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    Insolvency Lunch in Prague
    On 12 November 2018, Giese & Partner organized the first INSOL Europe Lunch in Prague. Ernst Giese reports on this event which took place in the historic centre of Prague in the vicinity of the famous Castle. 

    Several insolvency law experts, liquidators and qualified attorneys from leading Czech law firms accepted the invitation to discuss the current status of the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures and amending Directive 2012/30/ EU.

    The president of INSOL Europe, Mr. Alastair Beveridge gave the welcome address and introduced the association and its activities.

    The keynote speaker was Mr. Nicolaes W. A. Tollenaar from RESOR law firm, Amsterdam. Mr. Tollenaar presented a lively analysis on the Proposal in respect to “debtor-friendly” and “creditor-friendly” systems. His analysis was clearly that the first ones hinder whereas the latter ones facilitate business rescues.

    Mr. Tollenaar offered many useful insights and an outline of what insolvency proceedings should look like ideally, while taking into account economic criteria. He criticised the EC initiative for failing to provide not only the debtor, but also creditors, the right to propose a restructuring plan. Exclusivity in favour of the debtor gives controlling shareholders the ability to offer creditors only marginally more than they might receive in a liquidation. If creditors do not have the right to put forward their own plan and develop an alternative, in practical terms they have no other option than to accept the plan put forward through the debtor by the controlling shareholder. This leads to a transfer of wealth from creditors to shareholders.

    All attendees then shared their opinions, suggestions for consideration and exchanged their professional experience across borders. Tomáš Richter from Clifford Chance (Czech Republic) brought into discussion his practical knowledge, pointing out the fact that there is good and modern legislation focusing on insolvency in the Czech Republic, but the judicial application is very inconsistent in quality.

    Finally, the attendees suggested that regular meetings of the insolvency community in Prague will help to promote INSOL Europe in the Czech Republic.
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