Prof. em. Ian F. Fletcher QC (hc) Obituary
With great sadness I report the passing away of a dear friend and colleague, Ian Fletcher, on 21 July 2018. He was 74. I will commemorate him on another occasion more fully, but I wish to express here that in particular the world of international insolvency law has lost a giant. I have known Ian for close to 25 years, from around the time that he started chairing the INSOL International Academics’ Colloquium. Since then our international academic lives developed along a parallel course. Around 2005 we were part of a group of founding members (the ‘Brisbane Initiative’) of what now is regarded as the best and most appreciated global education course, the INSOL International Fellowship course.
As European experts we were appointed in 2006 by the American Law Institute (ALI) and the International Insolvency Institute (III) to develop what have become, in 2012, the Global Principles for Cooperation in International Insolvency Cases, which brought us to several places in Europe and the US. Our recommendations, later, formed the groundwork for the European cross-border cooperation principles for judges in 2015 (Ian chaired the advisory board), now accepted for instance by the High Court in London and – see the recent CERIL 2018-01 report – recommended for use by the Dutch Minister of Justice. In the Netherlands Ian more specifically is known for our joint report ‘Harmonization of Insolvency Law in Europe’, for the Dutch Association for Civil Law (Vereniging voor Burgerlijk Recht), 2012.
In 2016, with me and five other international colleagues he founded the Conference of Restructuring and Insolvency Law (CERIL), an independent non-profit, non-partisan think tank committed to the improvement of restructuring and insolvency laws and practices in the EU. I am particularly pleased and thankful that Ian and I have worked together so intensively on these groundbreaking topics and activities. Ian has always impressed me with non-political views, being pragmatic, embracing integrity and standing for independent thinking. It was a joy to know and to work with someone who was so honest both as a person and intellectually. It was a great tragic for him, his wife Letitia and their sons Daniel and Julian, when he slowly lost his strength due to a malignant condition. I extend my deep sympathies with them. Ian left his mark on the insolvency world. I will miss him and always remember him.
Dordrecht, 24 July 2018 – Bob Wessels