University of Miami names Sequor of counsel as first bankruptcy chair

A lawyer at Sequor Law will be the first to hold a new bankruptcy chair donated to the University of Miami by the Southern District of Florida bankruptcy court’s Chief Judge Emeritus Jay Cristol.

Of counsel Andrew Dawson will be awarded the Judge A Cristol Endowed Chair in Bankruptcy at a ceremony on 6 March, which will take place at the university where he is already a professor and a vice dean.

Judge Cristol, a University of Miami School of Law alumni himself, created the bankruptcy chair in 2016 to recognise faculty members for achievements in bankruptcy law.

In a statement, Sequor Law called Dawson a “leader” and highlighted his research focus in cross-border insolvency and labour law.

“Drew is truly deserving of this award and we are honoured to count his expertise among our ranks at Sequor Law. He is an outstanding example of our firm’s unsurpassed leadership in the practice, and demonstrates a relentless pursuit of success through his many invaluable contributions on behalf of our clients,” founding shareholder Ed Davis said in the statement.

Dawson has worked at the University of Miami as a professor of law for the past nine years and currently also holds the title of vice dean of academic affairs.

He regularly appears as a presenter and a panellist at conferences held by the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, the Hispanic National Bar Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), taking part in the latter’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 between 2012 and 2014.

Dawson has also contributed to the study of cross-border insolvency under the UNCITRAL Model Law. He lays claim to producing the first empirical study of Chapter 15 following its adoption in 2005. The study, entitled “Offshore Bankruptcies”, was published in Nebraska Law Review in 2009.

His most recent publication in the Chicago-Kent Law Review hones in on the topic of modularity in understanding how to apply the UNCITRAL Model Law, according to his resume. The concept – which suggests the Model Law should be understood as a “modular” system that divides complex cases into a hierarchy of components – was intended to resolve questions over the cross-border recognition of judgments following the UK Supreme Court’s 2012 Rubin decision, where it refused to enforce a US bankruptcy court’s ruling against a person who had not submitted to UK courts.

Dawson received his BA from Massachusetts-based Williams College and completed his JD at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he received an ABI Medal of Excellence, awarded to the student with the highest grade on a participating law school bankruptcy course.

Early in his career, Dawson clerked for Judge Jane Roth at the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for Judge Peter Walsh at the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

His first role in academia was at Harvard as a Kauffman Legal Fellow, awarded for research on the public sector, during which he researched bankruptcy law and corporate reoganisations. During the fellowship he had the opportunity to edit Chapter 11-related research by former Harvard bankruptcy professor turned-senator and US Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren.

The bankruptcy chair is Judge Cristol’s second major donation to the University of Miami. In 2012, he named the school’s pro bono bankruptcy clinic after his late wife Eleanor.

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