Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal for a Directive on insolvency, restructuring and second chance

Yesterday (11 October 2018), the Justice and Home Affairs Council has agreed on a general approach on the proposal of the Commission (22 November 2016) for a Directive on “preventive restructuring frameworks, on discharge of debt and disqualifications and measures to increase the efficiency of procedures concerning restructuring, insolvency and discharge of debt”. The general approach goes further than the partial general approach that was reached during the Council meetings on 4 and 5 June 2018. The approach reached yesterday also includes Titles I (General Provisions), II (Preventive restructuring frameworks) and VI (Final provisions).

As stated on its website, the position of the Council keeps all the main elements of the initial Commission’s proposal but provides more flexibility for Member States to adapt the new legislation to their existing frameworks. In particular, the Council has amended the provisions on: Continue reading “Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal for a Directive on insolvency, restructuring and second chance”

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)”

De Smallsteps-zaak: meer dan een jaar later

Samenvattende bijdrage “Het stil faillissement na de Smallsteps-zaak: uit het oog, maar niet uit het hart” in TBH-RDC

Indien we via dit forum een wedstrijd zouden organiseren waarin we het meest spraakmakende insolventierechtelijke arrest van de voorbije twee jaar zouden verkiezen, dan zou het Smallsteps-arrest wellicht bijzonder hoog scoren. Het Smallsteps-arrest had immers tot gevolg dat het Belgische stil faillissement nooit verder is geraakt dan de parlementaire voorbereidingen (de geschrapte art. XX.33-34 WER). In de wandelgangen was dit arrest dan ook met enige regelmaat het geliefkoosde insolventie- én arbeidsrechtelijke onderwerp.

Opmerkelijk is evenwel dat die informele gesprekken de Belgische auteurs niet in beweging hebben gezet, althans niet in dezelfde mate als bij onze Noorderburen, waar volledige tijdschriftafleveringen en conferenties besteed werden/worden aan enkel en alleen (de gevolgen van) dit arrest (zie bv. het pre-packxit symposium te Groningen). In de Belgische doctrine beperken de sporen van dit “fossiel”, behoudens de enkele zeer lezenswaardige bijdragen van Roman Aydogdu (ULg, ULB)[1], zich voornamelijk tot kanttekeningen in bepaalde verslagboeken en een verkeerde nummering in een aantal concordantietabellen. De trouwe lezer van het Corporate Finance Lab werd daarnaast ten tijde van het verschijnen van dit arrest even bestookt met onze berichtgevingen (zie o.a. hier, hier, hier, hier en hier).

Mogelijk valt dit gebrek aan doctrinaire aandacht te verklaren doordat Continue reading “De Smallsteps-zaak: meer dan een jaar later”

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”

European Commission announces proposals on covered bonds, cross-border distribution of investment funds and cross-border transactions in claims and securities

“Capital Markets Union: breaking down barriers to cross-border investments and accelerating delivery”

The European Commission announced today proposals on (i) covered bonds, (ii) cross-border distribution of investment funds and (iii) the law applicable to cross-border transactions in claims and securities (press release).

The latter issue was dealt with in a previous post on this blog by Louis Coussée. The assignment of a claim refers to a situation where a creditor transfers the right to claim a debt to another person in exchange of a payment. This system is used by companies to obtain liquidity and access credit. At the moment, there is no legal certainty as to which national law applies when determining who owns a claim after it has been assigned in a cross-border case. The new rules proposed today clarify according to which law such disputes are resolved: as a general rule, the law of the country where creditors have their habitual residence would apply, regardless of which Member State’s courts or authorities examine the case.

The measures presented today, and the applicable to cross-border transactions in claims and securities.

The proposals will be presented by May 2018 in order to make it possible that legislation can be adopted before European Parliament elections in 2019.

More information is available from a Fact Sheet issued by the Commission.