Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Peter Stone and Youseph Farah
Chapter 12: Corporate domicile and residence
The private international law of companies has always been an issue marked by a high degree of complexity and sometimes obscurity. This is very much related to the nature of companies as legal persons whose presence in multiple jurisdictions through establishments and subsidiaries renders the determination of the applicable set of laws a quite challenging affair. Companies are complex creatures and the determination of their domicile could be further obscured when we take into account their ability and legal right to become a part of a network of related or inter-related corporate entities located however in utterly unrelated jurisdictions, countries or territories. Even within the context of organisations such as the European Union – which constitutes the focus of this chapter – that have achieved a great degree of harmonisation of various aspects of national policies, the matter in question appears to amount to one of the most challenging issues with which legislators, academics and scholars attempt to deal. This is principally due to the internal conflicts which have traditionally stood at the very foundations of company law and have prevented its harmonisation into a common standard that would apply across the EU on the basis of the pattern set by other fields of law such as competition law.
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