Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law

30 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2016 Last revised: 20 Apr 2017

See all articles by Horst Eidenmueller

Horst Eidenmueller

University of Oxford; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: June 23, 2016


This chapter deals with fundamental issues of corporate insolvency law. Particular attention is paid to the agency problems related to “bankruptcy governance” and how these are addressed in various jurisdictions. Methodologically, the chapter is based on a functional approach that compares different legal regimes against the yardstick of economic efficiency. The structure of the chapter follows the issues as they arise in time in a corporate insolvency proceeding: objectives of insolvency laws, opening and governance of proceedings, ranking of claims and the position of secured creditors and shareholders, and rescue proceedings. The chapter also covers the contractual resolution of financial distress. It concludes with thoughts on the reasons for the identified jurisdictional divergences and an outlook on the worldwide efforts towards harmonization of (corporate) insolvency laws. In terms of jurisdictions, the chapter mainly draws on the corporate insolvency laws in the US, England, France and Germany.

Keywords: Insolvency, Bankruptcy, Corporations, Corporate Insolvency Law, Corporate Bankruptcy Law, Comparative Law, Insolvency Governance

JEL Classification: G3, K2

Suggested Citation

Eidenmueller, Horst G. M., Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law (June 23, 2016). European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Law Working Paper No. 319/2016, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 30/2017, Available at SSRN: or

Horst G. M. Eidenmueller (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

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