The Role of Law and the Failure of Northern Rock
Elgar Financial Law series
Edited by Joanna Gray and Orkun Akseli
Orkun Akseli, Joanna Gray and Andrew Campbell The genesis of this collection of essays lay in discussions within Newcastle Law School and more widely within Newcastle University as we witnessed the dramatic events of September 2007 with the run on the Newcastle-based Northern Rock bank. Those discussions broadened in scope as to areas of the law and regulation that they invoked as the twists and turns of the attempted rescue, nationalisation, emergency changes to legal and regulatory provisions to deal with the now-spreading banking crisis ran their course. As the immediate panic of Northern Rock subsided, fresh flurries of panic and instability loomed elsewhere in the financial world from Iceland to the US to the new and emerging financial centres of the Middle and Far East, where theories of decoupling began to look distinctly shaky. Gradually, more considered post mortems took place and longer-term law reform began to be discussed and implemented. But the fact that the ripples or early warning tremors of what we now know to have been a truly global financial crisis of an unprecedented scale were first felt here in the North East of England, a proud and distinctive region but nonetheless hardly a financial powerhouse, as one of the region’s significant employers and oldest and most important large, private sector companies met its nemesis, we thought was worthy of marking by contributing reflections from our different legal backgrounds and scholarly interests. We used the run on Northern Rock and the events preceding and following it...