Is Corporate insolvency law effective and efficient? Part 2

A.P.K. Luttikhuis

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Little empirical research has been done in the Netherlands (or internationally) into the effect of corporate insolvency proceedings. The Dutch legislature has made several attempts in the past decades to revise the current Dutch Bankruptcy Act (Faillissementswet) of 1893, while almost nothing is known about the effectiveness and efficiency of the Dutch corporate insolvency law. I have studied the effectiveness of the current Dutch insolvency law and of European Directive 2001/23/EC which is incorporated in this law, on the basis of theoretical and large-scale empirical research. The study concerned all 4167 of the corporate insolvencies that ended in 2004. In the first part of this Article (International Insolvency Review, Volume 17, 3, Winter 2008, pp. 189-209), the research results showed that the Dutch Bankruptcy Act achieved the goals seton it only to a limited degree and that the informal restructuring procedure is of great social importance. In this second part, I concentrate on the conditions imposed by European Directive 2001/23/EC on the European national legislatures to protect employees' rights: automatic transfer of employment contracts in the event of transfers as part of insolvency proceedings, together with measures to prevent misuse of insolvency proceedings in such a way as to deprive employees of the rights provided for in this European Directive. The study shows that, in the Netherlands, not applying automatic transfer of employment contracts when an undertaking or business is transferred as part of an insolvency proceeding does not result in large-scale misuse of insolvency law. It appears that automatic transfer of employment contracts outside insolvency proceedings can actually impede the informal restructuring of financially unsound companies. These surprising results are interesting for corporate insolvency proceedings worldwide. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalInternational Insolvency Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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