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Xuedan shelly xiong

Xuedan (Shelly) Xiong

Thesis Title:

Comparative Study of Capital Maintenance as a Creditor Protection Mechanism between the UK and China


Dr. Noel McGrath


This research evaluates the success of capital maintenance as a creditor protection mechanism through comparative and inter-disciplinary approaches. The comparison is conducted between the UK where capital maintenance has its origin and China where capital maintenance is a result of legal transplant. The research examines five components of capital maintenance, namely share repurchase, capital reduction, dividend distribution, financial assistance and unlawful return of capital in both jurisdictions. It reviews common laws that gave rise to the principle of capital maintenance, legislation that embeds the principle, cases that are decided under the principles, and as well as accounting rules that intersect with the principle. It is hoped that an interdisciplinary study between the law and accounting can reveal unknown aspects of capital maintenance and provide new evidence for evaluation of its success as a creditor protection mechanism. It is also hoped through comparative study, the differences and similarities identified between jurisdictions can become guidance for China to develop its own pattern of laws and legal theories.

It is hoped this research can contribute to the literature through the following ways:

  • An interdisciplinary study between law and accounting to reveal unknown aspects of capital maintenance as a mechanism for creditor protection;
  • A comparative study to illustrate if and to what extent, the principle of capital maintenance has realized its value of creditor protection in a transplanted jurisdiction such as China.


Educated by China University of Political Science and Law with LLB, by University of Birmingham (UK) with LLM; Practiced Chinese commercial law for over 20 years; Served as a Council member for Irish China Business Association for over 6 years; Taught both in Trinity University Dublin and University College Dublin Chinese law modules for undergraduates and postgraduates.

Presentations and/or Publications:

Conference Paper:

  • X Xiong ‘China Trapped in the Imitation of Capital Maintenance – A Comparative Study between the UK and China on Unlawful Return of Capital’ International Conference on the Internationalisation of EU Law and EU-China Relations QMUL June 2019
  • X Xiong ‘Financial Test on Capital Maintenance’ Graduate Symposium School of Social Science and Law UCD May 2018
  • X Xiong ‘Legal Test on Capital Maintenance’ Irish Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference November 2017
  • X Xiong ‘The Myth between the Share Capital and Debt Capital’ Society of Legal Scholars (UK)  Annual Conference Dublin September 2017

Journal Publications:

  • X Xiong ‘Lesson from Carillion and Beyond: Time to Revisit Capital Maintenance on Profits Distribution’ European Business Law Review (Upcoming issue 3 2020)
  • X Xiong ‘How Far China is From Becoming a Common Law Jurisdiction?’ Commercial Law Practitioner (Upcoming issue 2019)

UCD Sutherland School of Law

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.