Schoenaerts & Partners are experienced receivers and administrators. We have a broad advisory practice in the field of restructuring and reorganising companies in dire straits. With our team we assist companies, directors, creditors, financiers and other stakeholders in financially challenging times. As we are active in the settlement of bankruptcies on a daily basis, we are fully aware of the problems that can occur in a (pre)bankruptcy situation.
“No matter, Try again, Fail again, Fail better " (S. Becket)
Mr. Schoenaerts obtained his Master's degree in Law from the University of Antwerp in 1977. The diploma mentions a specialization in commercial, economic and financial law.
In 1980 he started his own law firm and built up a solid reputation as a lawyer-curator, both nationally and internationally.
Mr. Schoenaerts obtained a Master's degree in corporate law (Master in Business law) in 2001 and this with great distinction as primus inter pares at the University of Antwerp.
Mr. Schoenaerts followed courses organized by the then Commercial Court on accounting and balance sheet analysis, over a period of two years. He is one of the few lawyers to have fully mastered all aspects of accounting.
In addition, Mr. Schoenaerts special training in company law and all its aspects, over the period of one year. When the new code was introduced, he followed this course again at the Fiscale Hogeschool in 2020.
Mr. Schoenaerts is regularly appointed by the corporate court and the then commercial court as administrator of companies in difficulty, as a legal officer in judicial reorganization proceedings.
Mr. Schoenaerts has also already handled some five hundred bankruptcies as a trustee.
Every year, Mr. Schoenaerts retrained in the field of insolvency law. He is a frequently asked speaker and author in the field of insolvency law.
Mr.'s office Schoenaerts is the only and specialization specializing in insolvency law, in particular the problems of companies in difficulty, judicial reorganization and bankruptcies. He acts as both a trustee and a lawyer assisting his clients in all matters of insolvency law.
The interest and willingness to keep up to date and stay up to date is one of the many strengths that Mr. Schoenaerts owns. This allows him to assist his clients in a clear and correct manner, despite the constant evolution of the law. With his specific knowledge of bankruptcy procedures, he proved not only to be an efficient advisor, but also a handy strategist.
In 1995, Mr. Schoenaerts published his book “The Belgian justice: a Kafkaesque nightmare”. Even before the Dutroux affair, he gave a razor-sharp and straightforward analysis of the judicial situation in Belgium. The book is now decades old, but the predictions presented by mr. Schoenaerts are still seen today as building blocks of the transformation of the Belgian justice system into a well-functioning and democratic institution.
ALAIN VAN DEN CLOOT
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." (W. Churchill)
Alain Van den Cloot is an experienced lawyer/receiver who is highly specialised in company and economic law with corporate and social law aspects. Expert in guiding companies from their establishment, negotiating and drafting contracts, dispute resolution between partners, conducting legal proceedings, guiding companies in difficulty ('GRP', former 'WCO') to the liquidation and dissolution of companies. Legally strong professional with a postgraduate focus on International Business Law from Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London.
With more than 25 years of legal experience Mr. Alain Van den Cloot is a critical and energetic lawyer and trustee (since 1996) specialised in commercial and economic law with corporate and social law aspects and with a thorough experience in bankruptcies and liquidations.
Mr Alain Van den Cloot offers companies a full service in this respect.
He is client oriented, strong in negotiations and focused on achieving results. He attaches great importance to discretion and efficiency.
As receiver in bankruptcies of more than 400 companies and liquidator of numerous companies, he has extensive 'in-house' experience in the continuation and transfer of activities.
He is perfectly trilingual (NL, FR, EN), which is an absolute asset in an increasingly international economy.
Studies and training
Annual relevant trainings and seminars
Financial business economics & Accountancy: Sep 2001 - Jun 2002
Antwerp Management School
Postgraduate training receiver - liquidator: Sep 1997 - Jun 1998
University of Antwerp
LLM-Business Law: Aug 1993 - Aug 1994
Queen Mary & Westfield College, London University, UK
Master in law : Sep 1990 - Jun 1993
University of Antwerp
Bachelor in Law: Sep 1988 - Jun 1990
Secretary VZW Pro Mandato (interest group of receivers)
Member of ARGO Association (cooperation between actors in the maritime world)
The entrepreneur as debtor
Half of the entrepreneurs indicate that they already have problems with paying off the short-term debts. These are fixed costs such as loans, rent, taxes, social security, energy and invoices. Due to the domino effect, one self-employed person may get carried away with another.
Directors can be held personally and jointly and severally (jointly) liable for the established debt deficit if the following conditions are met:
At some point prior to the eventual bankruptcy, they knew or should at least have known that there were apparently no reasonable prospects for continuing the business and bankruptcy was inevitable;
They were directors at the time or exercised at least one effective director's authority;
At that time they would not have acted as a normal and careful director would have acted in the same circumstances.
Troubled directors of companies in effective difficulty wonder to what extent they may still try to find a solution for the ailing company. Shareholders and employees are required to consolidate that one potentially highly profitable deal or opportunity. Is one then liable? Or not?
The entrepreneur as a creditor
The crisis is causing a tsunami of unpaid bills and bankruptcies. The entrepreneur does not know what to do with his unpaid invoices. In the event of bankruptcy, the Entrepreneur is obliged to file a declaration in the Register of Solvency (REGSOL). As recievers, Bruno Schoenaerts and Alain Van den Cloot know that most entrepreneurs do not succeed in this and that they see their chances of recovery significantly reduced. After all, it is important to make a correct declaration by invoking the correct business rights, privileges and goods to which the privilege applies. This is permanently sinned against. The deadlines could be fatal and must be respected. Those who invoke a business right must do this for the first time in an official report, otherwise the reveiver must no longer take this into account. Declarations outside the period of one year are considered to be time-barred. However, real rights related to mortgage rankings can still be invoked.
Schoenaerts & Partners is a 'niche' office with the sole specialization of insolvency law in all its facets.
The firm assists companies in difficulty in all aspects of its concern and offers a tailor-made and clear solution for any insolvency problem.
The office uses clear language and clear reporting as a token of respect. Trust is the basic condition for an optimal relationship between lawyer and client, between you and your legal aid provider. The office guarantees a highly specialized service.