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Dr Bolanle Adebola, Associate Professor in International Commercial Law at Reading, is a trained advocate with dual qualifications: Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Her research and teaching spans three broad areas of corporate law. These include international corporate insolvency and restructuring law, international corporate governance and finance, as well as international commercial arbitration.

Bolanle's Law

Bolanle's interest in corporate and commercial law stemmed from the cases she worked on during her brief as a lawyer.

She came to the UK for a Master’s degree in 2007, during which she was formally introduced to corporate insolvency law in England and Wales as a specialist journal. She focused her dissertation on a comparative analysis of her most notable case during her period of legal practice. The dissertation became the basis for further study as she sought to propose recommendations for the reform of the corporate insolvency and restructuring law in Nigeria.

Her core research focus has thus been on international insolvency and restructuring law, ever since.

Beyond her teaching, Bolanle engages actively in capacity building in both advanced and emerging economies. In 2021, she contributed to judicial training in both Nigeria and the US.

In Nigeria, she was invited by the Attorney General Alliance Africa Partnership (AGA) and the Nigeria Judicial Institute (NJI), to participate in the training of justices of the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal of Nigeria. In the US, she was invited by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges of the United States. Both workshops focused on knowledge exchange between bankruptcy practitioners and judges. 

Many of Bolanle’s students are from emerging economies across the globe. During her classes, she discusses broad principles of law, as well as their policy underpinnings within both advanced and emerging contexts. This ensures that her students can apply their new knowledge to the realities of their preferred jurisdictions. She encourages students to undertake comparative studies that highlight lessons that can be learnt from both advanced and emerging economies.

"I think that there’s a lot going on in the advanced world and there’s not enough spotlight on what’s happening in emerging economies. Many of my students are from these emerging economies and so I want them to be proud of who they are, and to see what’s going on around their world so that they are encouraged and imbued with confidence to also get there."

Commercial Law Research Network Nigeria (CLRNN)

With the aim to help emerging economies make their own laws, Bolanle founded and convenes the Commercial Law Research Network Nigeria (CLRNN), a network established to promote research and knowledge exchange on matters relating to the development and reform of commercial law in economies such as Nigeria.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Networking Scheme, CLRNN seeks to

  • influence the reform of commercial law in emerging economies
  • encourage the development of research in such jurisdictions
  • facilitate the dissemination of research from such jurisdictions.


In Summer 2021, CLRNN broadened its remit through the CLRNN Spotlight on Corporate Governance and Insolvency Law in Africa seminar series, which looks more across Africa.

“Every week the network publishes something for people to read on their website and it’s been interesting to see just how responsive people have been. All of that is bringing the emerging economies onto the world stage where our conversations are now being had on a level that is more at par.”