An analysis of the implications of the law of company rescue for small and medium sized enterprises in Ireland

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McCarthy, Jonathan
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University College Cork
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Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of Irish commercial activity. The prospects and resilience of the SME segment are critical to future growth of the Irish economy. In view of the preponderance of SMEs within the Irish economy, the degree to which legal processes can facilitate this key segment is indicative of how truly effective those processes may be. The central research question of this thesis is two-fold in, firstly, being concerned with analysing the implications of the law of company rescue for SMEs in Ireland, and, secondly, considering whether there are alternative rescue procedures that could prove more conducive to SMEs. The thesis investigates the effects of the legal framework for SMEs and examines the commercial realities faced by these businesses. The thesis reveals whether there are gaps which exist in present Irish processes of company rescue in terms of their suitability for SMEs. In so doing, the thesis uses original qualitative findings from the author’s empirical research. The work proceeds to set out the normative and practical basis for alternative procedures of SME rescue. An evidence-based proposal is presented for a new form of SME rescue under Irish law. The thesis culminates in expressing the merits of proposed procedures, termed as Voluntary Rehabilitative Arrangements (VRAs), within Irish law. The thesis is composed of six substantive chapters. Chapter 1 sets out the economic and commercial context in which SMEs in Ireland operate. Chapter 2 focuses on how to balance seemingly competing visions of the purposes and functions of corporate insolvency law. The thesis advances a particular perspective on company rescue as an alternative stance which exhibits efficiency and fairness. Chapter 3 outlines the workings of the existing Irish and regulatory framework of company rescue and assesses its suitability for SMEs. In contemplating a more effective approach to facilitate SMEs, Chapter 4 addresses the considerations to be taken account of in designing SME rescue processes. Chapter 5 evaluates Company Voluntary Arrangements in the United Kingdom as procedures which could possibly epitomise a convenient fit for SMEs requiring rehabilitation and restructuring. Chapter 6 establishes the core features of the proposed system of VRAs in benefiting SMEs.
SMEs , Company rescue , Corporate law , Empirical research
McCarthy, J. 2018. An analysis of the implications of the law of company rescue for small and medium sized enterprises in Ireland. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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