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INSOL International News Update
July 2018  Issue No. 7
This issue is kindly sponsored by...

Chartered Accountants • Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

Contents at a Glance...

Editor's Note

Highlight Article

The Americas

Asia Pacific

Europe, Africa and Middle East

Publications & News

Conferences & Seminars

Editor's Note

It is my pleasure to present INSOL’s July 2018 newsletter to you. Once again, it covers a wide variety of topics from all four corners of the globe and provides testimony to the dynamic developments in the area of restructuring and insolvency. The Highlight Article reintroduces an old European favourite: it discusses the practical difficulties in determining where the COMI of a debtor company is located. These difficulties were notably demonstrated by the recent case of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH, an affiliate of insolvent Air Berlin. In this case both German and Austrian courts consecutively assumed jurisdiction for main insolvency proceedings on the basis that the COMI was located in each of their respective countries. 
Jurisdiction, albeit in an entirely different context, was also the main focus in a recent decision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The bankruptcy judges ruled that, even though the court had jurisdiction, avoidance litigation involving foreign litigants would be stayed in the U.S, under the doctrines of forum non conveniens and comity. The Cayman Islands courts handed down judgment with respect to AHAB and the Ponzi scheme it was involved in and China’s Supreme People’s Court established two new international commercial courts to take care of a broad range of international disputes. 
Legislative activity has also been abundant. Myanmar is set to adopt new insolvency laws which will include a corporate rescue procedure and the Belgian government has proposed a new Belgian Companies Code providing for a cap on directors’ liability and the abolition of share capital for private limited companies. Meanwhile, at the beginning of June the BVI’s new Micro Business Companies Act came into force.
As is already shown by the above selection of topics - this newsletter makes for compelling reading to insolvency practitioners and others interested in this field. Enjoy it. 

Dr. Volker Kammel
Reed Smith LLP, Germany

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Highlight Article

Air Berlin and NIKI – COMI in the Judicial Spotlight Again 
In the European Union, under the provisions of the (Recast) Regulation (EU) 2015/848 on insolvency proceedings (EIR), the courts of the member state where the debtor’s centre of main interests (COMI) is located, have jurisdiction to open (main) insolvency proceedings in cross-border insolvency cases. The interpretation of the term COMI has caused significant practical problems in the past which resulted in a number of disputes being brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The clarifications given by the court have been very helpful for the interpretation of the term and achieved a more uniform application of COMI in the EU. But the practical difficulties in determining COMI have not been resolved, as was recently demonstrated in the case of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH (NIKI), a subsidiary of the insolvent airline Air Berlin.
The Highlight Article this month reviews the NIKI case and takes a closer look at the factors which determine COMI and the guidance provided by the EIR and the CJEU as to what factors are relevant and how they need to be taken into account in practice.


Dr. Volker Kammel 
Reed Smith LLP, Germany
To read the full article please click here
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The Americas

Cayman Islands
AHAB v SICL & Others: The Cauldron of Fraud    
Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company v Saad Investments Company Limited and
As reported in last month’s News Update, on 31 May 2018, judgment was handed down in a case that will become known for the revelation of the largest Ponzi scheme the world has ever seen. At their height, the claims and counterclaims amounted to over US$17 billion.  The Defendants to Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company’s (AHAB) claims were 16 corporate entities, all of which are in official liquidation, and one individual, Maan Al Sanea. AHAB alleged that its claims gave rise to a proprietary interest in all of the assets held in the estates of the corporate entities, thereby impeding the distribution of the assets of these companies to their creditors by the official liquidators.
After a year-long trial the Chief Justice found that far from being the victim of fraud AHAB had been actively involved in an enormous and longstanding Ponzi scheme which had defrauded more than one hundred banks.  This detailed case note considers inter alia what the AHAB partners knew of the fraud on the banks, the benefits they received as a result of it, AHAB's allegations of forgery and manipulation of documents, tracing, and the defence of illegality.  On 14 June 2018, AHAB filed a notice of appeal, appealing the decision of the Grand Court to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal. 
For the full case note by Colette Wilkins, Partner, Shelley White, Partner and Sarah Gavin, Associate, Walkers, July 2018 please click here

(i) Foreign Debtors' Forum Shopping Warranted Stay of U.S. Avoidance Litigation
In re National Bank of Anguilla (Private Banking Trust) Ltd., 580 B.R. 64 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2018)
Even if a U.S. court has jurisdiction over a lawsuit involving foreign litigants, the court may conclude that a foreign court is better suited to adjudicate the dispute because either: (i) it would be more convenient, fair, or efficient for the foreign court to do so (a doctrine referred to as "forum non conveniens"); or (ii) the U.S. court concludes that it should defer to the foreign court as a matter of international comity. Both of these doctrines were addressed in this ruling recently handed down by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. 
For a case note please see Jones Day Business Restructuring Review, May / June 2018
For the case decision please click here
(ii) Ninth Circuit Upholds Lender's Defensive Purchase of Blocking Position in Junior Debt to Protect Existing Claim
In re Fagerdala USA-LOMPOC Inc., 2018 WL 2472874 (9th Cir. June 4, 2018)
In a decision of significance for secured lenders, the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a lender's ability to purchase a "blocking position" in junior debt to prevent confirmation of a "cramdown" plan. Specifically, the panel held that the bankruptcy court erred when it disqualified the lender's vote with respect to claims it purchased in the general unsecured class, on the basis that (i) the lender offered to purchase only enough claims to provide a block (in this case, a majority in number of claims), and (ii) blocking the plan unfairly prejudiced the remaining creditors. In reaching its result, the panel held that the relevant inquiry is whether the lender acted with an improper "ulterior motive" that would support a determination that the lender acted in "bad faith."
For a case note by Arnold & Porter, 26 June 2018 please click here
For the case decision please click here

BVI Micro Business Companies Act Comes into Force   

The BVI has sought to enhance its reputation as a cost-effective provider of legal structures with the new Micro Business Companies Act 2017 (the Act) which came into force on 4 June 2018.  The Act is primarily aimed at small, non-financial sector businesses including sole traders, start-ups and small to medium enterprises, for which the BVI recognises that the initial costs of setting up a company, combined with the associated ongoing regulatory requirements, can often be either challenging or outright prohibitive. The Act's ease of use and the simplicity of its corporate governance regime makes it particularly suited for smaller, closely held family businesses rather than for international corporations. 
For the full article please see Maples and Calder Update, June 2018

This article was first published by BVI Finance, 16 July 2018.

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Asia Pacific


Hong Kong
Winding-Up Petitions and Arbitration Agreements  
Re Southwest Pacific Bauxite (HK) Ltd. [2018] HKCFI 426

Previously in Hong Kong, neither the existence of an arbitration clause in a contract between the company and petitioner, nor the commencement of the arbitration was sufficient to demonstrate in the insolvency proceedings that the “debt” was bona fide disputed on substantial grounds (which is the test to be satisfied by a company facing a winding-up petition when seeking to demonstrate Hong Kong’s insolvency regime is inappropriate). In this recently reported judgment, the Companies Court has brought Hong Kong law into alignment with Singapore and England when considering the effect of an arbitration agreement in a contract giving rise to the debt relied on to support a winding-up petition. 
For a case note please see Stephenson Harwood Update, 13 July 2018
For the case decision please click here

Myanmar Set to Adopt New Insolvency Laws Including a Corporate Rescue Procedure  
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar moved a step closer to the adoption of new insolvency and restructuring laws with public consultations for the proposed laws recently taking place in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon. It is proposed that the new laws will be finalised and put before Parliament in the latter part of 2018 and enacted in 2019. The initiative has been driven by the Asian Development Bank. This article outlines some key features of the proposed new insolvency law including a simplified and less expensive rehabilitation process for MSMEs.
It notes that adoption of new insolvency laws modelled on international best practice principles will no doubt assist in the economic development of Myanmar. However, the country will still need to address a number of other related issues including the capacity of the existing legal system and the shortage of experienced insolvency professionals. 
For the full KRyS Global Article, 25 June 2018 please click here

With an Eye on Belt and Road Disputes, China Establishes New International Commercial Courts
China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has established two new international commercial courts to handle a broad range of international disputes.  The new courts are specifically designed to attract disputes related to the Belt and Road Initiative, and offer a one-stop dispute resolution mechanism with access to mediation, arbitration and litigation. An International Commercial Expert Committee will be set up and certain international mediation and arbitration institutions will be selected to work alongside the new courts. However, the level of acceptance by foreign parties will be key to the courts’ success.  
For the full article please see Herbert Smith Freehills China Dispute Resolution e-Bulletin, 9 July 2018

Chief Restructuring Officers in Asia: Is the Appointment of a CRO the Way Forward for Debtor Led Restructurings?  
Asia is increasingly seeing the appointment of restructuring professionals as chief restructuring officers (CRO) of stressed and distressed companies to oversee the financial and / or operational restructuring of companies. The CRO concept was first established in the United States and is now an established feature in both U.S., United Kingdom and European restructurings. The concept is becoming more prevalent in Asia and this article defines the role and key skill sets, the key issues and opportunities for CRO and other interim management appointments in Asia. 
For the full article please see DHC Capital Insights, 2 July 2018

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Europe, Africa and Middle East



No Scooping the Pot: Z Trusts and the Order of Priority of Creditors of an Insolvent Jersey Trust 
In the Matter of Representation of Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees SA re Z Trusts [2018] JRC119 

On 3 July 2018, the Jersey Royal Court handed down its much-anticipated judgment in the latest instalment of the Z Trusts case on the question of the order of priority of creditors of an insolvent Jersey trust. In 2015, the Royal Court began establishing an insolvency regime for trusts by supervising their administration in the interests of the creditors as a body and giving directions accordingly. This latest judgment deals with the question of the order of priority of creditors of an insolvent Jersey trust. It reflects a direction in which the Court has been moving in the area of insolvent estates and is consistent with the development of personal and corporate insolvency legislation.  
For the full case note please see Mourant Ozannes Update, July 2018
For the case decision please click here

Belgium: Proposed New Belgian Companies Code: So What?
The government’s proposal for a new Belgian Companies Code is a hot topic in the Belgian legal and business world. The expectation is that the proposal will be approved by the Belgian Parliament and published by autumn of this year. If so, the new rules will apply to new companies as from 1 January 2019. They will apply to existing companies as at the earliest of (i) the date on which they opt in voluntarily by amending their articles of association, and (ii) 1 January 2020. Among the most publicised changes are a cap on directors’ liability for all company types and the abolition of the share capital for the private limited liability company (now BVBA/SPRL but to be renamed BV/SRL). No doubt good news for directors and shareholders but what does this mean for restructuring practice and creditors generally?

For the full article please see Baker McKenzie Client Alert, July 2018


Singularis v Daiwa: Banks Beware!
In Singularis Holdings Ltd (in Official Liquidation) v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Ltd, the Court of Appeal considered a bank’s duty, commonly known as a Quincecare duty, to protect companies from fraud by authorised officers.  The ‘Quincecare’ duty is a duty owed by a bank to its customers and third parties to protect from fraudulent activity of instructing officers. That is, in circumstances where a bank has reasonable grounds for believing that an instruction to make a payment is an attempt to misappropriate the funds of a corporate customer, that bank has a duty to protect against the fraud and will be liable to its customer in negligence if it does not.
For the full article please see Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Legal Insight, 5 July 2018
This article first appeared in Corporate Rescue & Insolvency, June 2018.


                                                                                                                       Back to top
Publications & News

INSOL International Small Practice Technical Paper Series - Hong Kong

June 2018


This technical paper on Hong Kong focusing on “Small Practices and Consumer Debt Issues” was written by Mat Ng, Board Director INSOL International, FCPA, FCPA (Aust.), SD (Insolvency), CFE, Managing Director; Leonard Chan, CPA, CPA U.S., SQ (Insolvency), Director; and Fiona Fok, CPA, CPA (Aust.), SQ (Insolvency), Senior Manager all of JLA Limited, Hong Kong, PRC.

INSOL International sincerely thanks Mat Ng, Leonard Chan and Fiona Fok for providing INSOL

members with this very informative paper on Hong Kong.
To view the technical paper click here

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Conferences & Seminars

INSOL Singapore
2 - 4 April 2019

Save the date for the INSOL International Asia Pacific Annual Regional Conference taking place in Singapore at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands.  This will be a superb opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world in the vibrant city of Singapore. The Main Organising Committee and the Technical Committee have already commenced work to develop a cutting edge and forward looking technical programme.

Registration will open September 2018.
We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of INSOL Singapore. For further information on sponsorship please contact Tina McGorman tina@insol.ision.co.uk
Main sponsors: Borrelli Walsh | Lipman Karas | Norton Rose Fulbright | RSM
Welcome Cocktail Reception: BDO
Farewell Cocktail Reception: AlixPartners
Corporate Sponsors: Harneys | Vendorable
Wednesday Networking Coffee Break: Archer & Greiner P.C.
Wednesday Welcome Breakfast: South Square
Wednesday Lunch: Burford Capital

INSOL International Jakarta One Day Seminar
Thursday 13 September 2018
Fairmont Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia


INSOL International is running its second one-day seminar in Jakarta on Thursday 13 September 2018. The Seminar Chair, Geoffrey Simms, AJCapital Advisory and the Main Organising Committee have prepared a relevant technical programme.
Registrations are open. Click here to
register online.
Early bird registration deadline – 20 July
Thank you to the following sponsors for their generous support of the INSOL Jakarta Seminar: 
Platinum Sponsor: AJCapital Advisory | Assegaf Hamzah & Partners
Lunch Sponsor: Deloitte
Gold Sponsor: HHP Law Firm

For further information and details of sponsorship opportunities please contact Susannah Drummond Moray, INSOL International at susannah@insol.ision.co.uk

INSOL International Dubai One Day Seminar
Wednesday 3 October 2018

INSOL International will be running a one-day seminar in Dubai on Wednesday 3 October this year.
The seminar co-chairs and organising committee have put together a stimulating and informative programme for the day, which is now available on our website to view. 

Registration will open shortly for this seminar.

Thank you to our following sponsor:
Gold sponsor: Grant Thornton 

A number of sponsorship opportunities are available. For further information please contact

Sarah Smith at sarah@insol.ision.co.uk

Africa Round Table Open Forum
Friday 26 October 2018
Polana Serena Hotel, Maputo, Mozambique 
INSOL International and World Bank Group jointly host the annual Africa Round Table, now in its eighth year!
The first day is a closed meeting by invitation only. The second day, ART Open Forum, is open to anyone interested or affected by insolvency reform in Africa and across the globe.
The theme for 2018 Africa Round Table Open Forum is “Multinational insolvencies in an African context”.
For full details of the programme please see our website 
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of Africa Round Table:
Platinum sponsors:  DLA Piper | PwC
Gold sponsors: Bowmans | ENSAfrica
For further information and details of sponsorship opportunities available, please contact Penny Robertson, INSOL International at pennyr@insol.ision.co.uk 

INSOL International Hong Kong One Day Seminar
Wednesday 7 November 2018
Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong 

INSOL International is running its first seminar in Hong Kong on Wednesday 7th November 2018.
Registrations are now open 


We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the INSOL Hong Kong One Day Seminar: 


Platinum Sponsors: Carey Olsen | Conyers Dill & Pearman | Lipman Karas | Tanner De Witt

Lunch Sponsor: Zolfo Cooper
Cocktail Reception Sponsor:


For further information and details of sponsorship opportunities please contact Susannah Drummond Moray, INSOL International at susannah@insol.ision.co.uk 
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Contact INSOL

If you would like to send an article for inclusion in one of our forthcoming issues please contact our Technical Officer, Louise Jennings at louise@insol.ision.co.uk

If you would like to introduce a new member to INSOL International please contact our Database Manager, Tony Ashton, at tony@insol.ision.co.uk

Electronic Newsletter Editorial Committee Members

 Stephen Briscoe (Chair)  FFP, British Virgin Islands
 Scott Abel  Fellow, INSOL International
 Buddle Findlay, New Zealand   
 Tara Cooper Burnside

 Fellow, INSOL International

 Higgs & Johnson, Bahamas

 Ian Dorey  K&L Gates, Australia 
 Matthew Goucke  Fellow, INSOL International
 Walkers, Cayman Islands
 Volker Kammel  Reed Smith, Germany 
 Sim Kwan Kiat  Rajah & Tann, Singapore 
 David Lawton  Bracewell LLP, USA  
 Fábio Rosas  Souza Cescon, Brazil  
 Andrew Thorp  Harneys, British Virgin Islands                                   
 Alison Timme  PwC, South Africa 
 Vincent Vroom  Fellow, INSOL International
 Loyens & Loeff, UK

This issue is kindly sponsored by...

Chartered Accountants • Licensed Insolvency Practitioners 

INSOL International Group of Thirty-Six

The Group of Thirty-Six features some of the most prominent and influential firms within the insolvency and turnaround profession. The aim of the Group of Thirty-Six is to work with INSOL to develop best practice guidelines and develop legislation to enhance the ability of practitioners globally to save businesses throughout the world.

AlixPartners LLP 
Allen & Overy LLP 
Alvarez & Marsal 
Baker McKenzie
Brown Rudnick LLP
BTG Global Advisory  
Clayton Utz 
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 
Clifford Chance LLP 
Conyers Dill & Pearman 
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP 
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
Deloitte LLP 
DLA Piper 
Ferrier Hodgson 
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 
FTI Consulting
Goodmans LLP 
Grant Thornton 
Greenberg Traurig LLP 
Hogan Lovells 
Huron Consulting Group 
Jones Day 
King & Wood Mallesons 
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 
Linklaters LLP  
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 
Norton Rose Fulbright 
Pepper Hamilton LLP 
Pinheiro Neto Advogados
PPB Advisory 
Rajah & Tann Asia 
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP 
South Square 
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 
White & Case LLP  

INSOL International Member Associations

American Bankruptcy Institute  
Asociación Argentina de Estudios Sobre la Insolvencia  
Asociacion Uruguaya de Asesores en Insolvencia y Reestructuraciones Empresariales  
Association of Business Recovery Professionals - R3  
Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Experts  
Australian Restructuring, Insolvency and Turnaround Association  
Bankruptcy Law and Restructuring Research Centre, China University of Politics and Law 
Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria  
Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Sri Lanka  
Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals  
Canadian Bar Association (Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section)  
Commercial Law League of America (Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section)  
Especialistas de Concursos Mercantiles de Mexico  
Finnish Insolvency Law Association  
Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors  
Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty)  
INSOL Europe  
INSOL India  
INSOLAD - Vereniging Insolventierecht Advocaten 
Insolvency Practitioners Association of Malaysia  
Insolvency Practitioners Association of Singapore  
Instituto Brasileiro de Estudos de Recuperação de Empresas  
Instituto Brasileiro de Gestão e Turnaround  
Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Concursal  
Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Concursal Colombia

International Association of Insurance Receivers  
International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation  
Japanese Federation of Insolvency Professionals 
Korean Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association   
Law Council of Australia (Business Law Section)  
Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants  
National Association of Federal Equity Receivers  
Nepalese Insolvency Practitioners Association  
NIVD – Neue Insolvenzverwaltervereinigung Deutschlands e.V.  
  Recovery and Insolvency Specialists Association (BVI) Ltd  
 Recovery and Insolvency Specialists Association (Cayman) Ltd 
Restructuring and Insolvency Specialists Association of Bahamas

Restructuring and Insolvency Specialists Association of Bermuda 
REFOR–CGE, Register of Insolvency Practitioners within "Consejo General de Economistas, CGE"  
Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association of New Zealand  
Russian Union of Self-Regulated Organizations of Arbitration Managers  
Society of Insolvency Practitioners of India  
South African Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association   
Turnaround Management Association do Brasil
Turnaround Management Association (INSOL Special Interest Group)

INSOL International

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