On April 28 and 29, 2022, the fourth annual Doctoral Workshop on European and International Insolvency Law took place, organized by the Bob Wessels Insolvency Law Collection (BWILC) Foundation. A shared first prize was awarded to Gert-Jan Boon (University of Leiden) and Theodora Kostoula (European University Institute) for their research presentations.
This year, the workshop could again take place in person at the Academy building of Leiden University. As an organizer, BWILC invited PhD students from universities across Europe to present and discuss their research with other PhD students and eminent professors. There was a lot of interest in the workshop, with speakers from five different jurisdictions and eight different universities, where three prizes were awarded among PhD candidates.
Discuss current research on restructuring and insolvency law
The first day of the doctoral workshop started with a presentation by Defne Tasman (University of Antwerp, Belgium), who is working on comparative research investigating the role of alternative dispute resolution in corporate restructuring in Europe. Gauthier Vandenbossche (Ghent University, Belgium) followed with a presentation on the need for a unified discharge regime for entrepreneurs and consumers in Europe. Next, Ayodeji Ariyo (University of Wolverhampton, UK) who, from a UK perspective, presented his research on the (in)consistency of directors’ liability standards in insolvency. The final speaker of the day was Johannes Kührt (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) who critically reviewed the approach of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to the postponement of inside information disclosure in the event of an issuer’s financial difficulties.
The next day, Theodora Kostoula (European University Institute, Italy) discussed the position of cryptographic collateral in the context of insolvency, reviewing the implications it might have for existing instruments of UNIDROIT, UNCITRAL and of the HCCH. Jim van Mourik (Radboud University, The Netherlands) presented his study on the use of mediation in formal insolvency proceedings, identifying several legal pitfalls in the use of mediation. Gert-Jan Boon (University of Leiden, The Netherlands) presented his comparative research on debtor in possession (DIP) in the United States and the Netherlands, examining the historical rise and legal nature of the DIP concept. The second day ended with the BWILC conference, given by Dr Emilie Ghio (Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland). In her lecture, she analyzed the evolution of the EU’s approach to harmonisation, with particular emphasis on efforts in the area of insolvency law.
Recognition of outstanding presentations
At the end of the doctoral workshop, the BWILC board of directors – which is composed of Professor Matthias Haentjens, Professor Reinout Vriesendorp, Professor Stephan Madaus, Professor Joeri Vananroye and Dr Paul Omar – awarded three prizes among the presenters. As patron of BWILC, Prof. em. Bob Wessels was invited to present the awards. A shared first prize was awarded to Theodora Kostoula and Gert-Jan Boon. Gauthier Vandenbossche received a third prize and an honorable mention was awarded for the presentation of Defne Tasman.
First chandelier for the BWILC doctoral workshop
The doctoral workshop aims to give doctoral students in the field of European/international insolvency law and at different stages of their research the opportunity to discuss their ideas and conclusions. In addition to strengthening research by creating a place to test new research ideas, the doctoral workshop aims to serve as a platform for exchanging experiences and/or creating an international network. Next year, BWILC will organize its fifth doctoral workshop, which will take place in the spring of 2023.