The article describes different mechanisms used by large families in order to approve or to maintain influence at the court of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1419—1467). The traditional ideological foundation of the relations between the Duke and his subjects was paternalism. It is noteworthy that in this case the theoretical scheme corresponds to the actual state of affairs, since most of the courtiers were bounded to each other by family ties. Competition for appointment to the post of the court forced the family to resort to certain old or new mechanisms to strengthen its position. Analysis of these mechanisms is the first part of the article. The second deals with the reaction of the Duke on the formation around him a number of large clans that could potentially limite his power in the event if they managed to find a compromise. The main used sources were the court ordinances, which reflects the dynamics of the states.