“Huegel Seminar”: Is the principle of separation under group law still tenable?

The Huegel Seminar on 18 March is postponed due to the closure of the University of Vienna. As soon as there is a new date, we will communicate it via our website and the bpv Huegel LinkedIn account.


On March 18th, 2020 at 6pm our Partner and Co-Head Corporate/M&A Dr Elke Maria Napokoj will speak at the Huegel Seminar at the Juridicum on current developments in corporate law:

Is the principle of separation under group law still tenable?

The principle of separation is an essential cornerstone of corporate law: shareholders and company must be kept separate. This means in particular that only the company assets are liable for the liabilities of the AG and GmbH and not the assets of the shareholders. This principle is increasingly being watered down. In many cases, groups of companies are also legally regarded as a unit. Parent companies are increasingly liable for the misconduct of subsidiaries or are held liable in the event of financial difficulties of their subsidiaries. For some time now, doctrine and case law have recognised breakthroughs in the separation principle (§ 48 AktG/§ 61 GmbHG). This trend towards group responsibility is particularly visible in antitrust, capital market and data protection law. These developments also have considerable consequences for the Group Executive Board. The challenge in the future will therefore be to reconcile group responsibility with the separation principle under company law.

On this: Rüffler, Durchgriffshaftunghaftungstatbestände am Prüfstand des Unionsrechts, GES 2011, 99; Artmann, Haftung im Konzern, GesRZ 2019, 419; Poelzig, Attacks on the separation principle under group law and its consequences for the group management, Corporate law under discussion 2017; Merkt in MüKoGmbHG³ (2018), § 13; Eckert/U. Schmidt in Haberer/Krejci, Konzernrecht (2016) ch. 13; Zoidl, Die Konzernhaftung nach der DSGVO – Schein oder Sein?, ecolex 2019, 428; Reidlinger, Konzernhaftung bei Schadenersatz für Kartellrechtsverletzungen? GesRZ 2019, 97; Kriechbaumer, Group liability in the field of antitrust tort law, ecolex 2019, 607; Reidlinger, Apropos group liability, ecolex 2019, 610; Schuhmacher, Unity or multiplicity in liability law – The liability for antitrust violations as a nucleus for a unity view? in Artmann/Rüffler/Torggler 2 (Hrsg), GVÖ Volume 8: Group – Unity or Variety?; Schopper, Information Transfer and Knowledge Attribution within the Group, in Artmann/Rüffler/Torggler (Hrsg), GVÖ Volume 8: Group – Unity or Variety?

Subsequent discussion with:
Professor Fritz Rüffler, LL.M., University of Vienna
Dr. Julia Told, University of Vienna / WU Vienna

Information on the other lectures in the Huegel Seminars series can be found at: https://unternehmensrecht.univie.ac.at/team/torggler-ulrich/veranstaltungen/huegel-seminar/