"Bankruptcy Fiduciary Duties in the World of Claims Trading"

Michigan Law Authors
Publish Date
2018
Publication
Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract

In earlier work, I explored the role of fiduciary duties in the bankruptcy trustee's administration of a debtor's estate, noting the absence of any explicit demarcation of those duties in the Bankruptcy Code. In this piece, I report the highlights of that analysis and see to what extent (if any) fiduciary duties can inform policy prescriptions for the issue of bankruptcy claims trading, colorfully referred to by some as the world of "bankruptcy M&A." My initial take is pessimistic. Fiduciary duties, at least as traditionally conceived in bankruptcy, are unlikely to provide much help. But there is still a source of optimism. Namely, the structural and procedural institutions of the Bankruptcy Code and court system may, through a transparent, court-supervised litigation process, achieve many of the same conflict-checking functions with which fiduciary duty law concerns itself.

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