Essential Corporate Bankruptcy Law

Oscar Couwenberg*, Stephen J. Lubben

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
352 Downloads (Pure)


This article begins from a simple observation: Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is the global standard for corporate restructuring, but at the
same time it is a far more complex procedure than most jurisdictions seem to require. This observation begs the question what parts of a bankruptcy system are ‘essential’. We argue that two elements are essential because they cannot be achieved by contracting alone: asset stabilisation and asset separation. Stabilisation ensures that the firm’s options are maintained. Asset separation ensures that the assets underlying these options can be separated from liabilities that are attached to them by law or contract. Both these elements drive much of the rules that are necessary to resolve distress but also show that parts of Chapter 11 are ‘unessential’ – for example, rules regarding reorganisation plans. Our goal is not to doubt the ‘richness and elasticity’ of corporate bankruptcy, particularly in the United States, but to find the essential elements. Beyond asset stabilisation and asset separation, features of the system are a matter of policy and politics. Understanding this helps in structuring insolvency systems and shows that Chapter 11 need not be the standard against which all other laws are measured.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)39-61
Aantal pagina's23
TijdschriftEuropean Business Organization Law Review
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 3-dec-2015

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