Jay L. Westbrook

  • Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Business Law


  • JD University of Texas at Austin
  • BA University of Texas at Austin

One of the nation's most distinguished scholars in the field of bankruptcy, he has been a pioneer in this area in two respects: empirical research and international/comparative studies. Professor Westbrook also teaches and writes in commercial law and international business litigation. He practiced in all these areas for more than a decade with Surrey & Morse (now part of Jones, Day) in Washington, D.C., where he was a partner, before joining the faculty in 1980. He is co-author of The Law of Debtors and Creditors (Aspen, 7th ed., 2014), As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America (Oxford, 1989), The Fragile Middle Class (Yale, 2000) and A Global View of Business Insolvency Systems (Martinus Nijhoff 2010).He has been Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School and the University of London, and is a member of the American Law Institute, the National Bankruptcy Conference, and the American College of Bankruptcy. He serves as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He was the United States Reporter for the ALI's Transnational Insolvency Project and co-head of the United States delegation to the UN (UNCITRAL) conference on cross-border insolvency. He is an emeritus director of the International Insolvency Institute and a director and former President of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law. He has twice been named the Outstanding Teacher at the University of Texas School of Law.

Recent Publications

  • Secured Creditor Control and Bankruptcy Sales: An Empirical View, 2015 Illinois Law Review 831 (2015).
  • Secured Creditor Control and Bankruptcy Sales: An Empirical View [Symposium: Illinois Abi Symposium on Chapter 11 Reform], 2015 University of Illinois Law Review 831.
  • Opinion: No Debtor “Presence” is Required for Chapter 15 Recognition, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, May 2015, at 24 (with Daniel M. Glosband).

Full list of publications…

Recent Activities

  • The University of Texas Annual Bankrupty Conference

    November 1, 2009

    The University of Texas Law School

    Recent Developments and Theory of Section 363 Sales

  • St. Gallen University International

    October 20, 2009

    St. Gallen, Switzerland

    International Judicial Negotiation 2009

  • Judicial Conference

    October 5, 2009

    University of Zagreb, Croatia

    Contracts in Bankruptcy

Full activities list…