Each year, the law journal Revue pratique des sociétés recognises the best master's thesis in the field of company, financial or corporate tax law written by a law student at a Belgian university. This year, the jury presented the award to Edith Weemaels, a junior associate with NautaDutilh Brussels, for her master's thesis on the liability of rating agencies.
Edith recently completed a master of laws at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).
In her thesis, Edith analyses the possibility to hold rating agencies liable for their acts. Her conclusion is clear: even though such liability is possible in theory and Europe has made efforts to force rating agencies to take responsibility for their mistakes, the agencies currently benefit from too much immunity. Indeed, the current rules of law on liability and the furnishing of proof are inadequate when it comes to the rating of financial products.