The Auditor’s Ability to Lead an Efficient Restructuring Process: A Study of the Features that the Ideal Restructionist Should Possess

Pawel Christof Michalak

Student thesis: Master thesis


On 25 June 2010, the Danish Parliament passed the updated Danish Bankruptcy Act, effective from 1 April 2011. One of the primary changes in the act was the addition of the new sections on restructuring of insolvent companies. This addition was supposedly going to lead to more successful restructurings taking place in Denmark, compared to previous years. The legislator saw an inevitable need to strengthen the role of the person in charge of the restructuring procedures, i.e. the restructionist, and make the role more proactive and solution seeking rather than merely a helping hand. The Danish Bankruptcy Act provides clear guidelines for the restructionist to follow, including a timeline for when each step of the proceedings should be concluded. However, the act does not clearly stipulate what qualifications and features the restructionist should possess. This leads to a discussion of whether a lawyer is in fact the most suitable person to lead the proceedings or if the auditor could carry out the job more effectively, especially after the role of the lawyer has been challenged in other judicial matters. This thesis investigates the role of the restructionist according to the rules and guidelines in the Danish Bankruptcy Act and provides a thorough analysis of the major skills the restructionist should possess. The analysis is based on a theoretical analysis of the Bankruptcy Act itself, which provides the reader with an understanding of the ideal restructionist, according the rules and guidelines of the act. Additionally, a practical approach, based on the responses from six experts in this field provides a supplement to the reached conclusions. The thesis then goes on to discuss whether a lawyer or an auditor is more suited to take on the role of the restructionist. As is concluded, neither of the parties can entirely live up to the ideal model of the restructionist. Indeed, a lawyer will possess many of the features and skills, but as is discussed, the lawyer lacks a thorough understanding of the structure of the company and is not necessarily the best candidate when it comes to a temporary takeover of the management role of the company being restructured. On the other hand, the auditor lacks the in depth knowledge of the judicial aspects of the proceedings, which can lead to severe damages to the firm being restructured. Hence, the thesis proposes a special restructionist training program in order to educate lawyers and auditors to be able to take on the role with the right skill set.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages103
SupervisorsTroels Michael Lilja