ELI Report on business rescue finalized and approved

Nach dem Eingang aller Berichte der National Correspondents im Jahr 2016 (siehe Beitrag) haben Prof. Bob Wessels und ich im Sommer 2017 unseren rechtsvergleichenden Bericht fertiggestellt. Er wurde auf der Jahrestagung des European Law Institute im September 2017 in Wien ohne Gegenstimme angenommen und ist nun als Instrument des ELI hier abrufbar. Eine Veröffentlichung des Berichts in Buchform ist für das erste Quartal 2018 bei Oxford University Press geplant. Dort sollen zeitgleich auch die Länderberichte (insgesamt ca. 1.100 Seiten) erscheinen.

Bob and I (left and center on the photo, with project assistant Gert-Jan Boon) are pleased to report that last week, during the General Assembly and Annual Conference of the European Law Institute (ELI) in Vienna, our report ‘Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law’ was approved as an official ELI Instrument.

The Report consists of 115 recommendations explained on more than 375 pages. Its ten chapters contain recommendations on a variety of themes affected by the rescue of financially distressed businesses: (1) Actors and procedural design, (2) Financing a rescue, (3) Executory contracts, (4) Ranking of creditor claims; governance role of creditors, (5) Labour, benefit and pension issues, (6) Avoidance transactions in out-of-court workouts and pre-insolvency procedures and possible safe harbours, (7) Sales on a going-concern basis, (8) Rescue plan issues: procedure and structure; distributional issues, (9) Corporate group issues, and (10) Special arrangements for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) including natural persons (but not consumers). The Report also includes a glossary of terms and expressions commonly used in restructuring and insolvency matters.

We as Reporters feel that the Report is timely and may have a significant and positive impact on the harmonisation efforts of the European Commission as laid down in the November 2016 Proposal for a Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks. The topics addressed in the Report are intended to present a tool for better regulation in the EU, developed in the spirit of providing a coherent, dynamic, flexible and responsive European legislative framework for business rescue. Mindful of the European Commission’s commitment to better legal drafting, the Report’s proposals are formulated as comprehensibly, clearly, and as consistently as possible. Still, the recommendations are not designed to be overly prescriptive of specific outcomes, given the need for commercial flexibility and in recognition of the fact that parties will bargain in the ‘shadow of insolvency law’. The Report is addressed to the European Union, Member States of the EU, insolvency practitioners and judges, as well as scholars. The targeted group many times flows explicitly from the text of a recommendation or the context in which such a recommendation is developed and presented.

We cherish the belief that the report will assist in taking a next, decisive step in the evolutionary process of the European side of business rescue and insolvency law.

The suggested citation is either:

Wessels, Bob and Madaus, Stephan, Business Rescue in Insolvency Law – an Instrument of the European Law Institute (September 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3032309,

or alternatively

Wessels, Bob and Madaus, Stephan, Business Rescue in Insolvency Law – an Instrument of the European Law Institute (September 2017). Available at http://www.europeanlawinstitute.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/p_eli/Publications/Instrument_INSOLVENCY.pdf.

ELI-Projekt zum Europäischen Sanierungsrecht – ein erster Meilenstein

ELI project on business rescue discusses first results

Das Projekt des European Law Institute zur Unternehmenssanierung, bei dem ich als einer von drei Projektleitern beteiligt bin (siehe die Projektbeschreibung), hat am 19./20.3.2015 auf seiner ersten Projekt-Konferenz in Wien die Berichte der National Correspondents diskutiert. Die Berichte sind anhand eines detaillierten Fragebogens einheitlich erstellt worden und stellen in bemerkenswerter Offenheit und Genauigkeit nicht nur das geschriebene Recht, sondern auch die gelebte Praxis der Unternehmenssanierung in den von uns untersuchten Europäischen Staaten dar. Siehe auch den Veranstaltungsbericht des ELI. Die NC-Berichte werden in der zweiten Jahreshälfte als Buch publiziert und dann das erste – bereits durchaus bemerkenswerte – Produkt dieses Projekts sein. Auf dieser soliden Basis bestehen gute Aussichten für die weiteren Ziele des Projektes. Allen Berichterstattern sei auch an dieser Stelle nochmals ausdrücklich für die enorme Arbeit und die Diskussion in Wien gedankt!

The ELI project on business rescue organised a conference in Vienna on March 19-20 where National Correspondents to the project presented their inventory and normative reports. For a short conference report see. Based on a detailed questionaire, these reports allow for a remarkable and fine-grained look at the law and practice in our selected Member States. The reports will be published in a book in the second half of 2015 and form the first – truly notable – output of our ELI project. Once again, I’d like to thank all National Correspondents for their contribution!