Gillis Lindemans over rechtskeuze bij pauliana op Oxford Business Law Blog

Vrije keuze pauliana? Vinyls herbezocht.

In een eerdere post op deze blog besprak Gillis Lindemans (KU Leuven, aspirant FWO) de zaak-Vinyls Italia (C-54/16). Daarin oordeelde het Hof van Justitie dat een faillissementspauliana (of soortgelijke nietigheids- of niet-tegenwerpelijkheidsactie) slechts kan slagen als het recht van toepassing op de aangevochten rechtshandeling dat toelaat. Dat zelfs wanneer partijen een recht hebben gekozen dat geen enkele feitelijke band vertoont met de rechtshandeling in kwestie. De enige beperking is fraude (maar daarvoor is de drempel erg hoog). In een post vandaag op de Oxford Business Law Blog waarschuwt hij andermaal voor de mogelijke gevolgen van deze beslissing. Schuldenaars kunnen, in de schemerzone voor insolventie, een anders aanvechtbare handeling veiligstellen door een toepasselijk recht te kiezen dat geen specifieke aanvechtingsgrond tegen die handeling kent.

Reform of German Avoidance Provisions

Smoothing out the rough edges of “willful disadvantage”

A recent reform of the German Insolvency Statute (Insolvenzordnung, InsO) has relaxed the avoidance provision against so-called “willful disadvantage” (§ 133 InsO).

Under the willful disadvantage provision, a transaction is voidable if it was made by the debtor (a) within ten years prior the request to open insolvency proceedings; (b) with the intention to disadvantage his creditors and (c) whilst the other party was aware of his intention. Moreover, such awareness is presumed in case the other party knew of the debtor’s imminent insolvency, and that the transaction constituted a disadvantage for the creditors.

The German legislature has now added a number of exceptions to that rule (new paragraphs 2 and 3) applicable to transactions by which the debtor performs an obligation or grants a security interest. For example, such transactions shall now only be voidable if made within four years prior to the insolvency filing. In addition, transactions constituting willful disadvantage now benefit from the so-called cash transactions exception (which protects payments in return for equitable consideration, see § 142 InsO) unless the counterpart recognizes that the debtor has acted in bad faith.

Gillis Lindemans

In “Vinyls”, ECJ Allows Debtor to Contract Around Insolvency Avoidance Rules: A Shield Turns Into a Weapon

ECJ endorses broad interpretation of Article 13 Insolvency Regulation

A debtor on the verge of insolvency may be tempted to favour related or influential parties (such as company insiders or important financiers) before his divestment in favour of a liquidator. That is why insolvency law typically allows the liquidator to avoid transactions which the debtor has concluded in the twilight zone prior to insolvency and which are detrimental to the creditors. In a recent preliminary ruling (Vinyls Italia, C-54/16), the ECJ offers the debtor an interesting escape route: he can simply contract around an avoidance provision by submitting an otherwise voidable transaction to a law under which the transaction is not avoidable.

Continue reading “In “Vinyls”, ECJ Allows Debtor to Contract Around Insolvency Avoidance Rules: A Shield Turns Into a Weapon”