When the Going Gets Tough, the Shareholders Get Going

Last week was a busy week for the Court of Justice (read here and here). A third judgment worth mentioning is the Dowling and Others judgment (read here). This judgment concerns the position of shareholders (of institutions of systemic importance) in times of financial crisis. Continue reading “When the Going Gets Tough, the Shareholders Get Going”

Commercial Law Centre Webinar (University of Oxford)

The Commercial Law Centre (University of Oxford) hosts a series of interesting webinars. Previous webinars dealt with principles of cross-border insolvency law (Reinhard Bork) and form and substance in the determination of property rights (Anthony Duggan).  Continue reading “Commercial Law Centre Webinar (University of Oxford)”

All creditors are equal, but some creditors are more equal than others

Les biens du débiteur sont le gage commun de ses créanciers, et le prix s’en distribue entre eux par contribution, à moins qu’il n’y ait entre les créanciers des causes légitimes de préférence

Article 8 Belgian Loi Hypothécaire (art. 2093 French Civil Code) contains the basic principle of paritas creditorum. All creditors have an equal right to payment and the proceeds of the debtor’s estate shall be distributed in proportion to the size of their claims. The principle of equality is, however, not absolute. Secured and preferred creditors jump the queue, and are paid before ordinary creditors. The pari passu principle still is a bedrock principle of insolvency law. In reality, however, the rule has gradually become the exception (read about the pari passu myth, here). Ordinary creditors are left with peanuts once secured and preferred creditors are paid. All creditors are equal, but some creditors are more equal than others, indeed. Continue reading “All creditors are equal, but some creditors are more equal than others”

The Insolvency Regulation (case-law)

Enefi – article 4 Regulation 1346/2000


In its recent Enefi judgment (C‑212/15, read here, no English translation available yet) the Court of Justice interpreted article 4 of Regulation 1346/2000. The judgment illustrates the shifting boundaries of the framework underlying the Insolvency Regulation.

Continue reading “The Insolvency Regulation (case-law)”

Sovereign Debt Restructuring and International Law

The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law organises a series of lectures on sovereign debt (see here). In the absence of an international legal framework, the process of sovereign debt structuring remains fragmented and uncertain. This is best illustrated by the decade and a half of litigation that followed Argentina’s sovereign bond default in 2001 (read here).

The first two lectures (“The Law and Economics of Sovereign Debt and Default” and “Sovereign Debt Restructuring and International Law”) can be found here.

Whose interests are served by the corporate interest?

New shots fired in the ‘shareholders’ vs ‘stakeholders’ war

An international group of corporate law professors has issued a “Modern Corporation Statement on Company Law“, a peculiar two page document which describes itself as a “summary of certain fundamentals of corporate law, applicable in almost all jurisdictions, in an effort to help prevent analytical errors which can have severe and damaging effects on corporations and corporate governance.”

Their 10th and last statement is: Continue reading “Whose interests are served by the corporate interest?”

The High Court of England and Wales approves Nortel’s global settlement

In a previous post (Everybody loses … except the lawyers) the settlement in the bankruptcy liquidation of Nortel Networks Corp was announced. Last week, the High Court of Justice approved this settlement. The judgment can be read here.