The Conference of European Restructuring and Insolvency Law (CERIL) has recently been founded as an independent non-profit, non-partisan, self-supporting organisation of approximately 75 lawyers and other restructuring and insolvency practitioners, law professors and (insolvency) judges committed to the improvement of restructuring and insolvency laws and practices in the European Union and in its Member States and their operation.
CERIL’s primary purpose is to advise, at its own motion or at request, on technical and policy issues relating to restructuring and insolvency laws, regulation and practice and any related laws, both to European Union institutions as well as Member States and the EU’s neighbouring countries. The Conference’s vision is to provide a unique independent perspective to endorse significant long-term improvements in restructuring and insolvency systems across Europe, including in the European Union.
CERIL is a voluntary organisation, based on the shared commitment by its conferees to collect and present their best insights. To become a conferee is by invitation only and free of charge. Conferees are leading scholars, judges and practitioners in the field. Many of them have been active as an expert on matters of restructuring and insolvency to the European Commission or selected as reporter to the European Law Institute’s project ‘Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law’. In Spring 2017, CERIL is close to its maximum of 75 conferees, who come from around 25 European countries and are independent: they do not take a position which may be influenced by professional obligations and relations or act on behalf of a certain interest group.
CERIL’s governance exists of an Executive and a Board. The Executive is formed by seven conferees:
- Prof. Dr. Bob Wessels, Emeritus Professor of International Insolvency Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands (Chair)
- Prof. Dr. Ignacio Tirado, Professor (Titular) of Commercial Law, Universidad Autónoma of Madrid; Senior Legal Consultant World Bank (Financial Sector) (Vice-Chair)
- Prof. Dr. Reinout D. Vriesendorp, Professor of Insolvency law, University of Leiden; partner De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Secretary).
The other executives are:
- Giorgio Corno, Esq., Studio Corno Avvocati Milan, Italy
- Prof. Ian F. Fletcher QC (hc), Emeritus Professor of International Commercial Law, Principal Research Associate, University College London, UK
- Prof. Tuula Linna, Professor of Procedural Law, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
- Prof. Stephan Madaus, Professor of Civil Law, Civil Procedural Law and Insolvency Law, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.
As founding conferees, we felt the moment had arrived to establish a collective authority as the obvious point of reference for national legislators and policy-makers, as well as acting as a source of expert advice for the EU institutions and other multiparty organisations.
Participants contribute views, on a non-partisan basis, based on their knowledge and experience as practitioners, judges and academics. They also reflect the diversity of national insolvency systems and legal traditions in Europe. The Executive found that European insolvency law is stepping into a next phase of its development, with renewed cross-border rules and a proposal for a directive to harmonise restructuring law in the EU. Its volume increases, including rules for groups of companies and duties for insolvency practitioners and courts. This all affects also national legal domains, such as corporate law, contract law, securities law and procedural law.
The vision behind CERIL is to provide a unique independent perspective to endorse significant long-term improvements in restructuring and insolvency systems across Europe. The Conference establishes a platform that allows for the exchange of ideas, in-depth discussions, often in the context of joint studies and statements of advice on technical and policy matters. The Conference may support legislative initiatives on a EU or national level but also discuss fundamental principles and concepts. Ten Working Parties have been set up to prepare future CERIL statements on such matters as directors liability, acts detrimental to an insolvency estate, the role of shareholders in a restructuring, improving professional and ethical rules applicable to insolvency practitioners, or consumer rights in case of the insolvency of a retailer.
More information about CERIL can be found here.
Bob Wessels is Emeritus Professor of International Insolvency Law at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands).