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Leiden scholar wins first prize at insolvency law research workshop

On 28 and 29 April 2022, the fourth annual PhD Workshop on European and International Insolvency Law took place, organised by the Foundation Bob Wessels Insolvency Law Collection (BWILC). A shared first prize was awarded to Gert-Jan Boon (Leiden University) and Theodora Kostoula (European University Institute) for their research presentations.

This year, the Workshop could take place again in person at the Academy Building of the Leiden University. As organiser, BWILC invited PhD candidates from universities across Europe to present and discuss their research with fellow PhD researchers and eminent professors. There was much interest for the Workshop, with speakers from five different jurisdictions and eight different universities, where three prizes were awarded among the PhD candidates.

Discussing ongoing research on restructuring and insolvency law

The first day of the PhD Workshop commenced with a presentation by Defne Tasman (University of Antwerp, Belgium), who is working on comparative research studying the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution in corporate restructuring in Europe. Gauthier Vandenbossche (University of Ghent, Belgium) followed with a presentation on the need for a unified discharge regime for entrepreneurs and consumers in Europe. Next was Ayodeji Ariyo (University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom) who, from a UK perspective, presented his research on the (in)coherence of norms for directors’ liability in insolvency. Last speaker of the day was Johannes Kührt (Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) who critically examined the approach of European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on delay disclosure of inside information during an issuer´s financial distress

The next day, Theodora Kostoula (European University Institute, Italy) discussed the position of crypto collateral in the context of insolvency, reviewing the implications it may have for existing instruments of UNIDROIT, UNCITRAL and the HCCH. Jim van Mourik (Radboud University, the Netherlands) presented his study on the use of mediation in formal insolvency proceedings, detecting several legal pitfalls in the use of mediation. Gert-Jan Boon (Leiden University, the Netherlands) discussed his comparative research on the debtor in possession (DIP) in the US and the Netherlands, looking into the historic rise and legal nature of the DIP concept. The second day was concluded by the BWILC lecture, which was held by Dr Emilie Ghio (Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland). In her lecture, she analysed the evolving EU approach to harmonisation, with a particular focus on the efforts in the area of insolvency law.

Recognition for outstanding presentations

At the end of the PhD Workshop, the BWILC board – which is composed of Prof. Matthias Haentjens, Prof. Reinout Vriesendorp, Prof. Stephan Madaus, Prof. Joeri Vananroye and Dr Paul Omar – awarded three prizes among the presenters. As patron to BWILC, Prof. em. Bob Wessels was asked to present the prizes. A shared first prize was awarded to Theodora Kostoula and Gert-Jan Boon. Gauthier Vandenbossche was awarded a third prize, and an honorary mention was given for the presentation by Defne Tasman.

First lustrum for the BWILC PhD Workshop

The PhD Workshop aims to give PhD candidates in the field of European/International Insolvency Law and in different stages of their research the chance to discuss their ideas and findings. On top of strengthening research by creating a venue for testing new research ideas, the PhD Workshop aims to act as a platform for exchanging experiences and/or creating an international network. Next year, BWILC will organise its fifth PhD Workshop, which will be held in Spring 2023.

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