Elon Law hosts global experts on transnational commercial law 

The 14th Transnational Commercial Law Teachers Meeting convened in Greensboro from October 5-6, 2023, where leading scholars and two Elon Law students shared updates on trends affecting trade, contracts, intellectual property, and regulations that extend across borders.

International experts in the laws that govern trade and commercial activity between countries met in Greensboro this fall for an annual gathering of scholars whose ongoing work shapes legal principles that promote global economic growth.

Organized by Professor Henry Gabriel, the 14th Transnational Commercial Law Teachers Meeting featured presentations and panel conversations on topics ranging from dispute resolution to developments in secured transactions to contemporary uses of international instruments.

Cultural activities, including a tour of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, were part of the conference in addition to the two-day academic and scholarly program. The conference also showcased two Elon Law students – Craig Almond and Lauren Jones, both from the Class of 2023 – who delivered remarks on developments in American conflicts of law, and UNIDROIT’s model law on factoring, respectively.

Almond has researched the evolution of conflicts of law in the United States. Internationally, he said, conflicts issues typically arise between two or more countries, but many American conflicts issues arise between two or more states.

Jones shared with attendees the details of a summer internship in Rome where she worked on UNIDROIT’s model law on factoring, described by the intergovernmental organization as “a vitally important type of financing used across the globe” that increases access to credit for many businesses.

In welcoming attendees to the meeting, Herbert Kronke of the University of Heidelberg in Germany presented Elon Law Dean Zak Kramer with a copy of an influential textbook co-authored by several scholars in attendance.

“This incredible event brought together scholars and practitioners from the Elon Law community, from down the road in North Carolina, from the Southeast region, from across the country, and from all around the globe,” Kramer said afterward. “Engage, collaborate, and advance legal thinking – this is what we do at Elon Law. I’m grateful to Professor Gabriel for bringing this event to us, and even more so for including our students.”

Venues for prior conferences included Oxford University in the United Kingdom, the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Kyushu University in Japan, and the University of Western Australia in Australia.

Student Reflections

“Having the opportunity to present to legal scholars from around the world was rewarding – one of the professor’s that I cited in my presentation was in attendance! The most valuable part of the conference was engaging in conversation about different concepts in commercial law, both inside and outside of the classroom. As the world continues to become more connected, international commercial law will continue to be an important area for study and practice.” – Craig Almond L’23

“Professor Gabriel welcomed us into a family of some of the most brilliant people in the world, and I could not be more grateful. Coming into law school, I had no idea what transnational commercial law was, and I definitely did not think I would be interested in pursuing a career there. I had thought that if I was part of “transnational” law, I would not make a difference in the world. What I soon realized was that commercial law wasn’t all businessmen and contracts. The work I was able to be a part of this summer in Rome would not only be a part of a trillion-dollar industry but also help the growth of minority and women-owned businesses around the world.” – Lauren Jones L’23