Research team


Roman Law and its reception, especially editions of medieval source material.

Bringing company law (back) to the future: commercial partnerships between flexibility and asset shielding (17th-18th, and 21st century). 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013


Under Belgian law, the legal figure of partnerships (maatschap) can be used for business. Yet commercial partnerships miss adequate asset protection and they are not adaptable enough to match commercial needs. These deficiencies date back to the nineteenth century, when certain legal features (equality of jointly liable partners, the absence of a business trust) were imposed on contractual companies. This operation went against an older and more flexible tradition. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the civil law and merchants' practices were predominantly concerned with contractual commercial partnerships, and they covered diverse organisational schemes in combination with assets safeguarded for the venture. An analysis of legal texts and sources stemming from commercial practice of this period will yield juristic criteria and principles which will enrich present-day dogmatics on business trusts and on the organisation of commercial partnerships. The proposed project will allow to go beyond the typology of Belgian company law, will contribute to businesses tailored to entrepreneurs' wishes and may eventually be used to support European-legal developments.


  • Promoter: Van den Bossche Anne-Marie
  • Co-promoter: Wallinga Tammo
  • Fellow: De ruysscher Dave

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project