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2018-06-doc4 Privacy protection in Asia and the EU

The Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI), which started in 2016, is an institute based in Singapore. It initiates, conducts and facilitates research and produces authoritative texts with a view to providing practical guidance in the field of Asian legal development and promoting the convergence of Asian business laws. Since last year I am involved in their work related to restructuring and insolvency, in which a close cooperation with the International Insolvency Institute (III, see www.iiiglob.org) is sought. See http://www.bobwessels.nl/blog/2017-09-doc10-launch-of-asian-principles-of-restructuring-project/. In May 2018, ABLI published a large study on Regulation of Cross-border Transfers of Personal Data in Asia. It contains a compendium of 14 detailed reports (in all over 400 pages) written by legal practitioners, scholars and researchers in their respective jurisdictions, on the regulation of cross-border data transfers in the wider Asian region, which includes Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Macau SAR, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Under leadership of Dr Clarisse Girot, Research fellow at ABLI, the report brings together the regulation of data transfers in the jurisdictions mentioned and includes a study of data transfer provisions in Asian data privacy laws to address the wider spectrum of issues that have an impact on the legal framework of cross-border data flows. It will form the basis for a second phase in ABLI's research: an in-depth study of the differences and commonalities between Asian legal systems on these issues and – where feasible – the drafting of recommendations and/or policy options to achieve convergence in this area of law in Asia. It is interestng to note that the study apprears in the month in which in Europe tighter regulation on data sharing and international data transfers has been enacted via the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the introduction to the full report it is also noted that the reports demonstrate how the extraterritorial effects of the GDPR have had their influence. The EU standards guide or inspire reflections on national reforms in Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong SAR, while I read that several European concepts have been imported ('data portability' in the Philippines, or the 'right to be forgotten' in Indonesia and South Korea). This makes the report an interesting read for European governments, data privacy regulators, law practitioners and the privacy industry as a whole as well. Where many Asian companies operate globally and in future certain Asean guidances will become available, it may be expected that a mutual exchange of ideas can take place and that 'global' convergance may be around the corner.

2018-06-doc3 Realising more efficient application of the EU Insolvency Regulation

It’s near to a year that the Insolvency Regulation (Recast) (or EIR 2015) came into force, see http://www.bobwessels.nl/blog/2017-06-doc10-here-i-am-eu-insolvency-regulation-recast/. As the theme regulates cross-border insolvency in the EU and is laid down in a EU Regulation, a member state cannot divert from its content. Experience with the its predecessor, the original Insolvency Regulation (EIR 2000), which entered into force in May 2002, however, proved that it is useful for national legislators to safeguard a seamless and effective adoption of a Regulation, by arranging for legislation concerning the incorporation of the EIR 2000 (including compatibility with certain elements of domestic law) into national law.

Initiated and chaired by the authors, a group of European academics and practitioners has conducted a survey (between October 2017 and March 2018) investigating the way in which a number of member states (Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and draft legislation of Italy) have responded (or partly, or not) to the need for compatibility between the Insolvency Regulation (Recast) and these member states’ domestic rules. The members of this group were Giorgio Corno (Studio Corno Avvocati, Italy), prof. em. Ian Fletcher (University College London, UK), prof. Tuula Linna (University of Helsinki, Finland) and prof. Ignacio Tirado (University Autónoma of Madrid, Spain). Prof. Stephan Madaus (Martin Luther University, Germany) and myself acted as co-reporters.
Ten queries were formulated, especially related to the new norms and concepts in the Recast. Here I provide just one example of these, concerning the relation between main and secondary insolvency proceedings. Article 36 EIR 2015 provides for a European concept of an ‘undertaking’. The insolvency practitioner (IP) in the main insolvency proceedings can give to local creditors in another member state such an undertaking to prevent the opening of secondary proceedings in that other member state. Two subparagraphs in Article 36 (from a total of eleven (!)) have been analysed, Article 36(5) (‘Approval of an undertaking in order to avoid secondary insolvency proceedings’) and Article 36(8) (‘Local creditors may apply for suitable measures’).

It may seem surprising, therefore, that some legislators decided not to introduce specific legislation on how to proceed. In Finnish legislation, for instance, Article 36(5) is not particularly addressed, whilst in the Netherlands, the provision in the Regulation itself is regarded as containing a complete regulation. Other national legislators, however, specified the process of accepting an undertaking under national law. French law permits the IP who has been appointed in main proceedings opened within French territory to make an undertaking to local creditors of an establishment belonging to the debtor situated in the territory of another member state. The existence of a valid undertaking permits the court, however, to reject a request for the opening of insolvency proceedings, provided that the practitioner or debtor-in-possession can justify its compliance with the terms of new provision concerning agreement of the creditors and approval by the court. For the latter situation, the IP is required to file a petition with the President of the designated Commercial Court or High Court with jurisdiction over the territory where the debtor’s establishment is situated with view to having the undertaking approved. Without the approval, the undertaking does not come into force, although an application may still be made for the opening of secondary proceedings within 30 days of the approval being forthcoming. Germany has included rather detailed provisions about the procedure applicable for the approval of an undertaking by local German creditors. The IP in the main proceeding initiates the voting procedure, which can be done electronically. He informs all known creditors and asks them to file their claims for a determination of voting rights. Disputed claims would be allowed to vote. Only if the result of the vote depends on the admission of disputed claims, the court would need to decide about their admission. The IP would inform all local creditors about the outcome. Any court decision would be deferred to the moment specified in Article 38(2) EIR 2015, so no immediate court approval would be required to approve an undertaking. Any dissenting local creditor may file for secondary proceedings where the local court would have to decide about the approval and the binding force of an undertaking according to Article 38(2) EIR 2015.
Some legislators also included rules on the enforcement of an undertaking under Article 36(8) EIR 2015 (‘Local creditors may apply for suitable measures’).

German law addresses too the rules on jurisdiction in Article 36(7)-(9) EIR 2015 by assigning a competent German insolvency court or referring to the (foreign) court of main proceedings. There is no specific rule on a possible conflict in the content of decisions from the foreign and the local court. Following the general rules of procedural law, the former decision would prevail as far as it decides about a request (res judicata). French law allows local creditors of an establishment belonging to the debtor situated in the territory of another member state to object or to bring a request under the terms of Article 36(7)-(8) EIR 2015 the French courts in order to obtain adherence to the undertaking made by the insolvency practitioner, to ensure its compliance with the applicable law or to obtain any suitable measures/relief towards these ends. Any judgment of the court may be appealed by the IP, the debtor-in-possession, a petitioning creditor or the Public Prosecutor. Draft legislation in Italy allows that local creditors may apply to (i) the deputy judge of the main proceedings opened in Italy to require the insolvency practitioner in the main insolvency proceedings to take any suitable measures necessary to ensure compliance with the terms of the undertaking available under the law of the State of the opening of main insolvency proceedings under Article 36(8) EIR 2015, or (ii) the court which has jurisdiction considering the place where the establishment of the debtor is located to take provisional or protective measures to ensure compliance by the insolvency practitioner with the terms of the undertaking, in accordance with Article 36(9) EIR 2015. Orders issued upon requests of local creditors may be challenged in accordance to ordinary Italian rules applicable to insolvency proceedings. Both Finland and the Netherlands do not address the matter.

In the survey domestic responses from the countries mentioned have been assessed, relating to (i) the international jurisdiction of a court in a member state to open insolvency proceedings and the choice of law (or: private international law) provisions; (ii) the (automatic) recognition of these proceedings in other member states; (iii) the duties for insolvency practitioners and courts to cooperate and to communicate with each other in cross-border insolvency matters; and (iv) the specific system for insolvency proceedings of members of a group of companies. From the survey, it follows that legislators in member states are rather reserved when drafting legislation to realise the recast Insolvency Regulation. If member states provide for domestic legislation, significant variations can be seen. Some legislators assess that the provisions under the EIR 2015 are rather complete, leaving little or no room for supplemental national rules. Others, however, prefer to explain the decision-making processes and the venues of courts to hear and decide remedies found in the Regulation. As a consequence, the study calls on national legislators in EU member states to review their assessment, or to initiate assessment, and to better coordinate efforts in order to (i) prevent unnecessary confusing differences; (ii) save costs, precious court time (procedural battles in court) and effort (delay and costs of litigation) in finding these out; and (iii) encourage/strengthen effective and efficient national (procedural and substantive) rules to realise the Insolvency Regulation (Recast). The European Commission is invited to promote coordinated efforts in the realisation of the EU Insolvency Regulation in Member States, by taking appropriate initiatives, such as the creation of a body of knowledge to support Member States, the preparation of best practices in aligning these efforts, as well as ensuring coherence and efficiency by professional and dedicated staff support.


The full Report is available as the Conference of European Restructuring and Insolvency Law (CERIL)’s Report 2018-01 on CERIL’s website, see http://www.ceril.eu/uploads/files/20180604-ceril-report-2018-1-final-version.pdf. For CERIL, see also https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/business-law-blog/blog/2017/03/conference-european-restructuring-and-insolvency-law-founded.

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2018-06-doc2 Art. 21 Rv en eigen aangifte

Zie mijn uitnodiging opgenomen in dit blog onder 2018-05-doc3 om reacties/commentaar op mijn conceptteksten voor Wessels Insolventierecht I, 5e druk te sturen naar: info@bobwessels.nl. Nu het volgende onderwerp:

[1214a] Toepasselijkheid art. 21 Rv.? De eigen aanvrage van of aangifte tot faillietverklaring is niet alleen als een niet overdraagbaar wilsrecht te beschouwen, zij is ook een eenzijdige ongerichte rechtshandeling. Het betreft een rechtshandeling waaruit jegens derden niet zelfstandig een verbintenis voortvloeit. De bepalingen uit Titel 2 (Rechtshandelingen) van Boek 3 BW zijn op de eigen aangifte van overeenkomstige toepassing, zie art. 3:59 BW. Ten aanzien van de eigen aangifte als processuele rechtshandeling kent het Procesreglement LOVC onder art. 1.2 (‘Faillissement op eigen aangifte’) een lange lijst met voorschriften ter zake van onder meer haar indiening. Deze zijn vooral formeel-technisch van aard: medeondertekening; aantal exemplaren; bijvoeging stukken e.d. Substantieel van aard is art. 1.2.2.6 onder b, te weten de bijvoeging van een overzicht van baten en schulden, een lijst van crediteuren met hun namen en hun vorderingen en een lijst van debiteuren met hun namen en hun vorderingen.

Rb. Midden-Nederland 11 april 2017, ECLI:RBMNE:2017:1879, oordeelt (voor zover mij bekend als eerste rechtbank) dat op grond van art. 21 Rv ‘… partijen, dus ook verzoeker’ verplicht zijn de voor de beslissing van belang zijnde feiten volledig en naar waarheid aan te voeren. Wordt die verplichting niet nageleefd, dan kan de rechter daaruit de gevolgtrekking maken die hij geraden acht. De rechtbank mist in deze zaak diverse gegevens, onder meer een bij de aangifte gevoegde schriftelijke verklaring over het ontstaan van de schulden. Hoewel daarnaar gevraagd (vergelijk art. 22 Rv) heeft de aangever ook niet een jegens hem door de curator ingestelde vordering wegens bestuurdersaansprakelijkheid gemeld en evenmin het beslag, dat al voor die vordering was gelegd en de procedure waarin hij ten tijde van de aangifte al was betrokken. Door het verzwijgen van deze betrokkenheid bij het faillissement (van ‘zijn’ BV) en de aansprakelijkstelling, zo oordeelt de rechtbank, heeft verzoeker zijn verplichting uit hoofde van art. 21 Rv geschonden: de schuldenlast en de oorzaak van het ontstaan van zijn schulden is niet volledig aangevoerd; deze schuldenlast is, afgezet tegen de bezittingen van verzoeker, een feit dat medebepalend is voor het antwoord op de vraag of verzoeker in de toestand verkeert dat hij heeft opgehouden te betalen; de oorzaak van het ontstaan van de schulden is mede van belang voor de beantwoording van de vraag welke curator de rechtbank moet benoemen: ‘Uit de onvolledige aanvoering van de schulden maakt de rechtbank de gevolgtrekking dat ook aan de volledigheid van de door schuldenaar opgegeven lijst van bezittingen moet worden getwijfeld. Dat verzoeker in de toestand verkeert dat hij (anders dan op eigen initiatief) heeft opgehouden te betalen, is dan ook niet summierlijk gebleken. De aangifte zal worden afgewezen’.

De vraag rijst of art. 21 Rv op de eigen aangifte van toepassing is. De bepaling speelt sinds 2002 een principiële rol in een tussen partijen gevoerde procedure. Over haar precieze inhoud wordt in de literatuur echter gedebatteerd, als ook over de vraag of zij een algemene verplichting behelst om voldoende gegevens te verschaffen voor de beoordeling van het geschil tussen partijen, omdat het publieke karakter en het belang van de rechtspleging vergen dat de partijen gezamenlijk bijdragen aan een zo goed mogelijke inrichting van het civiele proces, zie, met verwerking van veel vindplaatsen, Asser Procesrecht/Giessen 1 2015/91 en 2015/516 e.v. De zogenoemde waarheidsplicht ex art. 21 Rv is volgens de Hoge Raad ook van toepassing op verzoekschriftprocedures, omdat deze verplichting geldt ‘… voor alle in het wetboek van burgerlijk rechtsvordering geregelde procedures’, zie (met betrekking tot een alimentatiegeschil) HR 25 maart 2011, NJ 2012/627, nt. Snijders.

Ik twijfel echter of art. 21 Rv op de eigen aangifte van toepassing is. Nu (i) de indiening van de eigen aangifte in art. 4 van de wet is geregeld, (ii) zij niet gericht is op de beslechting van een tussen partijen bestaand geschil, (iii) de voor de summiere beoordeling gewenste gegevens in het hierboven aangehaalde Procesreglement LOVC zijn aangegeven (daaronder is niet opgesomd de oorzaak van het ontstaan van de schulden noch de noodzaak om deze informatie ter beschikking te hebben voor beantwoording van de vraag welke curator te benoemen) en (iv) de aard en de vereiste snelheid van de procedure (de ‘… zeer summieren rechtsgang en … eene spoedige afdoening en eindbeslissing ook bij de hogere colleges …’, zie MvT, Van der Feltz I (1896), p. 282 e.v.) gewaarborgd moet zijn, lijkt me art. 21 Rv niet van toepassing c.q is in het bestaande insolventieprocesrecht daaraan een eigen invulling gegeven.

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2018-06-doc1 Woningcooperatie en zorginstelling in faillissement

Zie mijn uitnodiging opgenomen in dit blog onder 2018-05-doc3 om reacties/commentaar op mijn conceptteksten voor Wessels Insolventierecht I, 5e druk te sturen naar: info@bobwessels.nl. Nu het volgende onderwerp:

 [1086]    Rechtssubjecten uitgesloten van faillissement. Er zijn uitzonderingen op de regel dat iedere schuldenaar kan worden failliet verklaard. De faillissementscurator in zijn hoedanigheid kan niet failliet worden verklaard. Voor een belangrijke categorie schuldenaren (financiële instellingen als banken en verzekeringsmaatschappijen) geldt een afzonderlijk regime, zie par. 1515 e.v.


[1087]    Zorginstellingen. Voor ziekenhuizen gold tot 2005 een bijzonder regime. Art. 18a e.v. Wet Ziekenhuisvoorzieningen (oud) kende de Minister van Welzijn, Volksgezondheid en Cultuur de bevoegdheid toe een ziekenhuisvoorziening te sluiten respectievelijk te saneren. De Commissie Sanering voerde het bij deze Wet behorende Besluit financiering sanering ziekenhuisvoorzieningen (Stb. 1981, 386, laatstelijk gewijzigd bij besluit van 16 december 1997, Stb. 702) uit. Bij collisie met de bevoegdheden van een faillissementscurator prevaleren de bevoegdheden van de eerste, aldus Afd. Bestuursrechtspraak RvSt. 31 augustus 1995, TvG 1996/68. Vergelijk ook Vriesendorp, TvI 2005, p. 137 e.v. Thans heeft sanering betrekking op een ‘zorginstelling’, vergelijk Hoofdstuk V (‘Sanering’) in de Wet toelating zorginstellingen, Stb. 2005, 571, en wordt zij uitgevoerd door het College sanering (art. 1 lid 1 onder c van genoemde wet). Sedertdien is de regelgeving aan kritiek onderhevig, mede naar aanleiding van de financiële perikelen omtrent het Slotervaart ziekenhuis (Klaassen, Ondernemingsrecht 2015/14) en het faillissement van het Ruwaard van Putten ziekenhuis (vergelijk Kampers en Lintel, TvI 2017/18) en ziekenhuis De Sionsberg. Over aspecten van het faillissement van een zorginstelling, zie Meersma, Hekman en Rijken, in: Onderneming en Financiering 2017 (25) 1, p. 69 e.v. Het onderwerp heeft de aandacht van het ministerie, zie de evaluatie van de faillissementen van de genoemde twee ziekenhuizen: brief d.d. 8 maart 2016 van de Minister van Volksgezondheid Welzijn en Sport, kenmerk 917538-147190-MC. Het ministerie heeft in juli 2017 een 20 pagina tellende ‘Handreiking curatoren faillissementen in de zorg’ gepubliceerd, zie www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2017/07/06/handreiking-faillissementen-in-de-zorg-voor-curatoren. Gezien het enorme belang gemoeid met de continuïteit in zorg (patiënten belang; financieel belang overheid; werkgelegenheid van vele duizenden) ben ik voorstander van een insolventiestelsel dat meer is toegesneden op de specifieke problematiek bij zorginstellingen en meer pasklare oplossingen aanreikt voor vroegtijdig ingrijpen, zie www.bobwessels.nl/blog/2017-07-doc7-naar-een-stille-curatele-voor-zorginstellingen-in-financiele-problemen/

[1087a] Volkshuisvesting-instellingen; woningcoöperaties. Volgens art. 61h lid 1 Woningwet kan een toegelaten instelling (woningcoöperatie) of een dochtermaatschappij indien deze ‘… het belang van de volkshuisvesting ernstige schade berokkent, redelijkerwijs in die situatie geen verbetering te voorzien is en een andere daartegen gerichte maatregel dan het onder bewind stellen van die toegelaten instelling of dochtermaatschappij niet doeltreffender zou zijn’ door de rechtbank in het arrondissement waarin zij haar woonplaats heeft onder bewind worden gesteld op een daartoe strekkend verzoek van de verantwoordelijke minister. De rechtbank behandelt het verzoek binnen twee weken nadat hij het heeft ontvangen (art. 61h lid 2 Woningwet). Art. 61h lid 3 bepaalt: ‘Een toegelaten instelling of een dochtermaatschappij die surseance van betaling heeft aangevraagd, aan welke surseance van betaling is verleend, van welke het faillissement is aangevraagd of die failliet is verklaard wordt niet onder bewind gesteld in de zin van dit artikel’. De bepaling is vrij onduidelijk (bijvoorbeeld: als een faillissementsaanvraag reeds voldoende is lijkt het alternatief ‘die failliet is verklaard’ overbodig; wat indien de aanvraag wordt afgewezen?; of moet er sprake zijn van faillietverklaring?) Een overeenkomstige regeling in art. 70e Woningwet (oud) liet onduidelijk of een reeds ingesteld bewind wijkt als bedoelde instelling failleert. Art. 61i lid 1 Woningwet neemt deze onduidelijkheid weg. Het bewind eindigt (i) twee jaar na de uitspraak van de rechtbank waarbij de toegelaten instelling of de dochtermaatschappij onder bewind is gesteld dan wel (ii) met onmiddellijke ingang na het onherroepelijk worden van een benoeming van een of meer bewindvoerders in een aan die toegelaten instelling of dochtermaatschappij verleende surseance van betaling of van een of meer curatoren in haar faillissement. De Minister voor Wonen en Rijksdienst geeft in een brief van oktober 2015 aan de Tweede Kamer enkele opvattingen weer die zijns inziens bij het faillissement van een woningcoöperatie aan de orde zijn, zie Kamerstukken II, vergaderjaar 2015/16, nr. 400. Genoemde minister was een minister zonder portefeuille. De post is onder het kabinet Rutte III verdwenen. Het terrein valt thans onder Binnenlandse Zaken.

2018-05-doc6 Powers of an IP acting in another EU member state

In principle, an insolvency practitioner appointed by a court that has jurisdiction pursuant to Article 3(1) of the recast European Insolvency Regulation (EIR 2015), has the authority to exercise all the powers conferred on him by the lex concursus in other member states. The Lex concursus is the law applicable to the insolvency proceedings and their effects, being the law of the member state within the territory of which such proceedings are opened. The term “opening” means a decision of the court to open insolvency proceedings, to confirm the opening of such proceedings, or to appoint an IP.
Like judgments opening insolvency proceedings, an IP’s powers shall be recognised “automatically” in all EU member states. The number of powers that an insolvency practitioner may have, the nature of such powers and their legal effects are all determined by the lex concursus. Furthermore, the lex concursus is decisive with regard to the IP’s legal tasks, duties, the scope of his power and the grounds and procedure for his removal.
For example, in Dutch main insolvency proceedings, the appointed IP will be subject to supervision by the supervisory judge (“rechter-commissaris”) when taking steps in other member states.
In literature, one finds the opinion that the lex concursus will also be decisive in determining the insolvency practitioner’s liability for failure or weakness of performance, including the standard of care required. However, the possibility cannot be excluded that certain (third) parties could start liability proceedings before the courts of another state within the territory of which certain acts of the IP have caused damages. As to jurisdiction in those circumstances, a Barcelona Court in 2013 decided that a main IP from Germany may act in Spain, fully in accordance with the domestic powers afforded to him by Spanish law. He can be liable in Germany, to be decided by a German court, but such an action can also be decided by a Spanish court (see “References” below for the case number).

The IP may also find in the Insolvency Regulation some specific additional powers.
The second sentence of Article 21(1) in the EIR 2015 explicitly provides for the main insolvency practitioner to have power to remove the debtor’s assets from the territory of the member state in which these assets are situated, subject to Articles 8 and 10, respectively on third parties’ rights in rem and reservation of title. The provision creates a substantive rule, as this power may also be exercised when the lex concursus itself does not include a power of this nature. However, when removing assets, the IP must respect Articles 8 and 10, as the main insolvency proceedings cannot affect rights in rem of creditors or third parties over assets situated, at the time of the opening, in a member state other than the state of the opening of the proceedings.
In addition, the insolvency practitioner in the main insolvency proceedings only has authority to exercise his powers in the other member states within the limits of the Insolvency Regulation – see the first sentence of Article 21(1) of the EIR 2015: and therefore only “… as long as no other insolvency proceedings have been opened there and no preservation measure to the contrary has been taken there further to a request for the opening of insolvency proceedings in that State.” This general limitation relates to the possibility of opening territorial insolvency proceedings pursuant to Article 3(2) of the EIR 2015. Within the system of the Regulation this is a logical restriction, since the assets cannot be subject to the powers of two different IPs.

Once secondary proceedings (which have territorial effect) have been opened in another member state, the direct powers of the IP in the main proceedings no longer apply to assets situated in the state of the opening of the secondary proceedings. The IP in these latter territorial proceedings has exclusive powers over those assets. This does not, however, imply that the main IP loses all influence over the debtor’s estate situated in the other member state, it rather means that his influence must be exercised through the powers conferred on that IP by the Regulation to coordinate the territorial proceedings and the main insolvency proceedings.
In addition to those limitations, the IP in the main insolvency proceedings shall, in exercising his powers, comply with the law of the member state within the territory of which he intends to take action, in particular with regard to procedures for the realisation of assets. Such powers may not include coercive measures, unless ordered by the court of that member state, or the right to rule on legal proceedings or disputes (see Article 21(3) of EIR 2015). In any given case where the persons affected by an IP’s act do not voluntarily agree to its performance and coercive measures are required with regard to assets or persons, the IP must apply to the authorities of the state where the assets or persons are located to have them adopted and implemented.

The meaning of “shall comply with” local law may be confusing. The English text (“shall comply”) appears to be stricter than various other texts, for example the Dutch text uses eerbiedigen (which is the equivalent of “to respect”), the French text doit respecter, Spanish deberá respectar. The rationale is that the IP has the powers based on the lex concursus of main insolvency proceedings. They stay intact, with due respect to the lex concursus of the other member state, in as far as it concerns taking actions, more specifically procedures for the realisation of assets. Where procedural law in the other member state does not include specific provisions that allow the main IP to address the court, or where national law is interpreted in a way that is not beneficial to the main IP, it may be necessary to request the opening of secondary proceedings.

A remarkeable example of infringing the laws of the state in which the IP takes action comes from The Dutch Council of State in 2016. Although the IP may transfer assets belonging to the estate in another member state, this power may be subject to rules limiting the free movement of goods. An asset, for instance, may be part of the historical and cultural heritage of a member state and may be subject to an export ban protected under Article 30 of the Lisbon Treaty and Article 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
As stated in the last sentence of Article 21(3) in the EIR 2015, not all powers of an IP may be exercised, as he may not employ coercive measures or exercise the right to rule on legal proceedings or disputes. The main IP can not be a judge in their own case.
An example (based on Article 18 of the former Insolvency Regulation, which is similar to Article 23 of the EIR 2015) is a case decided by the Netherlands Supreme Court in 2011.
Three joint administrators had been appointed over a debtor, Y, on 10 December 2008 by the Country Court of Huddersfield in England. At the request of the joint liquidators, the Huddersfield Country Court issued an order in July 2009 against Handelsveem BV in Rotterdam (in Dutch, “handelsveem” translates as “commercial warehousing company”) to submit a detailed list to the joint administrators of all the relevant documents relating to stock situated in all of its locations, present between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2008.
The liquidators also requested recognition of the English court’s disclosure order from a District Court in Rotterdam on the basis of Article 25 of the EIR 2000 (generally reflected in Article 32 of the EIR 2015), and the court granted this request on appeal on 12 January 2010.
According to the court, the given order was an action that derived directly from the insolvency proceedings and which was closely connected to them. The plaintiff complained that the given order was in conflict with Article 18(3) of the EIR 2000, as it opened the possibility of exercising coercion measures in the Netherlands without an exequatur or any other form of control by a Dutch court. The District Court denied that Article 18(3) of the EIR 2000 was applicable. The plaintiff appealed, but the Netherlands Supreme Court decided: “Article 18(3) is a limitation to the principle rule, laid down in Article 18(1) that the liquidator of another Member State can exercise all the powers which are conferred to him by the law of the Member State in which the proceedings have been opened, in as far as these powers include coercive measures. These latter measures are to be regarded as only those coercive measures which flow directly from such law. The limitation does not relate to the case at hand in which the liquidator aims to act in another Member State on the basis of a decision which can be recognised and executed in the meaning of Article 25. Article 18(3) does not stand in the way to the possibility that the joint liquidators in the Netherlands request for recognition of the order, given by the English court, if necessary with the application of coercive measures available under Dutch law. The District Court's decision that Article 18(3) does not apply in this case therefore is correct.”

I note that the powers of an insolvency practitioner in territorial proceedings will be limited to the administration and disposal of assets belonging to the proceedings under which the powers of the IP are derived. Article 21(2) of the EIR 2015 provides that the IP in the secondary proceeding may apply to these other states and request from their courts the return of the assets, or may insist on such a transfer for any other purpose useful to the local proceedings.
One may wonder which specific court in the other jurisdiction the IP should address? In my view the IP should address the foreign court, but which specific foreign court that is must be determined by the law of the particular country in question.
The question remains open as to whether the IP may directly approach a bank in a foreign member state to request transmission of funds to territorial proceedings in the event that the debtor has transferred money to a foreign account. Where the IP, pursuant to Article 21(2), may claim “out of court” that moveable property was removed, he may approach the bank. However, the bank’s predictable response if it had reason to refuse would be that the money does not qualify as “moveable property”.

References
Court (Audienca) Provincial Barcelona 6 March 2013, NZI 13/2014, 576.
Raad van State 17 February 2016, ECLI:NL:RVS:2016:411.
Netherlands Supreme Court 18 March 2011, LJN BP1404.

This is a slightly adapted version of a regular column Bob Wessels is writing for Global Restructuring Review (GRR) on the topic of cross-border restructuring and insolvency in a European context. GRR is a subscription-only publication, but here is a link to the full piece, which appeared in March 2018 on GRR’s website at http://globalrestructuringreview.com