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Turnaround Management and Bankruptcy Law


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of business economics is needed.


During declining economic circumstances there is an increased attention for companies in financial distress. Large listed corporations undoubtedly capture the limelight and off course attract the imagination of the media but several thousand Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) enter into financial distress every year. In most cases there was the opportunity to pre-emptively intervene through what is called informal reorganization or Turnaround Management. In current day practice an insolvent company will however most likely enter into formal bankruptcy proceedings and in a worst case scenario such a company will be liquidated. So why does one particular rescue attempt succeed while others fail miserably? What are the critical factors of success in turning a company around and where lay the pitfalls? How can early warning mechanisms be used to prevent organizational decline in the first place? What is the role of each individual stakeholder within this process? What is the theoretical foundation of bankruptcy law? And should a petition for formal reorganization proceedings never be submitted? These are only a few of the questions that will be addressed in the course Turnaround Management and Bankruptcy Law.

In this elective course the problematic nature of companies in financial distress as in current day bankruptcy practice will be discussed through a multidisciplinary approach were both legal and business economic aspects of financial distress and bankruptcy are put into the limelight. Through case studies derived from both theory as international practice a better insight into financial distress is gained. Stakeholders are confronted with all kinds of problems when attempting to rescue companies in financial distress and keep it going concern. The problematic nature of the survival of companies in financial distress is located within the field of Law & Economics. This course is a must for students who are interested in (strategy) consultancy, entrepreneurship, finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or even insolvency law.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The objective of this course is: to impart knowledge to students on the topic of financial distress, turnaround management and bankruptcy law.

Achievement levels
After completion of this course you have acquired the following qualifications:

  • You are able to explain the emergence of financial distress, make a distinction between the different stages of financial distress and determine both causes as well as symptoms of financial distress;

  • You are able to make a distinction between the different steps in the process of Turnaround Management and review the problems within a company in financial distress based upon the Turnaround Assessment;

  • You are able to review the individual elements of a Turnaround Plan and formulate both operational as well as financial restructuring measures;

  • You are able to explain what the advantages and disadvantages are as well as the success and failure factors of Turnaround Management;

  • You are able to argue what skills are needed in order to cope with financial distress and determine how these skills should be deployed with respect to the various stakeholders of a company in financial distress;

  • You are able to make a distinction between the various proceedings in insolvency law and outline the difference between pro-creditor and pro-debtor reorganization proceedings;

  • You are able to interpret the developments within insolvency law in the context of rescuing companies in financial distress and outline their impact on the functioning of Insolvency Office Holders.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of lectures: 5 lectures of 4, 2 hours each

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. dr. J.A.A. Adriaanse, A.M. Verweij LL.M., guest lecturer(s)

  • Required preparation by students: Prescribed literature and case studies
    FYI: All meetings concern combined lectures with seminars. No difference between lectures and seminars is being made. The prescribed compulsory study materials for each week which will be posted on Blackboard. Since the substance of the lectures are part of the examination students are strongly recommended to prepare accordingly in advance of attendance of the lectures.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: None 5 seminars of 2 hours each

  • Names of instructors: None Prof. dr. J.A.A. Adriaanse, A.M. Verweij LL.M., guest lecturer(s)

  • Required preparation by students: NoneOn Blackboard a weekly defined subject will be posted including study instructions which will indicate what kind of preparation is needed in advance of the seminar. During the seminars the discussion will be based upon the weekly defined subject.

Other methods of instruction

  • Description: None

  • Number of (2 hour) instructions: None

  • Names of instructors: None

  • Required preparation by students: None

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam consisting of essay questions and a case study. For more details, see the Blackboard environment.

Submission procedures

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • This will be announced well in advance through the Blackboard environment of the course.

Course information guide:

  • This will be posted well in advance on the Blackboard environment of the course.


  • None

Recommended course materials

  • None


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: A.M. Verweij LL.M.

  • Work address: Kamerlingh Onnes Building (KOG) Room B3.14

  • Contact information: Availability Monday till Friday

  • Telephone number: +31715271978

  • Email:


  • Institute: Institute for Tax Law and Economics

  • Department: Department of Business Studies

  • Room number secretary: B2.11

  • Opening hours: Availability Monday till Friday, from 09.00 till 17.00

  • Telephone number secretary: +31715277851

  • Email: