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”

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.

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”

Real seat by any other name would smell as sweet?

The Kornhaas judgment: insolvency law as a safe harbour for Real Seat provisions?

In its judgment of 10 December 2015 (C‑594/14, Kornhaas), the European Court of Justice (CJEU) addressed two issues which are at the heart of the debate on the intra-Union mobility of companies: Continue reading “Real seat by any other name would smell as sweet?”