Homologation Private Agreement in Bankruptcy Act (WHOA)

Does your company have a heavy debt burden? Is your company burdened by long-term unprofitable contracts? Or is there a deadlock between the banker and your shareholders (or the shareholders among themselves) concerning capital? In that case, the Homologation Private Agreement in Bankruptcy Act (Wet Homologatie Onderhands Akkoord) may offer a solution.

The WHOA was introduced to make it possible for companies with financial problems to restructure their debts and avoid bankruptcy. The law is also useful for companies with shareholder problems, such as scale-ups needing new investments. The WHOA provides opportunities to force shareholders to surrender shareholder rights to enable these investments. There are also opportunities to get rid of unprofitable tenancy or other agreements.

Cees is part of Equitize Value, a multidisciplinary consortium of national experts for WHOA projects. In this way, we have all the disciplines needed for a complex agreement procedure at our fingertips. Of course, we are also happy to cooperate with other professionals in the field of restructuring.

Cees specialises in restructuring, insolvency law and complex negotiations. Our specialised WHOA team has knowledge and experience as a temporary director or supervisor of companies, as a mediator and, not unimportantly, as an insolvency practitioner. A number of our lawyers have taken the postgraduate course in Restructuring Expertise at Leiden University.

We can assist you in drawing up the agreement, preparing the proceedings, presenting the draft agreement, communicating and negotiating with stakeholders, requesting interim measures (such as a cooling-off period) or court decisions and the possible sanctioning of the agreement.

Not only the company itself, but also a shareholder, creditor or employee can make use of the WHOA. This can be done by asking the court for the appointment of an independent restructuring expert. This requires submitting a number of quotations from possible restructuring experts. The court ultimately decides on the appointment.

With our knowledge and experience, we know what a WHOA process entails and are able to prepare a suitable offer for the court within a short space of time. We meet the criteria of the court. We operate independently and impartially and work objectively, purposefully and discreetly. Good cooperation, based on trust and respect, is essential. Although the company and the restructuring expert each have their own responsibility, they serve a common interest: reaching agreement.