lawyer 10-18; cited by Lord Walker in Re Spectrum Plus Ltd; National Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Ltd and others [2005] UKHL 41
  • Rizwaan Jameel Mokal and Look Chan Ho, ‘The Pari Passu Principle in English Ancillary Proceedings: Re Home Insurance Company’ (2005) 21(6) Insolvency Law & Practice 207-210
  • ‘Administrative Receivership and Administration – An Analysis” [2004] Current Legal Problems 355-392
  • John Armour and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Reforming the Governance of Corporate Rescue: The Enterprise Act 2002’ [2005] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 28-64
  • ‘Liquidation Expenses and Floating Charges — The Separate Funds Fallacy’ [2004] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 387-404; reprinted at (2005) 21(2) Insolvency Law & Practice 46-55; cited with approval by the Court of Appeal of New Zealand in In re Strategic Finance Ltd [2013] NZCA 357
  • ‘The Harm Done by Administrative Receivership’ (2004) 1(5) International Corporate Rescue 248-256
  • Rizwaan Jameel Mokal and John Armour, ‘The New UK Corporate Rescue Procedure — The Administrator’s Duty to Act Rationally’ (2004) 1(3) International Corporate Rescue 136-142
  • ‘Interplay of Administration, Liquidation, and CVA – Part II’ (2004) 25(2) Company Lawyer 35-40
  • Look Chan Ho and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Interplay of Administration, Liquidation, and CVA – Part I’ (2004) 25(1) Company Lawyer 3-8
  • ‘On Fairness and Efficiency’ [2003] Modern Law Review 452-467
  • ‘The Search for Someone to Save: A Defensive Case for the Priority of Secured Credit’ [2002] Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 687-728
  • ‘Priority as Pathology: The Pari Passu Myth’ [2001] Cambridge Law Journal 581-621; a central argument approved and adopted by Kirby J (dissenting, though not on this point) in the High Court of Australia in International Air Transport Association v Ansett Australia Holdings Limited [2008] HCA 3. Several of the arguments in this paper were also approved and adopted by the majority of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Ansett Australia Holdings v International Air Transport Association [2006] VSCA 242. Also cited with approval by the Court of Appeal of Ontario in Re Nortel Corporation (2015) ONCA 681
  • Rizwaan Jameel Mokal and Look Chan Ho, ‘Characterisation, Consideration, Evaluation: Transactions at an Undervalue After Phillips v Brewin Dolphin’ [2001] Journal of Corporate Law Studies 359-379
  • ‘The Authentic Consent Model: Contractarianism, Creditors’ Bargain, and Corporate Liquidation’ [2001] Legal Studies 400-443
  • Look Chan Ho and Rizwaan Jameel Mokal, ‘Blowing Hot and Cold: Phillips v Brewin Dolphin’ (2001) 6 Journal of International Banking and Financial Law 263-266
  • ‘An Agency Cost Analysis of the Wrongful Trading Provisions: Redistribution, Perverse Incentives, and the Creditors’ Bargain’ [2000] Cambridge Law Journal 335-369; excerpts in Grantham and Rickett, Company and Securities Law: Commentary and Materials (Wellington: Brookers, 2002), 584-7
  • ‘Resolving the MS Fashions ‘Paradox’’ [1999] Company Financial and Insolvency Law Review 106-113


2002 UCL, PhD
1998 Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, BCL
1996 UCL, LLB
1993 Government College Lahore, Punjab University, BSc


1998-2001 Overseas Research Scholar
1998-2001 Laws Dean’s Scholar (UCL)
1998-2001 Denys Holland Scholar (UCL)
1996 Overseas Bursary (Oxford University) 
1996 Robert Fitzgerald Prize (UCL)
1996 J.A.C. Thomas Bar Scholar (UCL)
1995 Chen-Tien Hsi Prize (UCL)
1993-1996 British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholar
1993-1996 ICI (Pakistan) Scholar


Urdu (fluent), Punjabi (fluent), Hindi (spoken), Arabic (reading)


Hill walking, travel, and philosophy, particularly applied Epicureanism

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