Become an expert in insolvency law

March 23, 2016

New certificate program starting this fall

Who would not immediately think of Heta, Alpine or Niedermeyer when it comes to the big insolvencies in Austria? These are only a few examples of complex and time-consuming insolvency proceedings, which require experienced experts to be dealt with in a professional way. However, it is very hard to find these experts nowadays in Austria. Although insolvency law is becoming more and more important, this subject is traditionally covered very briefly, or not at all, during formal legal or business training.

With its new Certified Insolvency Law Expert program, the WU Executive Academy aims to provide students with comprehensive expertise in restructuring and insolvency issues in order to help them to meet the ever-increasing demands in these areas. Under the academic directorship of Prof. Georg Kodek, they will have an opportunity to not only deepen their understanding of law, management, accounting and financial reporting, but also to develop specific strategies for handling restructuring procedures. The program will be taught in German and is going to be launched in October 2016. It is designed for individuals who deal with insolvency-law issues and it especially targets banking professionals, lawyers and members of the organization ReTurn.

The new program is focused on restructuring and insolvency issues over the course of 5 modules.

Insolvency law is crucially important in the legal and business worlds. During formal legal or business training, however, it traditionally plays only a subordinate role. “Not everybody who is required to deal with insolvency issues has the extensive legal, management, accounting and financial-reporting expertise and the experience necessary to cope with the constantly growing demands in this area. The Certified Insolvency Law Expert program will fill exactly this gap,” says Prof. Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of the WU Executive Academy.

The newly developed certificate program aims to not only train students to become restructuring and insolvency-law experts, but also to provide them with advanced legal and business knowledge in this field. It is designed for individuals with or without law degrees who are required to deal with issues pertaining to insolvency law in a broad sense and who seek to deepen their understanding of the subject matter.

This includes lawyers and banking professionals as well as members of the WU Executive Academy's exclusive CILE cooperation partner, ReTurn, an independent body which brings together restructuring, reorganization and turnaround specialists. ReTurn has provided restructuring managers, banking professionals, auditors, management consultants, investors and lawyers with Austria's first expert forum for addressing restructuring issues.

Arthur Zukal, Managing Director of ReTurn, is delighted about the new program, which is the only one of its kind in Europe: “This concise certificate program will equip students with a deep understanding of a complex subject matter and a robust theoretical underpinning. It will cover not only court-supervised restructurings but also out-of-court measures, which are of major importance. As many of the lecturers are members of ReTurn, the program will have a strong practical focus. Moreover, it will provide participants with an opportunity to network and make invaluable contacts.”

Interacting with the experts

During five modules, each lasting one and a half days, program participants will acquire a thorough knowledge of topics such as “Borrowing in times of crisis”, “Out-of-court restructuring”, “Preparation of balance sheets, liability issues, criminal-law implications” and “Operational measures”. Special emphasis will be placed on fostering the interaction between students and lecturers:

“As a result, program participants will not only develop their understanding of the legal framework and the business environment, but they will also get practical advice from seasoned experts on how to handle complex restructurings,” explains Prof. Georg Kodek, Academic Director of the program and Head of WU Vienna's Institute for Business Law. He adds, “at a time when the number of legal cases involving insolvency is increasing, it is more important than ever to have subject-matter expertise and to be particularly sensitive to issues concerning, for instance, the right of avoidance, the refunding of contributions and the doctrine of equity substitution.”

Facts about the program:

The Certified Insolvency Law Expert program will be launched in October 2016. Once a month, students will meet at WU Vienna on a Friday and Saturday for one of the program's five blocked modules:

  • Module 1: Fri., Oct. 7 - Sat., Oct. 8, 2016 “Borrowing in times of crisis 1”
  • Module 2: Fri., Nov. 11 - Sat., Nov. 12, 2016 “Borrowing in times of crisis 2”
  • Module 3: Fri., Dec. 9 - Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 “Out-of-court restructuring”
  • Module 4: Fri., Jan. 20 - Sat., Jan. 21, 2017 “Preparation of balance sheets, liability issues, criminal-law implications”
  • Module 5: Fri., Feb. 17 - Sat., Feb. 18, 2017: “Operational measures”

Class time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Program fee: EUR 6,500 (VAT exempt)

Program language: German.

The program will be offered in collaboration with ReTurn. Members of ReTurn will receive a 10% discount on the program fee.


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