On Friday 8 May, Freshfields Professor of Commercial Law Horst Eidenmüller and Clifford Chance Associate Professor of Law and Finance Kristin van Zwieten welcomed academics, policymakers and practitioners from six European jurisdictions (the UK, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark) to St Hugh’s College for a conference on restructuring and insolvency reform projects in Europe. The conference focused on two parallel reform initiatives spearheaded by the European Commission: its 2014 Recommendation on restructuring law, and the 2015 revision of the European Insolvency Regulation (‘EIR’). The overall objective was to encourage careful evaluation of the scope and content of both initiatives, and the ways in which they will interact to impact on the resolution of financially distressed business enterprises in Europe.

The conference was structured around short presentations on the Recommendation and recast EIR, followed by lively roundtable discussion with some 45 participants. The discussion was wide-ranging, focusing both on granular aspects of the reform proposals and on ‘big picture’ questions, such as whether (and by what mode) harmonisation of restructuring and insolvency law in Europe should be pursued. The debate was enriched by the presence of a number of senior practitioners who offered views on how legal practice could be predicted to adapt in light of the reforms, and the costs and benefits of this evolution.

A report from the conference is available (in German).