Professor Iain MacNeil
- Alexander Stone Chair of Commercial Law (Law)
Iain MacNeil joined the School of Law in 2003 and was appointed to the Alexander Stone Chair of Commercial Law in 2005. He is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow (LLB) and Edinburgh (PhD). Iain’s early career was as an investment analyst in the City of London covering the insurance sector. He took up his first academic appointment following completion of his PhD on The Legal Framework for the EU Single Market in Insurance. Iain served as Head of School from 2015-2019 and is now Head of the Corporate & Financial Law Research Group.
Iain’s primary interest and expertise lies in corporate governance, financial regulation and investment. He has published widely and in particular he has explored the interaction between hard and soft law in this sphere, as well as the influence of international standards. His recent publications focus on sustainable finance and stakeholder interests in corporate governance.
Beyond the University of Glasgow, Iain has several roles: he is an honorary professor at the National Law University Delhi; a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge; a trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law; and Chair of the International Securities Regulation Committee of the International Law Association (ILA). He recently served as Deputy Chair of both the 2020 Hong Kong Law RAE Panel and the 2021 UK Law REF Panel. He has acted as Senior Adviser on several EU projects examining national compliance with EU financial sector Directives.
Research interests summary
- Corporate Law and Governance
- Financial Regulation (banking, capital markets, insurance)
- Financial investment law and markets (including pensions and fiduciary duty)
- Sustainability and ESG Investing
- Comparative Law
- Insurance Law
- Contract Law
My research interests have shifted over time. My PhD thesis and early publications focused on the construction and operation of the EU single market in insurance, encompassing freedom of establishment, freedom to provide services and free movement of capital, as well as the regulatory system that developed from those EU Treaty provisions. This work included the private law framework for insurance contracts in the single market, comparing the approach through harmonisation of substantive law with the alternative of harmonisation of choice of law and jurisdiction.
My focus then shifted primarily to corporate law. In this phase I became more focused on theoretical approaches such as law & finance and law & economics while continuing to develop my interest in the interplay between private and public (regulatory) law. At this time to I was able to develop collaborations with several of my former PhD students, each of which ultimately led to joint publications. My most cited journal article on Google Scholar is a joint publication with Dr Xiao Li, my former PhD student. These collaborations drew me to undertake research in China (funded by a Leverhulme Fellowship) on the emerging corporate law system, focusing in particular on the role of the state and private capital. The personal and professional dimensions of these collaborations expanded my vision and understanding of the role of corporate law in diverse social systems, opening up perspectives on the rule of law and law in action that continue to inform my thinking.
The start of the third phase of my research coincided with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. During this phase my research ocused on how the law, regulatory rules and ethical codes attempt to control the type of misconduct that has become associated with the crisis. From 2008 to 2011, I collaborated as Adjunct Professor with the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) at the Australian National University and then served as general editor of the Law and Financial Markets Review between 2011-13. In the latter role I was privileged to chair an editorial board comprising senior practitioners and judges whose insights and experience provided invaluable guidance on the legal and regulatory responses to the financial crisis.
Having returned to a more sustained focus on research following completion of my term as Head of School (2015-2019), I am currently working on several strands of research:
- the transplantation of corporate governance codes around the world;
- the role of sustainability in corporate governance and financial regulation;
- the emergence of non-financial regulation as a priority for financial regulators in the UK and Australia;
- the interaction of corporate social responsibility and socio-economic rights.
My current students are:
- Agostini, Federica
The law of sustainable securitisations
- Cui, Sichang
Explore the challenges of Green Finance and its Fintech solutions and possible legal issues that arise in the UK and China
- METE, SUMEYYE NUR
The use of artificial intelligence in corporate governance: Ethics, morality and legal issues surrounding AI’s.
- Wilczopolska, Paula Patrycja
Regulatory development, its implications and impact on shaping automated advice services in financial markets.
- Bin hagshah, Abdulaziz - 'The New Corporate Governance Regulatory Frameworks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Reality and Aspirations'
- Singh, Snehita - 'Is it a good idea to mandate Corporate Social Responsibly?'
- Wang, Xueqi - 'To what extent could the EU third country regime exert influences on global capital market regulatory rules?'
Fifteen students have completed their PhD under my supervision. Around half of them have gone on to academic posts around the world.
I am willing to supervise PhD students in any of the areas mentioned in my research interests above.
My recent teaching has been in Company Law, Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. I was the founder of the LLM in Corporate & Financial Law in 2009.
Member of the editorial board of the Capital Markets Law Journal.
General editor of the Law and Financial Markets Review 2011- 2013.
Adjunct Professor, The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) at the Australian National University, Canberra (2008-2011).
CoSIG Visiting Scholar, Hong Kong, March 2011.
Special Adviser to the House of Lords European Union Committee (May-July 2012).
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, School of Business Law and Taxation, UNSW, Sydney, 2020.