News overview

Business Rescue update 1: Introduction of the Project

In September 2013 the European Law Institute (ELI) Council approved a project in the field of insolvency law and appointed professors Stephan Madaus (Regensburg), Bob Wessels (Leiden) and Dr. Kristin van Zwieten (Oxford) as project reporters.

As the project title indicates, it is the issue of rescue of business that lies at the core of this project. The ultimate aim is to design a framework that will enable the further development of coherent and functional rules for business rescue in Europe. Insolvency law is at the forefront of reform initiatives in Europe and beyond, and any contemporary developments will be given due consideration as work on the project progresses. For further background information on ELI, see the website: www.europeanlawinstitute.eu.

The project is to be carried out over a period of 30 months. During the first year, National Correspondents (NCs) will draft inventory reports on their respective national insolvency laws, based on a detailed question-naire prepared by the reporters. NCs are experts from a selected group of 13 different European countries which each represent different approaches to insolvency law. Some topics that will be covered in those reports include: governance and supervision of in-court and out-of-court rescue, special protection for financing a rescue, treatment of executory contracts, ranking of creditors, avoidance powers, restructuring plans, special arrangements for SMEs, and the position of liquidators and directors. In addition to these national reports, an inventory report on international recommendations from standard-setting organizations, such as the World Bank and UNCITRAL, will be drafted.

The results of the first year’s work will be presented and discussed at a conference, which is provisionally scheduled for the beginning of 2015 in Vienna. In later stages of the project, these outputs will be used by the Project Team to formulate their recommendations for reform, which are at this stage expected to be presented in the form of a legislative guide. This process will be assisted by input from a specialist Advisory Committee (AC), staffed by experts in relevant areas of law and legal practice across Europe.

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