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Felipe Cole

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Felipe Ford Cole

Sharswood Fellow

Felipe Ford Cole studies the origins of the laws and legal theories governing relationships between creditors and debtors. Drawing on comparative legal historical research in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, Felipe shows how the legal entanglements of debts blur the distinction between public and private authority. His current project focuses on how public debt crises in the Americas transferred sovereign law- and policy-making power from states to their debtholders.

Felipe is also engaged in research and writing on the three topics: the historical origins of Dillon’s Rule, a rule in U.S. local government law that drastically limits the power of localities; on the history of sovereign and municipal credit rating downgrades in the U.S. and Latin America; and on the rise of political risk management as a technique in international business. Altogether, Felipe’s work engages debates regarding the creation of a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism and reform of municipal bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Felipe earned an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge and a BA in history from New York University. He finished JD coursework at Northwestern University School of Law in 2015, where he is currently a PhD candidate in history. While at the School of Law he helped write two shadow reports on LGBTI rights in Mexico and Macedonia adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee as an intern at the Center for International Human Rights. Felipe also worked on sovereign finance transactions as a Summer Associate at Hogan Lovells in the Infrastructure, Energy, Resources and Projects group.