CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES

Speech by Karel Frielink at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association

Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to thank the Curaçao Ombudsman, Alba Martijn, for inviting me to speak at this conference. Unfortunately, she will leave office in about a month. She did an excellent job, and her professionalism, dedication and impartiality leave a lasting legacy. Thank you Alba!

I have only half an hour, so I won’t travel back in time to the early days of mankind. I just start with Plato (427 – 347 B.C.E.). You may have heard of this philosopher. …
Read the rest »

26
May 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

LAWYERS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST

A lawyer must be independent

A lawyer (attorney at law) is expected to be independent. This independence involves an attitude: this is the lawyer’s disposition toward his client but also toward the court and in actual fact toward any other party involved. He ought to represent the interests of his client and not be led by his own interests. Neither is he allowed to represent the interests of others if they conflict with the interest of his client.

In the (Curaçao) Code of Conduct for Lawyers this starting point is described as follows: “The lawyer shall not undertake to represent …
Read the rest »

01
May 2015
CATEGORY

Legal

COMMENTS No Comments

LIABILITY OF THE SILENT PARTNER

The Supreme Court can give its opinion

I will first describe Dutch law in this respect. A limited partnership (commanditaire vennootschap: ‘CV’) is a contractual, legal relationship between two or more persons or legal entities to carry on a business under a joint name, whereby the aim is to gain proprietary benefits on the basis of their contributions. The CV (with multiple managing partners) is therefore a special form of the general partnership (vennootschap onder firma: ‘VOF’). This special status consists of the business operations also being carried on at the expense of one or more silent partners (limited partners), …
Read the rest »

24
Apr 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

SUPREME COURT U-TURN

The bankruptcy of a general partnership (‘VOF’) does not automatically mean the bankruptcy of its partners

For many decades the rule had to be adhered to that the bankruptcy of a general partnership (vennootschap onder firma: ‘VOF’) also meant the bankruptcy of the individual partners (Supreme Court 14 April 1927, NJ 1927, page 725).

However, in a ruling of 6 February 2015 the Supreme Court made a U-turn and held that there is no (or no longer) any justification for this connection (ECLI:NL:HR:2015:251). The Supreme Court has justified its new position as follows:

3.4.1 A VOF has no corporate personality. …
Read the rest »

16
Apr 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

QUASI DIRECTOR OR JUST THE BOSS?

This depends on the facts

If a legal entity (an NV or BV comes to mind) becomes bankrupt, any director (according to its Articles) becomes jointly and severally liable for the deficit of the bankrupt’s estate if it is apparent that there has been improper management and it is plausible that this was a major cause of the bankruptcy.

The Act provides that a person who (during the relevant period) determined or co-determined the policy of the legal entity as if he was a director is considered equivalent to a director. This is also called a quasi director. For instance, …
Read the rest »

11
Apr 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

LIABILITY OF A NEW PARTNER

Supreme Court creates clarity

The National Ordinance on Partnerships (Landsverordening personenvennootschappen) of Curacao (1 January 2012) and St. Maarten (1 April 2014) mentions two main variants of the partnership: the public partnership and the silent partnership. The public partnership is a partnership (i) for carrying on a profession or business or performing professional or business acts, which (ii) partnership acts externally in a way which is clearly recognizable by third parties (iii) under a name it uses as such (Section 7:801 subsection 1 of the Civil Code).

The partners of a public partnership are jointly and severally liable for the …
Read the rest »

04
Apr 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

LIABILITY OF A TRUST DIRECTOR

No lighter liability system

The National Ordinance on the supervision of Trust Service Providers (Landsverordening toezicht trustwezen) does not provide anything with regard to the liability of trust offices (a.k.a. management services companies) or their representatives acting as a director under the Articles (of Association) of a legal entity (for instance a company limited by shares (‘NV‘), private company with limited liability (‘BV‘) or foundation). The question is whether this liability is governed by the usual rules in this area. Because the trust office as a director of a legal entity usually fulfills a different role from a director – …
Read the rest »

28
Mar 2015
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

REVOCATION OF A RESOLUTION TO DISSOLVE A LEGAL ENTITY

The Supreme Court formulated stringent conditions

On 9 December 2014 the Dutch Supreme Court pronounced a ruling (ECLI:NL:HR:2014:3677; JOR 2015/33) which is also relevant to the law of the Caribbean (Is)lands of the Kingdom. On the basis of that ruling the following requirements are imposed on the revocation of a resolution to dissolve a legal entity:

  • the resolution to revoke must comply with the requirements which generally apply to a resolution of the general meeting of shareholders (read: the same requirements as the ones which apply to the resolution to dissolve);
  • the revocation shall not impair the legal certainty requirements or …
    Read the rest »
  • 25
    Mar 2015
    CATEGORY

    Corporate

    COMMENTS No Comments

    AANSPRAKELIJKHEID NIEUWE VENNOOT

    Hoge Raad schept duidelijkheid

    De Landsverordening personenvennootschappen van Curaçao (1 januari 2012) en St. Maarten (1 april 2014) noemt twee hoofdvarianten van de personenvennootschap: de openbare vennootschap en de stille vennootschap. De openbare vennootschap is de vennootschap (i) tot het uitoefenen van een beroep of bedrijf dan wel tot het verrichten van beroeps- of bedrijfshandelingen, die (ii) op een voor derden duidelijk kenbare wijze naar buiten optreedt (iii) onder een door haar als zodanig gevoerde naam (art. 7:801 lid 1 BW).

    De vennoten van een openbare vennootschap zijn hoofdelijk verbonden voor de verbintenissen van de vennootschap. Gaat het om een …
    Read the rest »

    17
    Mar 2015
    CATEGORY

    Corporate

    COMMENTS No Comments

    HERROEPING ONTBINDINGSBESLUIT RECHTSPERSOON

    De Hoge Raad heeft stringente voorwaarden geformuleerd

    De Hoge Raad heeft op 9 december 2014 een arrest gewezen (ECLI:NL:HR:2014:3677; JOR 2015/33) dat ook voor het recht van de Caribische (ei)landen van het Koninkrijk relevant is. Op grond van die uitspraak worden de volgende eisen aan herroeping van een ontbindingsbesluit gesteld:

  • het herroepingsbesluit moet voldoen aan de vereisten die in het algemeen gelden voor een besluit van de algemene vergadering van de rechtspersoon (lees: dezelfde vereisten als gelden voor het ontbindingsbesluit);
  • de herroeping mag geen afbreuk doen aan de vereisten van rechtszekerheid of de rechten en belangen van derden (lees: niemand …
    Read the rest »
  • 17
    Mar 2015
    CATEGORY

    Corporate

    COMMENTS No Comments

    AANSPRAKELIJKHEID TRUSTBESTUURDER

    Geen verlicht aansprakelijkheidsregime

    De Landsverordening toezicht trustwezen zegt niets over de aansprakelijkheid van trustkantoren of vertegenwoordigers daarvan die als statutair bestuurder van een rechtspersoon (bijvoorbeeld een NV, BV of stichting) optreden. De vraag is of deze aansprakelijkheid door de gebruikelijke regels op dit vlak wordt beheerst. Omdat het trustkantoor als bestuurder van een rechtspersoon doorgaans een andere rol vervult dan een bestuurder die – zelfstandig – strategische beslissingen neemt, rijst de vraag of voor een trustkantoor mogelijk een lichter aansprakelijkheidsregime geldt.

    Recent heeft het Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie een vonnis gewezen naar het recht van St. Maarten waar het betreft …
    Read the rest »

    16
    Mar 2015
    CATEGORY

    Corporate

    COMMENTS No Comments

    CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2015 LEGAL RANKINGS RELEASED

    Karel Frielink ranked Band 1 again

    Today Karel Frielink received a message from one of Chambers and Partners’ representatives: “I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a ranked lawyer in Chambers Global 2015 identifying you as one of the best lawyers in your jurisdiction.”

    The Chambers Guides have been ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990, and now cover 185 jurisdictions throughout the world. Chambers ranks lawyers and law firms on several factors and considerations, all of which are investigated by their large team of more than 140 researchers. Today, Chambers and Partners …
    Read the rest »

    12
    Mar 2015
    CATEGORY

    Legal

    COMMENTS No Comments