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INSOL Europe news and offers
May 2021

Dear Members

Whilst we are struggling with some rainy weather this week, much warmer and nicer Spring weather is promised for the upcoming week and throughout Europe the COVID-19 infection rates are finally decreasing, so better times ahead in many ways.

I am delighted to present to you this May newsletter full of INSOL Europe’s recent and upcoming activities and hope you will enjoy reading it. 

As living proof of the ever growing ‘digital experience’ I am proud to be able to inform you that the three-day joint International Conference on ‘Business Law Experiences, Evolutions and Perspectives in Business Law in the Post-pandemic Era’, which took place from 13-15 May 2021, was a great success and attracted a whopping 9,118 participants. INSOL Europe organised this event together with the Romanian Institute of Commercial Law and the Faculties of Law of Babes-Bolyai University, Romanian-American University, Nicolae Titulescu University and the Titu Maiorescu University. Please read the full report below by Niculina Somlea, Coordinator to INSOL Europe’s Eastern European Countries’ Committee (EECC).

Equally successful was the Academic Forum Spring Webinar of 20 May 2021, at which Professor Nuria Bermejo (Universidad Autonomà Madrid) held a very interesting lecture on the topic of public creditors in preventive restructuring frameworks, which was followed by a lively debate among the participants. You can find the full report of this event by Myriam Mailly (INSOL Europe Technical Officer) and Paul Omar (INSOL Europe Technical Research Coordinator) below.

Many thanks to all who contributed to these events and made them such a success.

As part of our still full digital mode of operations, in my previous President’s column I asked your attention for our brand new online networking event, to be held on 17 June. In the meantime, registration has been opened and the number of participants is increasing on a daily basis. Do remember, we have only 100 places available and registrations will be handled on a first-come-first-served basis. Also make sure to prepare your personal elevator pitch to make the best of this event. Check out this newsletter for more details.

This newsletter also provides you with further updates on our other initiatives, whilst we are moving towards the Summer months. A big thank you to all those who contributed to this newsletter.

Please check out INSOL Europe’s website to stay up to date with our initiatives and stay safe and healthy!  

Marcel Groenewegen
President INSOL Europe



Marcel Groenewegen
President of
INSOL Europe


This issue is kindly sponsored by:


DLA Piper is a global law
firm with lawyers located
in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

Registration Now Open for our Summer Speed Networking Event

Registration now open!

After the recent successful networking event for our Young Members Group, we are very pleased to announce that we have decided to open this up to all members. 

The event will take place on the evening of Thursday 17 June (17:00-18:00 CET), and will be free to members on a first-come-first-served basis, limited to the first 100 applicants.

Using the concept of ‘speed dating’ each attendee will have the opportunity to take part in 5 private (one to one) live video conversations with other members of INSOL Europe. Each conversation lasts approximately 6 minutes before you are automatically moved onto the next conversation. This format is designed to accelerate business contacts during a time whereby we are unable to travel.

Guests are encouraged to bring along a glass of their preferred wine/beer/soft drink from their fridge and tune into the session from the comfort of their home or office.

As each conversation is relatively short, it’s useful for each attendee to prepare an “elevator pitch” so they can quickly provide a clear summary of who they are and their area of expertise.

Please contact Event Manager Harriet Taylor for more details

Kindly sponsored by:

Spring Webinar: Public claims, Pandemics and Preventive Restructuring

The Academic Forum Spring Webinar recently took place on 20 May 2021, report Myriam Mailly (Technical Officer) and Paul Omar (Technical Research Coordinator).

Kindly sponsored by Edwin Coe LLP (London), the event featured a presentation by Professor Nuria Bermejo (Universidad Autonomà Madrid). Introduced by Marcel Groenewegen (INSOL Europe President) and Professor Tomáš Richter (Academic Forum Chair), Professor Bermejo outlined some key themes around the topic of “Public Creditors in Preventive Restructuring Frameworks: Considerations in the light of the Pandemic Crisis”.

For Professor Bermejo, public claims, pandemics and preventive restructuring are not easy issues with ready solutions. The key questions are whether preventive restructurings could/should be dominated by public creditors, given their unwillingness to participate as “economic owners” of the firm, leading to liquidations if plans are not adopted? What will be the impact going forward if the State is involved in insolvencies as a creditor? Will this help or hinder recovery? Will public creditor behaviour lead to restructuring success or just consigning debtors to liquidation? How ought public creditors to participate and be involved in the restructuring process?

Against that background, Professor Bermejo mentioned several reasons for bringing public claims within preventive and restructuring proceedings and concluded that the public creditor privilege does not avoid inclusion within a plan, but may result in differences in application, although new strategies are required for their “rational involvement” in restructurings. Above all, there is a need to do this quickly, as significant public claims are likely to feature going forward.

Read the full report and view Professor Bermejo’s slides on our website.


The Academic Forum is kindly sponsored by:

INSOL Europe draws record numbers at Romanian Online Conference
The ‘International Conference on Business Law Experiences, Evolutions and Perspectives in Business Law in the Post-pandemic Era’ took place 13-15 May 2021. INSOL Europe organised the event with the Romanian Institute of Commercial Law and the Faculties of Law of Babeș-Bolyai University, Romanian-American University, Nicolae Titulescu University and Titu Maiorescu University, reports Niculina Șomlea Co-ordinator to Eastern European Countries' Committee (EECC).
The conference had no less than 9118 participants over three days, with 1780 attending INSOL Europe’s panel on ‘Implementing the Directive 2019/1023’, listening to renowned experts from Germany, UK, Czech Republic and Romania. This was a record number for the organisers.
We were very fortunate to have, during the INSOL Europe panel, Prof. Christoph G. Paulus, Prof. Paul J. Omar and Prof. Tomáš Richter, together with the moderator, Prof. univ. Dr. Gheorghe Piperea. The esteemed professors had at their disposal a translated version of the amendments; thus, there were able to make direct recommendations on the implementation project. The importance of early warning, the clawback provisions and the necessity for further detailing the stay were a few of the amendments discussed.
Until 2008-2010, in Romania, insolvency was considered bankruptcy, with only a small number of judicial reorganisations - in 2008, about 1% of insolvency procedures. Compared to 2008, in 2018, there were five times more reorganisations procedures, i.e. about 6% of total insolvencies. You should note that about 80% of companies that go into insolvency are without any assets, which would indicate an accurate percentage of about 24% of reorganisation procedures of the total insolvencies in which the debtor has assets. Concerning pre-insolvency proceedings, although present in legislation for more than ten years, it has been found that they are rarely accessed: the ad hoc mandate is scarce in practice, the data regarding the preventive composition indicate a relatively higher interest, for concordats – a little over 80 procedures, with a success rate of 8.75%. This is an indication of structural deficiencies in the regulation of this restructuring instrument and a mindset of entrepreneurs.

Even though the Directive was adopted before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, given its efficient solutions for the affected companies, it is a welcoming addition to the Romanian legislation on restructuring and insolvency. Keeping our economy alive in these difficult times will be one of our main goals in years to come, and implementing the Directive into national legislation indeed is a step in the right direction.

Benefits of INSOL Europe Membership

  • Discounted rates for our conferences and online events
  • Free access to our Web series – Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021
  • Free digital copies of publications in the INSOL Europe Technical Series including "The European Communication & Cooperation Guidelines for Cross-Border Insolvency."
  • Free copies of Eurofenix, INSOL Europe's popular quarterly journal
  • Discounted advertising rates for you and your business in Eurofenix
  • Opportunities to join working groups, write articles for our newsletters and website
  • Weekly emails with top European insolvency news items
  • Access to the INSOL Europe European Insolvency Regulation Case Register now hosted by LexisNexis
  • Access to a tracker of insolvency reforms globally produced by Lexis Nexis in partnership with INSOL Europe
  • Privileged website access to password protected members' areas which includes:
    • Glossaries of Terms relevant to insolvency laws of most European countries
    • A downloadable version of the Membership Database
    • Material from the Eastern European Countries' Committee
    • Current edition of Eurofenix in PDF format
    • Forthcoming papers by the Academic Forum
    • INSOL Europe's Financial Statements
  • Discounted rate for the INSOL International conferences
  • Discount of 25% off INSOL International’s Foundation Certificate in International Insolvency Law
  • Free copies of INSOL International's quarterly newsletter, "INSOL World", together with their annual Membership Directory and technical releases.
Visit our website for more details or contact Membership Manager, Hannah Denney.


INSIDE Story: Portugal - For great ills, great remedies!

Since the early days of the pandemic, the Portuguese legislator has taken several extraordinary measures to help businesses: the deferral of specific obligations, namely tax obligations and social security contributions, bank loans, performance in lease contracts; a furlough scheme for employees; the opening of lines of credit, just to name a few. As far as insolvency law is concerned, the only measure for a long time has been the suspension of the duty to file for insolvency. The usefulness of such a measure is, however, limited, given the fact that, to begin with, the creditors and the debtor itself retains the right to request the opening of the insolvency proceedings.

More recently, Law No. 75/2020 of 27 November 2020 introduced additional measures, from which stand out the new extraordinary proceedings designed to allow the swift restructuring of businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis (Articles 6 to 15). The national legislator has put into practice the old saying “for great ills, great remedies” and created extraordinary proceedings for an extraordinary crisis. But are these proceedings the (most) appropriate tool to meet the actual needs of the businesses (companies and entrepreneurs)?

Read the full article here by Catarina Serra, Justice of the Supreme Court, Professor, University of Minho (Braga), Portugal.

If you would like the opportunity to have your Inside Story published in a future edition, please email Communications Manager, Paul Newson for details.

Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021 - More videos published

Our Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021 series continues with our popular video conversation format established in 2020.

This year, the INSOL Europe Country Coordinators will share their experiences with representatives from their local associations, highlighting the reforms and challenges of the national insolvency framework to address the current crisis and other key issues in their jurisdiction.

The latest videos from Croatia and Italy can be seen here alongside Luxembourg, Russia, Latvia, Portugal, Finland and France.

Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021 are brought to you in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and its Legal Transition Programme (LTP). The LTP is the EBRD’s initiative to contribute to the improvement of the investment climate in the Bank’s countries of operations by helping create an investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environment. This objective is implemented by the Legal Transition Team, a dedicated team of specialised lawyers working across the 38 economies where the EBRD invests.

If you would like to sponsor a Coffee Break video in 2021, please contact Hannah Denney, Sponsorship Manager, for details.

Watch the latest videos here


In partnership with:

UNCITRAL Working Group V 58th (Virtual) Session 4-7 May 2021

UNCITRAL’s Working Group V on insolvency met for its 58th session from 4-7 May in a virtual space instead of in the bustling metropolis of New York City, much to the regret of the majority of the delegates.

The meetings were hosted in Vienna where delegates from across the world united morning, noon and night (depending on the time zone) to discuss the remaining questions within the 107 provisions and 389 commentary paragraphs of the draft text on a simplified insolvency regime. 

There was a sense of urgency in the proceedings due to the potential consequences that the eventual withdrawal of SME protection provided during the COVID 19 pandemic may have in the near future. The tenor of the discussions and debate highlighted the need for an imminently if not immediately useable instrument to help SMEs deal with the fall out of pandemic related lockdowns. The impact of the pandemic on the efficiency of discussions fed into that concern further, which inspired the convening of several informal sessions hosted on Zoom, during which many of the issues were acknowledged and at least to some extent ironed out before the formal meetings convened. 

Despite issues of efficiency due to the virtual format and the challenges of interpretation over poor connections, the Working Group succeeded in finalising the 107 recommendations and most of the commentary, agreeing in the end to submit the recommendations to the Commission to approve in principle, leaving the door open to revisit the recommendations at the next session should that be necessary. This should mean that the instrument will hopefully be available as a resource for SMEs by the time the economic fallout of withdrawn safety nets proffered during the pandemic come home to roost.  

A full report by Dr Jennifer L L Gant and Paul Omar will be published on the INSOL Europe website.


Forthcoming Events - Dates for your Diary

As the pandemic continues to affect our daily lives in different ways across Europe and beyond, we are continuing to hold our events online throughout 2021, including:

  • 7 & 21 October - Autumn Online Conference - details tbc
  • 25 November - EECC Online Conference - details tbc

Watch this space for further details of these events and more to be added soon!


We welcome feedback, news and story ideas for future newsletters. 

Please send your suggestions to Paul Newson, Communications Manager,

INSOL Europe, PO Box 7149, Clifton, Nottingham. NG11 6WD
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Disclaimer: This newsletter is sent to members of INSOL Europe. No responsibility legal or otherwise is accepted by INSOL Europe for any errors, omissions or otherwise. The opinions expressed in the articles that appear are not necessarily shared by any representative of INSOL Europe.