This guide is being published in the context of recent transformations in insolvency law in Europe, marked by two major anticipated events.
The first event is the application, as of 26 June 2017, of the EU regulation on insolvency of 2000, reformed in 2015, which strengthens, in particular, (i) the cooperation among national courts and among court-appointed insolvency practitioners, and (ii) the coordination of the different types of procedures available to groups in distress for greater efficiency.
The second event comes on the heels of the 16 January 2017 transmission to the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee of the proposal, dated 22 November 2016, for a directive of the European Commission supporting the ambitious yet realistic project of harmonizing the 28 national insolvency laws based on 3 unifying themes: (i) the promotion of early restructuring tools for companies in distress to minimize insolvencies and thereby the elimination of jobs, (ii) the strengthening of the efficiency of insolvency proceedings in the interests of creditors, and finally (iii) the right to a second chance for bankrupted but honest entrepreneurs to allow them to bounce back.
These two major events will reduce legal obstacles and eliminate discrepancies among the various national insolvency laws to give finally more predictability to banks and investors, thus enhancing the attractiveness and competitiveness of Europe and, ultimately, encouraging employment. This guide helps the reader to understand the functioning of European insolvency law, the objectives of harmonization at the national level among European countries, and the different amicable procedures (early restructuring) and judicial proceedings (insolvency) applicable in each of the 19 participating countries. Stéphanie Chatelon and Arnaud Pédron from the Deloitte Société d’Avocats law firm lead the Insolvency Group, the international working group of the Deloitte Legal network, which brings together more than 50 lawyers specialized in insolvency law from 21 European law firms affiliated or unaffiliated with Deloitte in 19 European countries (both members and non-members of the EU).