Personal Insolvency: EU and Domestic Perspectives

With reforms taking place across the EU, and new concerns over levels of household debt, this conference will explore the regulation of personal insolvency from both an EU and domestic perspective.

In March 2014 the European Commission adopted a Recommendation on a new approach to business failure and insolvency for the EU. It aimed to enable efficient restructuring of viable enterprises in financial difficulty and give honest entrepreneurs a second chance to run a successful business. It also urges Member States to explore the possibility of applying the principles on discharge also to over-indebted consumers. 

Contributors will speak on issues covering EU approaches and recent domestic initiative and issues in regulation of personal insolvency. There will be representation from Dr Bartlomiej Kurcz (EU Commission) and Mr Peter Tutton from Step Change. Professor Iain Ramsay is the key note speaker and there will be contributions from leading academics in the field including Professor Johanna Niemi, Professor David Milman, Professor Andrew Keay, Mrs Donna McKenzie- Skene, Dr Joseph Spooner and Dr John Tribe.

08.45 - 09.20    Registration
09.20 - 09.30    Professor Gerard McCormack: Director’s Welcome
9.30 - 10.00      Keynote Speech: Professor Iain Ramsay, University of Kent 
Towards a New International ‘Commonsense’ In Personal Insolvency Law?

Session 1 Setting the Scene
10.00 -10.30     Dr Bartlomiej Kurcz, EU Commission, DG Just 
Changing the perception of business failure and reducing the bankruptcy 'stigma'.
10.30 -11.00     Professor Johanna Niemi, University of Turku
EU comparative aspects of consumer bankruptcy

11.00 -11.30     Coffee break

Session 2: Processes and Second Chance
11.30 - 12.00     Professor Andrew Keay, University of Leeds
Transactional Avoidance in European Personal Insolvencies: Divergence and Decision
12.00 - 12.30    Dr Sarah Brown, University of Leeds
Second chance for sole traders and consumers:  EU approaches
12.30 - 13.00     Professor David Milman Lancaster University
Stewardship and the regulation of insolvency practitioners handling personal insolvency cases

13.00 - 14.00     Lunch

Session 3 UK and Irish Perspectives
14.00 - 14.30     Mrs Donna McKenzie- Skene, University of Aberdeen
Recent reform of bankruptcy law in Scotland
14.30 - 15.00     Dr Joseph Spooner, LSE
A Second, Third, Fourth Chance for Personal Insolvency Reform? Bankruptcy Law and Politics in the Irish Crisis
15.00 - 15.30     Mr Peter Tutton, Step Change 
Breathing space, protection and recovery – what do households in financial difficulty need?

15.30 - 16.00    Coffee break

Section 4 Bankruptcy and Personal assets
16.00 - 16.30     Mr Adam Baker, University of Leeds
Personal insolvency and the sale of the family home
16.30 - 17.00     Dr John Tribe, University of Liverpool
Family home and Exemption of assets: Jersey perspectives

Closing Remarks    
17.00 - 17.15     Mr Nicholas Blaney, Insolvency Service