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Workshop “Mercantile and Corporate Bankruptcy and Pre-Insolvency in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century: Law and Economy”, 7 December 2018, Tilburg University



This workshop addresses the highly topical theme of mercantile and corporate insolvency and insolvency regulations. Over the course of the past three decades insolvency legislation has come to embrace pre-insolvency compositions and has been orientated more to continuity and the preservation of the going-concern value of firms. The legal and economic history of insolvency needs further exploration. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the phenomena mentioned, in this workshop economic and legal historians reflect on the theme. The emphasis lies on methodological challenges in combining economic and legal-historical research. The presentations also tackle issues from a comparative perspective. This follows from the fact that the drafting of insolvency laws since the middle of the nineteenth century was often combined with borrowing and transplanting of legal arrangements and parts of law from elsewhere. The focus of the papers is on Western Europe.


Venue: Meeting room 10th floor, Montesquieu building, prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221, 5037 DE Tilburg




9h30 Coffee


10u-10h30 P. di Martino (Birmingham Business School), M. Latham (Leicester Business School) and M. Vasta (University of Siena), “Putting history into the study of legal institutions: bankruptcy and insolvency laws around Europe, 1850-2015”


11h-11h30 D. De ruysscher (Tilburg University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) en P. De Reu (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), “Averting Bankruptcy in Belgium 1884-1914. Who Made Use of Pre-Insolvency Compositions?”


12h-13h lunch


13h-13h30 J. Künstreich (Max-Planck Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte), “Insolvency and Liquidity during the Crisis of 1857 in Hamburg and Lübeck”


14h-14h30 J. Cepec (University of Llubljana), “How Countries Construct Insolvency Laws. Lessons from the ex-Yugoslav Republics”


15h coffee break


15h30-16h Thomas G.W. Telfer (Western University), “The Legal History of Bankruptcy Law: Reflections on Comparative and Institutional Approaches”


16h discussion and closing remarks


18h informal dinner Esplanade


Attendance of the workshop is free but with registration. Because of the closed set-up and limited seats, please register at This workshop is part of the research conducted under the umbrella of the ERC-funded project CLLS (

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