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European Law Institute Launches Book on Rescue of Business in Europe

On 10 September 2020 the European Law Institute (ELI) launched the book Rescue of Business in Europe. The volume presents the results of a study led by Prof. Em. Bob Wessels (Leiden University, The Netherlands) and Prof. Stephan Madaus (Martin-Luther University, Germany), assisted by Gert-Jan Boon (Leiden University, The Netherlands). During its 2020 Annual Conference, Prof. Christiane Wendehorst, president of the ELI, virtually handed over the first copy of the book to Prof. Ignacio Tirado (University Autónoma of Madrid, Spain; also secretary-general of UNIDROIT).

The publication of the book by Oxford University Press follows the unanimous adoption of the Instrument on Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law by the ELI in 2017. The Instrument has ten Chapters that put forward 115 recommendations on a variety of themes affected by the rescue of financially distressed businesses.

In addition to the Instrument, the second part of the book includes national/international inventory reports and normative reports. The national reports sketch the legal landscape in 13 EU Member States. Furthermore, this part comprises an inventory report on international recommendations from standard-setting organisations such as UNCITRAL, the World Bank, INSOL International and INSOL Europe. 

Impacting business rescue laws across Europe

During the conference, Christiane Wendehorst highlighted that the project has already influenced discussions in academia, legislative initiatives and case law across Europe. Most recently, in August 2020, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania cited the Instrument in its judgment, stating (freely translated): ’21. (…)  The Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law, a review by the European Law Institute, recognizes that when a debtor's business is viable, rescuing it maintains a viable economic structure (including jobs). (…).’ But also the UK legislator and European Commission have expressly referred to the Instrument in legislative proposals.

Guiding academics, practitioners, and legislators

After the virtual handover of the book to Prof. Ignacio Tirado (Secretary-General of UNIDROIT, acting in his academic capacity as professor of Corporate and Insolvency Law, Autonoma University, Madrid), he commented the level of analysis taken by the Reporters. This book is very helpful to academics, practitioners and legislators in improving their restructuring and insolvency regimes. In particular, in implementing the EU Preventive Restructuring Directive (2019/1023), legislators in EU Member States are faced with the manifold of alternatives offered by the Directive. This book, Ignacio Tirado stated, reviews different approaches taken already across Europe and provides for reasoned options that legislators may follow.

Speakers at the ELI Book Launch

Prof. Tatjana Josipovic (chair of the ELI Members Consultative Committee, University of Zagreb, Croatia) emphasized the timeliness of the study due to the implementation of the Directive, but also the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19. Furthermore, she highlighted that the value of the book extends beyond the recommendations. In furthering better understanding of restructuring laws and approximation of laws in Europe, the extensive glossary of the book provides for valuable building blocks.

This book is very helpful to academics, practitioners and legislators in improving their restructuring and insolvency regimes.

In their contributions, Bob Wessels, Stephan Madaus and Gert-Jan, were particularly grateful for the great support, discussions and collaboration with many colleagues from across Europe. In their national reports, suggestions, and assistance they have been pivotal in realising the aims of the project and deliver this book on Rescue of Business in Europe.

For further information, see: 

European Law Institute (ed. Part I) and Bob Wessels, Stephan Madaus & Gert-Jan Boon (ed. Part II), Rescue of Business in Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2020 (also available here).

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