Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Corporations; piercing the corporate veil.

See - March 2014 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law | LEXOTERICA: A PHILIPPINE BLAWG

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Corporations; piercing the corporate veil. It has long been settled that the law vests a corporation with a personality distinct and separate from its stockholders or members. In the same vein, a corporation, by legal fiction and convenience, is an entity shielded by a protective mantle and imbued by law with a character alien to the persons comprising it. Nonetheless, the shield is not at all times impenetrable and cannot be extended to a point beyond its reason and policy. Circumstances might deny a claim for corporate personality, under the “doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate fiction.”

Piercing the veil of corporate fiction is an equitable doctrine developed to address situations where the separate corporate personality of a corporation is abused or used for wrongful purposes. Under the doctrine, the corporate existence may be disregarded where the entity is formed or used for non-legitimate purposes, such as to evade a just and due obligation, or to justify a wrong, to shield or perpetrate fraud or to carry out similar or inequitable considerations, other unjustifiable aims or intentions, in which case, the fiction will be disregarded and the individuals composing it and the two corporations will be treated as identical.

In the present case, we see an indubitable link between CBB’s closure and Binswanger’s incorporation. CBB ceased to exist only in name; it re-emerged in the person of Binswanger for an urgent purpose — to avoid payment by CBB of the last two installments of its monetary obligation to Livesey, as well as its other financial liabilities. Freed of CBB’s liabilities, especially that owing to Livesey, Binswanger can continue, as it did continue, CBB’s real estate brokerage business. Eric Godfrey Stanley Livesey v. Binswanger Philippines, Inc. and Keith Elliot, G.R. No. 177493, March 19, 2014.

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