“Het insolventierecht permanent in de steigers”

Oratie door Professor Eric Dirix bij toelating tot het emeritaat beschikbaar

Bij Intersentia verscheen in de reeks Acta Falconis de oratie die Professor Eric Dirix uitsprak bij de toelating tot het emeritaat: Het insolventierecht permanent in de steigers. Deze oratie is ook hier te consulteren via de website van de Leuvense Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid. Het boekje bevat ook de laudatio uitgesproken door Professor Vincent Sagaert.

Opmerkelijk in deze rede is het pleidooi voor een minder aandeelhoudersvriendelijk insolventierecht: Continue reading ““Het insolventierecht permanent in de steigers””

European Parliament approves rules on business insolvency and second chance

Today, the European Parliament approved the  directive on business insolvency and restructuring procedures.

The insolvency framework covers three main measures:

  • preventative restructuring framework: that allows companies in financial difficulty to negotiate a restructuring plan with creditors, while maintaining their activity and preserving jobs
  • second chance for honest insolvent or over-indebted entrepreneurs, through full debt discharge after a maximum period of 3 years, with safeguards against abuse
  • targeted measures for member states to increase efficiency of insolvency, restructuring and discharge procedures, in particular expedient treatment of procedures

The final text also includes guarantees that workers’ rights, such as collective bargaining and industrial action, right to information and consultation, will not be affected by restructuring procedures.

Requirements on the duties of the company director in insolvency proceedings were also introduced. They include regard to the interest of creditors, other stakeholders and equity holders, taking steps to avoid insolvency and avoiding deliberate or grossly negligent conduct that threatens the viability of the business.

Belgische wetgever maakt verregaande controle mogelijk van overeenkomsten en praktijken tussen ondernemingen

Een post door gastblogger professor Evelyne Terryn (KU Leuven)

Op 21 maart 2019 heeft de voltallige Kamer het wetsvoorstel tot wijziging van het WER met betrekking tot misbruiken van economische afhankelijkheid, onrechtmatige bedingen en oneerlijke marktpraktijken goedgekeurd. Deze wet is onder de radar gebleven hoewel hij een ingrijpende hervorming inhoudt van het ondernemingsrecht en het verbintenissenrecht en een verregaande controle toelaat van praktijken en overeenkomsten tussen ondernemingen. Continue reading “Belgische wetgever maakt verregaande controle mogelijk van overeenkomsten en praktijken tussen ondernemingen”

The debate continues

In the final hours before the vote on the Preventive Restructuring Framework, the debate continues in full force. Two blog posts have been posted, urging the legislators to carefully reflect upon the proposed text.

The first post is written by prof. dr. M. Brinkmann (“Die relative Vorrangregel aus Art. 11 (1) (c) der Insolvenzrichtlinie: nicht nur untauglich, sondern brandgefährlich!”) and can be consulted here.

The second post (“Puzzling priorities: harmonisation of European Preventive Restructuring Frameworks”) is written by Anne Mennens and can be consulted here.

Who says insolvency law cannot be thrilling?




The Debate on the Preventive Restructuring Directive continues while the vote is near

The message of the post last week on this blog by Professor R.J. de Weijs, A.L. Jonkers and M. Malakotipour of the University of Amsterdam has been replicated by the authors in a Letter to the EP, with a supporting letter by Professor Douglas Baird of The University of Chicago.

Professor Bob Wessels of Leiden has replied to their arguments on his blog.

The draft Directive is up for vote on  27 March 2019.

The underestimated role of tax law in promoting asset partitioning ánd discouraging selective de-partitioning

Asset partitioning refers to limited liability (or: owner shielding) and entity shielding. In both cases a pool of assets is allocated to a pool of liabilities.

The economic justifications of limited liability and entity shielding typically refer – sometimes implicitly – to the situation of many shareholders in a business. Hansmann and Squire refer to this type of asset partitioning as external asset partitioning (“External and Internal Asset Partitioning: Corporations and Their Subsidiaries, The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance (Forthcoming)”; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 535, 2.). Asset partitioning is also used within a business to make separate pools of assets and liabilities; this is internal asset partitioning (ibid.). A typical example is a corporate group, where the business as an economic unity is internally, through affiliates, divided in separate pools of assets.  We also consider a company owned (or primarily owned) by a single shareholder as internal asset partitioning, even if that shareholder is a physical person. The economic unity between the single shareholder and the business of her company is similar to, if not stronger than, that between the separate entities of a corporate group.

Asset partitioning builds walls between pools of assets and liabilities. Sometimes the insiders themselves disregard the asset partitioning which they have set up themselves. This is referred to as selective de-partitioning. A crude example is the single shareholder or the parent company extracting assets from its company or subsidiary or shifting liabilities towards it. A more sophisticated example is a guarantee of one entity of a group towards another entity of the group. Often legal rules provide the creditors of the shareholders of a company with remedies against selective de-partitioning. In such a case the law reinforces the walls of asset partitioning.

We will use Belgian law as an example of how an entity-focussed tax law can favour asset partitioning and discourage selective de-partitioning. Continue reading “The underestimated role of tax law in promoting asset partitioning ánd discouraging selective de-partitioning”

The CJEU Vantaan kaupunki case: piercing the corporate veil via private enforcement of EU competition law

A post by Jasper Van Eetvelde & Michiel Verhulst

The CJEU judgement on the 14th of March 2019 in the Vantaan kaupunki case shows the increasing spillover effects of the public enforcement of competition law on the private enforcement thereof. The CJEU found that the concept of ‘undertaking’ as autonomously interpreted in competition law is applicable when claiming for damages on the basis of breaches of EU competition law. This has far-reaching consequences, since it implies that both the principles of parental liability and economic continuity are henceforth part of the national rules on the private enforcement of EU competition law. This triggers some reflections on corporate law on voluntary winding-up in general and the usefulness of focussing on the economic reality outside competition law. Continue reading “The CJEU Vantaan kaupunki case: piercing the corporate veil via private enforcement of EU competition law”