Breaking news: Wetboek Vennootschappen en Verenigingen goedgekeurd door ministerraad

De Ministerraad heeft zopas het ontwerp van Wetboek van Vennootschappen en Verenigingen goedgekeurd. Het gaat om wellicht de meest verregaande hervorming van het recht inzake vennootschappen, verenigingen en stichtingen die ons land ooit heeft gekend.

Continue reading “Breaking news: Wetboek Vennootschappen en Verenigingen goedgekeurd door ministerraad”

New EU rules on company law: more flexibility, more protection?

Company Law package may have large impact on cross-border mobility of EU companies

Yesterday, the European Commission launched two proposals for new rules on the cross-border mobility and digital registration of companies. The rules are intended to make it easier for companies to merge, divide or move within the European Union, as well as to prevent social dumping, tax evasion and other forms of abuse.

Continue reading “New EU rules on company law: more flexibility, more protection?”

Superconfex-arrest: Cassatie bevestigt principes over draagwijdte van ‘lex concursus’ en individuele schade bij oplichting

Cassatie 4 april 2017 (“Superconfex”)

In een arrest van 4 april 2017 (P.16.0484) inzake het faillissement van de bekende textielketen “Superconfex”, diende het Hof van Cassatie zich te buigen over enkele vragen die zich situeren in het domein van het (Europese) insolventierecht en het strafrecht. We focussen daarbij op de voornaamste juridische knopen die het Hof moest doorhakken: het toepassingsgebied van de lex concursus en de aanwezigheid van individuele schade in hoofde van een schuldeiser die slachtoffer was van oplichting. Continue reading “Superconfex-arrest: Cassatie bevestigt principes over draagwijdte van ‘lex concursus’ en individuele schade bij oplichting”

European Private International Law at 50. Celebrating and Contemplating EEX and its Successors

Jura Falconis Conference 23 March 2018, 10 AM – 5:30 PM (College De Valk, Leuven)

In 2018 we celebrate the 50th year since the adoption of the 1968 Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The 1968 attempt to facilitate the free movement of judgments in the EU, helped lay the foundations for the exciting developments in European private international law which have occurred since. Many of the outstanding issues in what is now the Brussels I Recast (also known as EEX-bis; or Brussels Ibis) continue to have an impact on other parts of European civil procedure.

Co-organised by Leuven Law’s Institute of Private International Law and Jura Falconis, KU Leuven’s student law review, this event will consider, capita selecta wise, the application and implications of the Convention and its successors. It will also discuss the future direction of EU private international law both for civil and commercial matters, and for issues outside of commercial litigation. At a time when in most Member States the majority of commercial transactions have some kind of international element, this is a timely refresher for practitioners, judges, students and scholars alike.
PROGRAM Continue reading “European Private International Law at 50. Celebrating and Contemplating EEX and its Successors”

Cross-border Insolvencies after Brexit: Views from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe

A recent paper of the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law examines the consequences of Brexit for cross-border insolvencies. The conclusion of the paper reads as follows:

Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations might be, it is possible that the United Kingdom will lose at least part of its attraction as a restructuring and insolvency hub for the remaining member states of the European Union.

Lost in translation? The case of ‘trust insolvency’

A ‘hybrid mismatch’ in private law?

In a previous blogpost, we formulated some thoughts on the CJEU’s judgment in the Panayi Trust Case. We concluded that, for various reasons, it could reasonably be expected that trusts can indeed be considered to be ‘entities’ which can come under the scope of the freedom of establishment.

The importance of language

Apart from this conclusion, the different language versions of the CJEU’s judgment, and especially a comparison thereof, make for an interesting reading.  Continue reading “Lost in translation? The case of ‘trust insolvency’”

Zit na invoering van een ‘cap’ op bestuursaansprakelijkheid straks iedereen aan het Belgisch vennootschapsrecht?

En bereiken we de ‘top’ of de ‘bottom’?

Het nieuwe jaar komt met de belofte van een nieuw vennootschapsrecht.

Eén van de meest fundamentele wijzigingen in de vooropgestelde hervorming van het vennootschapsrecht is de mogelijkheid om vrij het toepasselijk vennootschapsrecht te kiezen (vulgo: de statutaire zetelleer). Oprichters en aandeelhouders van een Belgische onderneming worden vrij in de keuze van de  lex societatis . Een Belgische onderneming zal, zonder enig reëel aanknopingspunt met de betrokken jurisdictie, kunnen kiezen voor het recht van Nederland, Bulgarije of Malta of — en hier zou de Belgische wetgever verder gaan dan dan enige Europese verplichting —  van Oezbekistan, Delaware of Panama.

Een andere voorgestelde wijziging zou de invoering zijn van een maximumbedrag voor bestuursaansprakelijkheid voor een feit of complex van feiten (de “cap“). 

Voor Belgische of  buitenlands ondernemers zal die ‘cap’ een van de meest unieke aspecten van het Belgisch vennootschapsrecht vormen.  In deze post gaan we in op mogelijke interferenties tussen de ‘cap’ en de mogelijkheid om je vennootschapsrecht vrij te kiezen.  Continue reading “Zit na invoering van een ‘cap’ op bestuursaansprakelijkheid straks iedereen aan het Belgisch vennootschapsrecht?”

ECJ on Article 1(2)(b) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation: Actions for Liability in Tort in Insolvency Proceedings

Another Attempt to Create Order out of Chaos

In its preliminary ruling of 20 December 2017, the ECJ held that Article 1(2)(b) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation (which excludes certain insolvency proceedings from its scope of application) must be interpreted as meaning that it applies to an action for liability in tort brought against the members of a committee of creditors (hereinafter referred to as “CoC”) because of their conduct in voting on a restructuring plan in insolvency proceedings. Such an action is therefore excluded from the scope ratione materiae of the Brussels I Recast, and hence falls within the scope of Article 3(1) of the (old) Insolvency Regulation. Consequently, the competent court is the one which opened the insolvency procedure.

Background

The facts of the case can be summarized as follows. VAV invest, a company incorporated under Slovak law whose assets were the subject of restructuring proceedings in Slovakia, submitted a restructuring plan. At its meeting, the CoC rejected the plan without providing any comprehensible reasons, which led to the frustration of the restructuring proceedings and the winding-up of VAV invest. Continue reading “ECJ on Article 1(2)(b) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation: Actions for Liability in Tort in Insolvency Proceedings”

Brexit and EU rules on company law

A Notice to Stakeholders was recently published on the website of the European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers, regarding legal repercussions which need to considered (if and) when the United Kingdom becomes a third country.

As of the withdrawal date, UK incorporated companies will be(come) third country companies and therefore not automatically be recognised under Article 54 TFEU by the Member States. They may, however, be recognised in accordance with each Member State’s national law (private international law rules concerning companies and the subsequently applicable substantive company law), or international law treaties. Continue reading “Brexit and EU rules on company law”

Let’s get physical

Vananroye & Lindemans in Liber amicorum Braeckmans over vrije keuze en verandering van toepasselijk vennootschapsrecht

In het Liber amicorum Herman Braeckmans schrijven Vananroye & Lindemans over vrij keuze van vennootschapsrecht (“werkelijke zetel” vs “statutaire zetel) en over de verandering van dat toepasselijke vennootschapsrecht (“internationale zetelverplaatsing”.  Daarbij schenken ze ook aandacht aan de nood voor duidelijke bepalingen  omtrent grensoverschrijdende ‘fysieke’ herstructureringen: Continue reading “Let’s get physical”

Vis attractiva concursus and its limits

In its judgment of 9 November 2017, the Court of Justice has limited the principle of vis attractiva concursus, i.e. the principle that ancillary proceedings may be attracted to, and brought before, the forum concursus. The Court ruled that article 3(1) of the (old) Insolvency Regulation must be interpreted as meaning that an action for damages for unfair competition by which the assignee of part of the business acquired in the course of insolvency proceedings is accused of misrepresenting itself as being the exclusive distributor of articles manufactured by the debtor does not fall within the jurisdiction of the court which opened the insolvency proceedings. Continue reading “Vis attractiva concursus and its limits”

Free Choice of Company Law: Another Brick Out of the Wall

CJEU holds freedom of establishment does not require pursuit of genuine economic activity

In yesterday’s preliminary ruling in C-106/16 Polbud, the CJEU held that freedom of establishment is applicable to the transfer of the registered office of a company: (1) formed in accordance with the law of one Member State, (2) to the territory of another Member State, for the purposes of its conversion into a company incorporated under the law of the latter Member State, (3) even if there is no change in the location of the real head office of that company. Continue reading “Free Choice of Company Law: Another Brick Out of the Wall”

Polbud: ECJ further facilitates shopping for company law

The transfer of the registered office of a company, when there is no change in the location of its real head office, falls within the scope of the freedom of establishment

The ECJ issued today its judgment in the Polbud-case (C‑106/16). This case has previously been discussed here and here. The ECJ holds that the transfer of the registered office of a company (to be understood: with a change of applicable company law) falls within the scope of the freedom of establishment protected, even when there is no change in the location of its real head office. Member States may not impose mandatory liquidation on companies that wish to transfer their registered office to another Member State. Continue reading “Polbud: ECJ further facilitates shopping for company law”

Trust and freedom of establishment: some preliminary observations on the CJEU’s ruling in the Panayi Trust case

Trusts can be considered to be ‘entities’ which can come under the scope of the freedom of establishment

On September 14th 2017, the CJEU ruled on the Panayi Trust case (Case C-646/15), to which we have already referred in an earlier blog post. The CJEU’s ruling in the Panayi Trust case will provide ample opportunity for debate and reflection in the near future, especially with Brexit coming into view.

However, in this blog post we will restrict ourselves to a brief presentation of the case and some first observations regarding the question whether trusts can indeed come under the scope of the freedom of establishment. Continue reading “Trust and freedom of establishment: some preliminary observations on the CJEU’s ruling in the Panayi Trust case”

A uniform European regulation on the law applicable to the effectiveness of a cross-border assignment of a claim: no longer the elephant in the room?

A post by guest blogger Louis Coussée

The assignment of a claim is an important legal instrument for the financial market. It enables both simple transfers of claims from one person to another and complex financial operations used to finance the business activity of firms, such as financial collateral arrangements, factoring and securitization. Furthermore, it enables the availability of capital and credit across borders and allows small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to obtain credit at affordable rates. In a globalizing context, such cross-border transactions are a daily routine.

Substantively, there exists no harmonization in the field of the assignment of a claim on EU-level. The question which law is applicable to the assignment of a claim, therefore, can have a huge impact on the outcome of a dispute, when national jurisdictions apply different rules to make an assignment effective against third parties. The Rome-I Regulation contains a provision on the applicable law to the assignment of a claim. However, art. 14 of the Rome-I Regulation does not provide an answer to the most important question, i.e. which law governs the effectiveness of an assignment against third parties. This question is widely discussed and the topic of choice-of-law rules for the assignment of claims in financial services and markets is considered to be one of the most complicated, challenging and arcane. Continue reading “A uniform European regulation on the law applicable to the effectiveness of a cross-border assignment of a claim: no longer the elephant in the room?”