Can bankruptcy law offer debt relief to third parties that are not themselves involved in a formal procedure? This question will be explored in relation to guarantees and mass tort liability. Such third party releases have long been a topic of controverse in the US, and has recently come to a boiling point as a result the bankruptcy proceeding concerning Purdue Pharma and its involvement in the US opioid crisis. Taken together, the answer will be decisive as to the future scope of bankruptcy law and its relation to other fields of law. Leading US and European scholars will guide you through these questions.


14:15 – 14:30 Introduction by chair

Session 1: Expansion of bankruptcy law’s realm well beyond insolvent debtors?
14:30 – 15:00 UK Perspective on third party releases, Riz Mokal (Barrister, South Square, London): ‘Third Party Releases in English Restructuring Law: Pragmatism and Propriety’

15:30 – 16:00 Dutch Perspective on third party releases, Sid Pepels (RU & Jones Day): ‘Third Party Releases under WHOA: a warm welcome for a very limited number of guests only?

16:00 – 16:15 Q&A

16:15 – 16:30 Break

Session 2: Battle of legal spheres. Will bankruptcy law usurp class actions?
16:30 – 17:00 Lindsey Simon (University of Georgia School of Law): ‘Bankruptcy Grifters’.
She writes: “The outcome of a bankruptcy case can bind absent parties, a significant feature that sets it apart from nearly all forms of civil litigation. Mass-tort defendants, eager for the binding finality of a confirmed Chapter 11 plan, are often willing to settle in bankruptcy for terms that would not be possible in other fora. The only problem is that most mass-tort defendants do not want—or do not qualify—to file for bankruptcy. Savvy defendants like the Sacklers, Honda, Wal-Mart, and USOPC have found a way to get this relief without filing Ch 11.”

17:00 – 17:30 Ralph Brubaker (University of Illinois College of Law): ‘Mandatory Aggregation of Mass Tort Litigation in Bankruptcy’

17:30 – 17:50 US lessons for the EU and the Netherlands by Ruud Hermans

17:50 – 18:15 Debate on proper scope of bankruptcy law and class action litigation

18:30 – 20:30 (Moon)walking dinner and celebrations of 10 years NACIIL

Practical info

Thursday 16 June, 14.00-20.30 Oudemanhuispoort 4 (room D109), Amsterdam
Costs: Members €60, non-members €100, (PhD)students €25
Registration: Members via link in email, non-members, please submit form on website
Drinks and Dinner: Yes! Dinner included
Language: English

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