Gabriel Moss QC 1949 - 2019

The Law Faculty notes with great sadness the news of the death of Gabriel Moss QC, Visiting Professor in the Faculty (2011-) and Distinguished Friend of Oxford.

Professor Moss read law at Oxford (BA Jurisprudence, First Class Honours, 1971; BCL, 1972) before being called to the bar in 1974, having been awarded the Eldon Scholarship. He took silk in 1989, and sat as a deputy judge in the High Court (Chancery Division) from 2001. His practice was wide-ranging, encompassing banking law, company law, financial services, commercial chancery, off-shore law and litigation, and corporate insolvency law. In the latter he dominated the field, his unrivalled expertise leading to many advisory appointments, including most recently as specialist legal advisor to the Work and Pensions and Business Innovation and Skills House of Commons Select Committees relating to the BHS inquiry. 

Alongside his practice at the bar and bench, Professor Moss taught and wrote in the field of corporate insolvency law. His scholarship was incisive and clear, and his books invariably led the field. In the classroom he was equally comfortable addressing matters of substantive law as he was debating “questions of policy and principle”, as he would put it. Students delighted in his deep, historically grounded, knowledge of the law, and of the practical realities of insolvency-related litigation. They thrived under a teaching style that was witty and generous, as if all in the classroom were being willed on to succeed. Professor Moss was equally generous to colleagues. He starred in every insolvency-related conference put on by Faculty members, but he also did much other vital but less visible work – supporting scholarships, examining dissertations, advising on course structure and syllabi, and making himself available to discuss new research ideas. He was hugely respected, and will be greatly missed.

Kristin van Zwieten