Contractual Business Networks: The Case of Syndicated Loans

Carmen Estevan de Quesada 1  and Moritz Renner 2
  • 1 Universidad de Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain
  • 2 Universität Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Carmen Estevan de Quesada and Moritz Renner


There is a growing debate in law, economics and sociology about contractual business networks as a hybrid form of cooperation that combines governance elements from market and firm. Most treatments of the subject focus on the structures of supply and distribution networks and their consequences on liability and contractual interpretation. This article confronts network theory with the case of cross-border syndicated loans. Syndicated loans are a highly important instrument of corporate finance, and they merge contractual and corporate cooperation in a particularly sophisticated manner. Theories of network contracts can thus be helpful to address the legal issues of syndicated loans in different fields of law, ranging from conflict of laws to antitrust law. In turn, the analysis of syndicated loans as an example of horizontal business networks can help generate insights for the general discussion of networks in private law.

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This journal deals with contract law and serves as a pan-European platform for discussion and analysis. Since the early 2000s when this journal was created, European Contract Law has come to encompass an increasingly comprehensive body of law. The importance and breadth of the field and the methods and questions involved are such that ERCL has established itself as the specialised European journal in this area.