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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Orkun Akseli, LLB, MA, LLM, PhD, MCIArb, FHEA

Associate Professor in Durham Law School
Director of the LLM, Durham Law School

Contact Dr Orkun Akseli (email at


Dr. Orkun Akseli is Associate Professor of Commercial Law at Durham Law School. He joined the Law School in 2011, having previously taught at the University of Manchester as part time seminarist and at the Robert Gordon and Newcastle Universities as lecturer. Dr. Akseli studied for his LLB at Dokuz Eylul University Law Faculty, Izmir, Turkey. He obtained his LLM from the University of Georgia, USA; MA from Istanbul Bilgi University Law Faculty and PhD from the University of Manchester Law School. Before embarking on academic life he practiced insurance defence and commercial litigation in Izmir. He is a member of Turkish Bar.

Research Interests

His research interests are in the corporate and commercial field with particular emphasis on the harmonisation and modernisation of secured transactions laws, development finance and the facilitation of credit. His monograph 'International Secured Transactions Law: Facilitation of Credit, International Conventions and Instruments' was published by Routledge in 2011. He is the editor and co-editor of numerous publications on the harmonsation and modernisation of secured transactions law.

In 2020, Dr Akseli was awarded with the Fulbright Award to spend time teaching and researching in the USA during Winter/Spring 2021 terms. He was awarded funding (together with Professor John Linarelli) by the Society of Legal Scholars to organise the 2017 Annual Seminar "The Future of Commercial Law: Ways Forward for Harmonisation". The proceedings from this prestigious conference were published by Hart Publishing in 2020. Dr. Akseli was awarded funding by the Modern Law Review and sponsored by the World Bank for the purpose of organising The World Bank and the Modern Law Review Conference on International Legal Standards on Secured Transactions and Financial Crisis held on 14th May 2010. This prestigious and competitive award, as well as the generous support of the World Bank, enabled the development of academic and practical debate on how international legal standards on secured transactions might facilitate credit in the face of financial crisis. The proceedings from this conference are now published by Cambridge University Press

Dr. Akseli has been actively involved in national (Secured Transactions Law Reform Project) and international (Unidroit draft Model Law on Factoring; UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions) law reform activities. He is appointed (together with Prof. Teresa Rodriguez de las Heras Ballell -Carlos III) by the International Academy of Comparative Law as General Rapporteur to prepare a report on "Alternative Dispute Resolution mechnisms in the Enforcement of Security Interests and Insolvency". The report will be presented in 2022 in Asuncion, Paraguay.

A major conference in Durham entitled "Secured Transactions Law Reform in Other Jurisdictions" under the auspices of the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project and the Durham Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law was organised by Dr Akseli. An edited book by Hart Publishing emanated from this conference.

Dr Akseli is a member of UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College, British Council Newton Fund Peer Reviewer, ESRC, and AHRC (Academic & International) Peer Review Colleges. He is also frequently invited to review grant applications by the German Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Belgium Research Foundation/Flanders (FWO) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

He is a member of Common Core of European Law (Trento) Project Working Group on Property and Security Rights in Immovable Property.

Dr. Akseli is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a number of international arbitration groups. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and the President of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law. He was co-convenor of Banking and Finance Law subject section of the Society of Legal Scholars. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr. Akseli was a Visiting Fellow at National University of Singapore (2020); Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London (2013-2014), and at New York University Law School Centre for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration and Commercial Law (2017)

He gave visiting lectures at Singapore Management University (2019, 2020), City University of Hong Kong (2020), Verona University Law School (2009), Istanbul Bilgi University (2015) and Istanbul Yeditepe University (2010).

He supervised to completion 7 PhD students and is frequently invited as external examiner to PhD vivas. 

Teaching Areas

  • Corporate Law/Commercial Law
  • Corporate Finance Law
  • International Banking Law
  • International Commercial Dispute Resolution


Research Groups

Durham Law School

Research Projects

Durham Law School

Research Interests

  • Secured Transactions
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Sale of Goods
  • Arbitration and ADR


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Edited Journal

  • Akseli, NO, Chiu, I H-Y, Linarelli, J & Schwarcz, S (2021). Financial Inclusion, Access to Credit, and Sustainable Finance. Law and Contemporary Problems, 84 (1): Duke University.

Journal Article



Selected Grants

  • 2020: Fulbright Award
  • 2017: The Future of Commercial Law: Ways Forward for Harmonisation (£10000.00 from The Society of Legal Scholars)
  • 2016: Northeast ESRC IAA - "The Untold Stories of the Financial Crisis: the Challenge of Credit Availability", £3633.46 (with TT Arvind and AK Aldohni)
  • 2016: The Society of Legal Scholars Seminar Series 2017, "The Future of Commercial Law: Ways Forward for Harmonisation", £10,000 (with John Linarelli)
  • 2012: Legal Transplants and Harmonisation, £912, The Society of Legal Scholars
  • 2010: The Modern Law Review Seminar Funds, £4000

International Collaboration

  • The World Bank, Community Practice on Insolvency and Creditor/Debtor Regimes
  • UNCITRAL Working Group VI Security Interests
  • Unidroit Working Group on draft Model Law on Factoring
  • Common Core of European Private Law (Trento Project)

Teaching Areas

  • Company/Commercial Law
  • International Banking Law
  • International Commercial Dispute Resolution