This year, the Conference of European Restructuring and Insolvency Law, CERIL, was established. CERIL is an independent non-profit organisation of restructuring and insolvency practitioners, academics and judges committed to the improvement of legal and practice frameworks at national and European levels. Its primary purpose is to advise on technical and policy issues relating to restructuring and insolvency laws, regulation and practice, and any related laws in Europe. CERIL was established by a group of academics and practitioners with extensive experience in working on the reform of insolvency laws at national and European level, as well as advising international organisations active in the insolvency field. Founders and conferees of this invitation-only group include members of the European Commission Experts’ Group in Restructuring and Insolvency (who have been advising the European Commission on its proposal for a preventive restructuring framework (see Proposal for a Restructuring Directive), as well as those involved in the European Law Institute’s report on Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law, which was published in September 2017. See Rescue of Business in Insolvency Law – ELI Report published. Presently, the organisation has close to its maximum of 75 conferees, representing over 25 European countries. From Leiden Law School, Professor Reinout Vriesendorp is CERIL’s secretary, and I myself am Chair. Other members of CERIL’s Executive include Professor Ignacio Tirado, Universidad Autónoma of Madrid and Senior Legal Consultant World Bank (Financial Sector); Giorgio Corno, Esq., Studio Corno Avvocati Milan, Italy; Professor Ian Fletcher QC (hc), Emeritus Professor University College London, UK; Professor Tuula Linna, University of Helsinki, Finland and Professor Stephan Madaus, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany. As founding conferees, we felt the moment was right 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. European insolvency law is stepping into a new phase in its development, with renewed cross-border rules and the proposal mentioned. It is increasing in volume, with rules for groups of companies and duties for insolvency practitioners and courts. This also affects 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 the Europe. CERIL maintains a platform allowing for the exchange of ideas and in-depth discussions. It will also conduct joint studies and provide statements of advice on technical and policy matters, with a view to supporting legislative initiatives at national and European levels. Products presently in preparation include the role of shareholders in a restructuring (more specifically related to debt-for-equity swaps), specific matters of directors’ liability, acts detrimental to an insolvency estate, improving professional and ethical rules applicable to insolvency practitioners, and consumer rights in a restructuring or insolvency of a retailer. The first fruit of CERIL’s collaborative research and discussion was published in September 2017 and concerns the clash of principles in European transaction avoidance laws: equal treatment of creditors versus protection of trust. This Statement has been published on CERIL’s website, accompanied by the report on which it is based (Report 2017/01), prepared by a working party chaired by Professor Reinhard Bork, University of Hamburg. For more information on CERIL’s activities see: www.ceril.eu.