Ook paulianeuze onrechtmatige daadsvordering ingesteld tijdens faillissement valt onder Brussel I-verordening

Conclusie van AG Bobek in de zaak C‑535/17

Op 18 oktober 2018 concludeerde de advocaat-generaal van het Hof van Justitie dat de Nederlandse Peeters/Gatzen-vordering, ingesteld in een geschil met een Belgische verweerder onder het toepassingsgebied van de Brussel I-verordening valt en dus niet onder de Insolventieverordening. Dit zou impliceren dat de rechterlijke bevoegdheid inzake de onrechtmatige daadsvordering ingesteld tijdens een faillissementsprocedure beheerst wordt door de regels van de Brussel I-verordening, die als centraal uitgangspunt de bevoegdheid van de lidstaat van de verweerder hanteert,  en dus niet door het recht van de lidstaat waar de insolventieprocedure is geopend.

De Peeters/Gatzen-vordering komt grosso modo overeen met de Belgisch vordering tot vergoeding van collectieve schade.

Continue reading “Ook paulianeuze onrechtmatige daadsvordering ingesteld tijdens faillissement valt onder Brussel I-verordening”

The blurred lines of contract: the actio pauliana is a ‘matter relating to a contract’ within the meaning of the Brussels I Regulation Recast, Article 7(1)

Guest blogger Michiel Poesen on CJEU’s recent decision in C-337/17 Feniks

This blogpost focusses on the CJEU’s recent decision in C-337/17 Feniks, ECLI:EU:C:2018:805. In this decision, the Court entertained the question as to whether jurisdiction over an avoidance action – a so-called actio pauliana – should be determined under Article 7(1) of Regulation 1215/2012, commonly referred to as the Brussels I Regulation Recast.

As AG Bobek put it, the notion of actio pauliana generally refers to a remedy that allows a creditor to have an act declared ineffective, because said act was carried out by a debtor with the purpose of diminishing its assets by passing them on to a third party (Opinion in Case C-337/17 Feniks, ECLI:EU:C:2018:487, 35).

In older case law, the CJEU held that the actio pauliana cannot be characterised as an action in tort within the meaning of Article 7(2) of the Brussels I Regulation Recast. This in turn means that the court of the place where the creditor’s damage occurred cannot assert jurisdiction (Case C-261/90 Reichert II, ECLI:EU:C:1992:149). Prior to Feniks, however, the question as to whether the actio pauliana should be characterised as a ‘matter relating to a contract’ had not been referred to the Court.

Article 7(1) of the Brussels I Regulation Recast lays down the rules on forum contractus. It allows a defendant to be sued in the ‘place of performance’ of the contentious obligation, provided that the action concerns ‘matters relating to a contract’. The recent decision in Feniks clarified the outstanding issue as to whether an actio pauliana can too be brought in the forum contractus. Continue reading “The blurred lines of contract: the actio pauliana is a ‘matter relating to a contract’ within the meaning of the Brussels I Regulation Recast, Article 7(1)”

Locating pure economic loss: jurisdiction over prospectus liability under Article 7(2) of the Brussels I Regulation Recast

A post by guest blogger Michiel Poesen

In C‑304/17 Helga Löber v Barclays Bank plc, the CJEU had the opportunity to revisit its case law regarding jurisdiction over prospectus liability. The relevant ground for jurisdiction is Article 7(2) of the Brussels I Regulation Recast (previously Article 5(3) of the 2001 Brussels I Regulation): A person domiciled in a Member State may be sued in another Member State in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict, in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur. The ECJ confirmed that in the context of prospectus liability, the place where the harmful event occurred can be exceptionally located in the claimant’s domicile. Continue reading “Locating pure economic loss: jurisdiction over prospectus liability under Article 7(2) of the Brussels I Regulation Recast”

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”

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