The external relations of company groups in South African law : a critical comparative analysis

Stevens, Richard Arno (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Thesis (LLD (Mercantile Law))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Groups of companies are part of the realities of the modern economic system. Despite the fact that such groups often function as a single economic entity, the legal point of departure remains that each company within the group of companies is a separate juristic person. The result of this is that a creditor of a company within the group can, in principle, only enforce his claim against the company which he contracted with or which caused him harm. Should he wish to claim from the holding company or other solvent companies within the group, he would have to rely on an exception to the doctrine of separate juristic personality, viz the possibility of piercing the socalled corporate veil. This dissertation is a comparative study of the extent to which the law protects a creditor of an insolvent company within a group. The applicable laws of Australia, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, were investigated and compared to the South African position. The dissertation concludes that the South African legal treatment of the problem is unsatisfactory and that the law should be amended through appropriate legislation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Maatskappygroepe is realiteite in die moderne ekonomiese wêreld. Ten spyte van die feit dat maatskappygroepe dikwels een ekonomiese entiteit vorm, huldig die reg die standpunt dat elke maatskappy binne ‘n groep maatskappye ‘n aparte regspersoon is. Die gevolg van hierdie standpunt is dat ‘n skuldeiser van ‘n maatskappy binne ‘n groep in beginsel slegs ‘n eis het teen die maatskappy met wie hy gekontrakteer het of wat hom skade berokken het. Indien hy ‘n eis teen die houermaatskappy of ander solvente maatskappye binne die groep wil instel, moet hy steun op ‘n uitsondering op die leerstuk van aparte regspersoonlikheid, te wete die moontlikheid om die sogenaamde korporatiewe sluier te deurdring. Hierdie proefskrif is ‘n regsvergelykende ondersoek van die beskerming van ‘n skuldeiser van ‘n insolvente maatskappy binne ‘n groep. Die toepaslike reg van Australië, Duitsland, Nieu-Seeland, die Verenigde Koninkryk en die Verenigde State van Amerika word ondersoek en vergelyk met die Suid-Afrikaanse regsposisie. Die proefskrif kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat die Suid-Afrikaanse regsreëling onbevredigend is en deur geskikte wetgewing gewysig moet word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6883
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