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2015-12-doc7 Sovereign Debt Restructuring


Yesterday, Wednesday 9 december, Miss Yanying Li defended with success her dissertation Sovereign Debt Restructuring. Towards the Establishment of a Multilateral Legal Framework. The event took place in te Academy building University of Leiden. I acted as her supervisor (promotor).

Miss Li (1987, born in Chongqing, China, with law degrees in China, the USA and from Leiden, and since a few months working at Clifford Chance, London) defended her research in front of a commission, which included professors Tirado (Madrid) and Paulus (Berlin) as well as the Dutch professors Castermans, Haentjens and Schrijver.

As her main argument Yanying Li submits that a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring should (i) not take the form of a collective proceeding and (ii) not include claims with all kinds of maturities. It is her view that in the context of a cram-down procedure, a safeguard procedure should be favored to ensure that any amendment of the contract terms imposed by majority bondholders is fair and equitable with respect to minority bondholders who have voted against the amendment.

She submits that investment arbitration could serve as an appropriate forum to develop such a safeguard provision. A new arbitral tribunal, preferably modelled after the tribunal concerning the Bank for International Settlements, could apply the safeguard provision once developed, because not all sovereign debt claims can be filed before investment treaty tribunals. Her book has been published in the series of the Meijers Research Institute and Graduate School of the Leiden Law School.

For the summary of her research, see