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TRI Leiden Turnaround, Rescue & Insolvency

On Friday 26 January 2018 the Bob Wessels Insolvency Law Collection has been officially opened at the Leiden Law School (Leiden University). For eight years, from 2007-2014 was Bob professor of international insolvency law at the Leiden University. He recently donated a large part of his private insolvency library to the Stichting (Foundation) Bob Wessels Insolvency Law Collection which has the object to promote the interest and knowledge of international and comparative restructuring and insolvency law and to maintain and manage the library and to promote worldwide access to it.

The opening of the Bob Wessels Collection on Insolvency Law (BWCIL) was performed by Dean prof. Joanna van der Leun and prof. Matthias Haentjens (chair of the foundation) by unveiling a showcase with a selection of the collection.

The Foundation aims among other things, to hold public meetings and lectures, to organise courses, initiating initiatives and publishing and distributing publications. In addition, it strives to make the collection available via easy accessible, openly licensed text and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing for research purposes. Donations and contributions from third parties will support the Foundation in reaching its goals.

The board members of the foundation are:

Prof. Matthias Haentjens, Professor of Financial Law, Leiden Law School, chair
Prof. Eric Dirix, Leuven, Judge Supreme Court; Professor of Private law, University of Leuven, Belgium
Prof. Ian F. Fletcher, Q.C. (hon.), Em. Professor of International Commercial Law, University College London, United Kingdom
Prof. Stephan Madaus, Professor of Civil Law, Civil Procedure and Insolvency Law, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany
Prof. Reinout D. Vriesendorp, Professor of Insolvency Law, Law Leiden Law School, secretary/treasurer.

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The ELI Instrument on the Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law, elaborated by Bob Wessels and Stephan Madaus, was finalised and approved this year by the ELI Council and the General Assembly in September. On the occasion of the 52nd Session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group V (Insolvency), the ELI organised an event on 20 December 2017 at the Austrian Ministry of Justice, which attracted around 60 participants.

The guests were cordially welcomed by ELI President Christiane Wendehorst, who gave a presentation of the work of the ELI: ‘The ELI is a Membership-based organisation’, Wendehorst said while emphasising the vital role of Members in the activities of the Institute, particularly with regard to ELI Projects. She also took the opportunity to express her gratitude for having UNCITRAL as an Institutional Observer.

Thereafter, one of the two Co-Reporters of this Project, Stephan Madaus, took to the stage to present the Instrument itself. He elaborated on the aims, methodology and outcomes of the Project and thanked all the parties involved for their contributions, especially his fellow Co-Reporter Bob Wessels, who had conceived the Project.

Madaus was followed by José Angelo Estrella-Faria, a Senior Legal Officer at UNCITRAL. Estrella-Faria presented an overview of UNCITRAL’s history and work to the audience and highlighted commonalities between the ELI and UNCITRAL: ‘This instrument we present today is an excellent example of this complementary relationship’, he said.

The presentation was followed by a reception, where the guests had in-depth discussions on the topic. The ELI Instrument on the Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law as well as the background materials leading to it will be published with Oxford University Press in the coming months. For a summary of the Project and its background, please click here.

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