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Lojalitet vid företagsförvärv - en studie av lojalitetsprincipens omfattning vid företagsförvärv utifrån rättsfilosofiska teorier

Hansson Wallenberg, Maximilian LU (2019) JURM02 20191
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
En allmän lojalitetsprincip anses gälla i obligationsrätten men sättet som denna princip kommit att få fäste i den svenska rättsordningen avviker från hur rätten vanligtvis utvecklas. Principen har inget enhetligt eller fastställt innehåll och det är omdebatterat hur omfattande principen är och hur den kommer till uttryck i svensk rätt. Uppsatsens övergripande syfte är att försöka utreda hur lojalitetsprincipen passar in i transaktionstypen företagsförvärvet. Eftersom principen är så pass abstrakt, outtalad och i många fall kan verka svårhanterlig utifrån traditionell rättsdogmatisk metod så används här en annan metod för att försöka uppnå ändamålet med uppsatsen. Materialet som valts för uppsatsen har jag ansett vara lämplig då det... (More)
En allmän lojalitetsprincip anses gälla i obligationsrätten men sättet som denna princip kommit att få fäste i den svenska rättsordningen avviker från hur rätten vanligtvis utvecklas. Principen har inget enhetligt eller fastställt innehåll och det är omdebatterat hur omfattande principen är och hur den kommer till uttryck i svensk rätt. Uppsatsens övergripande syfte är att försöka utreda hur lojalitetsprincipen passar in i transaktionstypen företagsförvärvet. Eftersom principen är så pass abstrakt, outtalad och i många fall kan verka svårhanterlig utifrån traditionell rättsdogmatisk metod så används här en annan metod för att försöka uppnå ändamålet med uppsatsen. Materialet som valts för uppsatsen har jag ansett vara lämplig då det behandlar lojalitetsprincipen i olika bemärkelser, vissa med mer teoretisk inriktning och andra med en mer praktiskt inriktad metod.

Undersökningen utgår från vissa rättsfilosofiska teorier som förekommer i samband med diskussionen kring lojalitetsprincipen för att kunna bedöma hur en lojalitetsprincip förhåller sig till allmänna beaktanden i avtalsrätten. Utifrån den aristoteliska synen på avtalet och dygdeetiken utreds lojalitetsprincipen som en grundläggande värdering med relativt omfattande ställda krav på medkontrahenterna, där vänskapsrelationen utgör idealet även för avtalsrelationen. En sådan syn på avtalet innebär ett åläggande av skyldigheter och förpliktelser för avtalsparterna som går utöver vad som uttryckligen anges i avtalet. Därefter presenteras några teorier som relaterar till den liberala kontraktsteorin: konsekvensetik, moralisk kontratsteori, Kants morallära (pliktetik) och utilitarism, vilka alla utgör möjliga rättsfilosofiska grunder för avtalsrätten. Några mycket fundamentala avtalsrättsliga principer undersöks för att visa vilka av de tidigare presenterade teorierna som fått genomslag i utformningen av avtalsrätten. Härvid uppdagas att Kants lära om det kategoriska imperativet fått stort inflytande på utformningen av avtalsrätten och att den liberala kontraktstraditionen med betoning på principen om avtalsfrihet utgör den övergripande utgångspunkten för den i dag gällande avtalsrätten.

Efter en genomgång av relevant avtalsrätt presenteras lojalitetsprincipen utifrån ett mer allmänt beaktande men också i viss mån med stöd i vissa lagbestämmelser som generellt anses ge uttryck eller vilar på lojalitetshänsyn i någon bemärkelse. Det framgår att avtalsrättsliga regler kan korrespondera gentemot lojalitetsprincipen och det finns viss växelverkan mellan 36 § avtalslagen och principen. Det visar sig också att lojalitetsprincipen gör sig gällande både avseende parts handlingar och uppförande. Som grundläggande krav på lojalitet uttrycks ett förbud mot att berika sig på sin medkontrahents bekostnad och att vissa grundläggande beteendekrav måste respekteras. Att lojalitetskrav kan uppstå innan något avtalsförhållande föreligger framgår också, något som kan vara särskilt viktigt vid transaktioner med intensiva prekontraktuella kontakter.

Eftersom företagsförvärvet i grunden är ett köp går uppsatsen vidare med att beakta köprätten, främst köplagen, och vilka intresseavvägningar som lagstiftaren uttryckt i detta rättsområde. Företagsförvärvet utreds i generella drag varvid framgår framför allt att det är ett momentant köp men som avviker i viss mån från vad det så kallade torghandelsköpet, vilket utgör det urtypiska avtalet. Främst med betonande på det prekontraktuella stadiet skiljer sig dessa två typer av köp.

Analysen utifrån ovanstående visar att en lojalitetsprincip lämpar sig väl i den svenska obligationsrätten, att köprätten också präglas av lojalitetshänsyn samt att stöd för lojalitetskrav kan följa av de flesta avtalsrättsliga teorier. Däremot framgår att lojalitetskraven som kan ställas på parter i en process avseende ett företagsförvärv är relativt svaga och köpet, inklusive företagsförvärvet, utgår från höga krav på vigilans. Utgångspunkten är således fortfarande den liberala kontraktsteorin med betoning på avtalsfriheten. (Less)
Abstract
A general principle of good faith is considered to be applicable in Swedish contract law, however, the means in which this principle has taken hold in Swedish law deviates from the customary development of the law. The principle has no unanimous or clearly determined definition and it is debated how extensive the principle is and how it is expressed in Swedish law. The overarching purpose of this thesis is to try and examine how the principle of good faith fits the type of transaction which is the acquisition of a company. Because the principle is relatively abstract, undefined and in many cases perceived to be difficult to comprehend from a dogmatic method, a different method is used in to achieve the goal of the thesis. I’ve found the... (More)
A general principle of good faith is considered to be applicable in Swedish contract law, however, the means in which this principle has taken hold in Swedish law deviates from the customary development of the law. The principle has no unanimous or clearly determined definition and it is debated how extensive the principle is and how it is expressed in Swedish law. The overarching purpose of this thesis is to try and examine how the principle of good faith fits the type of transaction which is the acquisition of a company. Because the principle is relatively abstract, undefined and in many cases perceived to be difficult to comprehend from a dogmatic method, a different method is used in to achieve the goal of the thesis. I’ve found the material chosen for this thesis appropriate because it approaches the principle of good faith in different ways, some with a more theoretical approach and others with a more practical approach.

The thesis begins by examining certain legal philosophical theories which appear in connection to the discussion regarding the principle of good faith, in order to be able to assess how a principle of good faith relates to general fundamental considerations of contract law. From the Aristotelian view of the contract and virtue ethics the principle of good faith is examined as a fundamental value with relatively extensive demands set on the contracting party, where the relationship between friends is the ideal even for the contract relation. Such a view on the contract implicates an enjoinment of duties and obligations on the contracting parties exceeding what has been explicitly agreed to in the contract. Thereafter, a number of theories relating to the liberal theory of contract: consequentialism, social contract theory, Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, all of which make out possible legal philosophical foundations for contract law. Some fundamental principles of contract law are thereafter examined to show which of the presented legal philosophical theories have had impact in the shaping of contemporary contract law. In this regard, the Kantian theory of the categorical imperative is expressed to be of great influence to the shaping of contract law and the liberal theory of contract with emphasis on the freedom of contract constitute the overarching ideal for contemporary contract law.

After an examination of relevant contract law, the principle of good faith is presented mainly from a more general approach, but support for the existence of the principle is also shown to be found in legal provisions, which generally are considered to express, or to be based on, good faith in some regard. It is shown that legal provisions can correspond to the principle of good faith and that there is some reciprocation between section 36 of the Swedish Contracts Act and the principle of good faith. It is also shown that the principle of good faith is applicable to both actions and the conduct of the parties. As a fundamental requirement of loyalty (good faith) is the expression of a prohibition against personal gain at the expense of the contracting party and some fundamental rules of conduct must be respected. It is also shown that requirements stemming from good faith may arise before the emergence of any contractual relation, something which may be of great importance in regard to transactions with intense precontractual relations.

Due to the acquisition of a company in essence being a purchase, the thesis moves on to regard the legal area of sales of goods, primarily the Swedish Sale of Goods Act and the balance of interests that the lawmaker has expressed in this legal area. The process of acquisition is then examined in general terms, where it is shown that it is primarily a momentary type of purchase, which deviates in some regards to the so called “market square-purchase”, which constitutes the most basic contract. The differences appear primarily in the precontractual stage.

The analysis based on what has been examined previously shows that the existence of a principle of good faith is very much in accordance with Swedish contract law, the legal area regarding the Swedish Sales of Goods Act is shown to be influenced by the principle of good faith and that there is support for such a principle from most legal theories of contract law. However, it is shown that the extent of the principle of good faith and the enjoinment it may lay upon the contracting parties in a process of acquisition is relatively narrow, and that the act of purchasing, including the acquisition as a contractual type, presupposes a strong duty of vigilance. Thus the foundation of contract law still lies on the liberal theory of contract with emphasis on the freedom contract. (Less)
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author
Hansson Wallenberg, Maximilian LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Good faith in acquisitions of companies - a study of the general principle of good faith in acquisitions from legal philosofical theories
course
JURM02 20191
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Allmän rättslära, avtalsrätt, civilrätt, förmögenhetsrätt
language
Swedish
id
8977485
date added to LUP
2019-06-26 08:10:08
date last changed
2019-06-26 08:10:08
@misc{8977485,
  abstract     = {A general principle of good faith is considered to be applicable in Swedish contract law, however, the means in which this principle has taken hold in Swedish law deviates from the customary development of the law. The principle has no unanimous or clearly determined definition and it is debated how extensive the principle is and how it is expressed in Swedish law. The overarching purpose of this thesis is to try and examine how the principle of good faith fits the type of transaction which is the acquisition of a company. Because the principle is relatively abstract, undefined and in many cases perceived to be difficult to comprehend from a dogmatic method, a different method is used in to achieve the goal of the thesis. I’ve found the material chosen for this thesis appropriate because it approaches the principle of good faith in different ways, some with a more theoretical approach and others with a more practical approach. 

The thesis begins by examining certain legal philosophical theories which appear in connection to the discussion regarding the principle of good faith, in order to be able to assess how a principle of good faith relates to general fundamental considerations of contract law. From the Aristotelian view of the contract and virtue ethics the principle of good faith is examined as a fundamental value with relatively extensive demands set on the contracting party, where the relationship between friends is the ideal even for the contract relation. Such a view on the contract implicates an enjoinment of duties and obligations on the contracting parties exceeding what has been explicitly agreed to in the contract. Thereafter, a number of theories relating to the liberal theory of contract: consequentialism, social contract theory, Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, all of which make out possible legal philosophical foundations for contract law. Some fundamental principles of contract law are thereafter examined to show which of the presented legal philosophical theories have had impact in the shaping of contemporary contract law. In this regard, the Kantian theory of the categorical imperative is expressed to be of great influence to the shaping of contract law and the liberal theory of contract with emphasis on the freedom of contract constitute the overarching ideal for contemporary contract law.

After an examination of relevant contract law, the principle of good faith is presented mainly from a more general approach, but support for the existence of the principle is also shown to be found in legal provisions, which generally are considered to express, or to be based on, good faith in some regard. It is shown that legal provisions can correspond to the principle of good faith and that there is some reciprocation between section 36 of the Swedish Contracts Act and the principle of good faith. It is also shown that the principle of good faith is applicable to both actions and the conduct of the parties. As a fundamental requirement of loyalty (good faith) is the expression of a prohibition against personal gain at the expense of the contracting party and some fundamental rules of conduct must be respected. It is also shown that requirements stemming from good faith may arise before the emergence of any contractual relation, something which may be of great importance in regard to transactions with intense precontractual relations. 

Due to the acquisition of a company in essence being a purchase, the thesis moves on to regard the legal area of sales of goods, primarily the Swedish Sale of Goods Act and the balance of interests that the lawmaker has expressed in this legal area. The process of acquisition is then examined in general terms, where it is shown that it is primarily a momentary type of purchase, which deviates in some regards to the so called “market square-purchase”, which constitutes the most basic contract. The differences appear primarily in the precontractual stage. 

The analysis based on what has been examined previously shows that the existence of a principle of good faith is very much in accordance with Swedish contract law, the legal area regarding the Swedish Sales of Goods Act is shown to be influenced by the principle of good faith and that there is support for such a principle from most legal theories of contract law. However, it is shown that the extent of the principle of good faith and the enjoinment it may lay upon the contracting parties in a process of acquisition is relatively narrow, and that the act of purchasing, including the acquisition as a contractual type, presupposes a strong duty of vigilance. Thus the foundation of contract law still lies on the liberal theory of contract with emphasis on the freedom contract.},
  author       = {Hansson Wallenberg, Maximilian},
  keyword      = {Allmän rättslära,avtalsrätt,civilrätt,förmögenhetsrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Lojalitet vid företagsförvärv - en studie av lojalitetsprincipens omfattning vid företagsförvärv utifrån rättsfilosofiska teorier},
  year         = {2019},
}