Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on insolvency proceedings (recast) (the “Recast Insolvency Regulation“) applies to insolvency proceedings opened after 26 June 2017. Ordinance of 2 November 2017 (the “Ordinance“) amended the French Code de commerce to reflect the Recast Insolvency Regulation by inserting a new Title IX into Book VI. Continue Reading Insolvency Proceedings: ordinance adapting the French Code de commerce to the EU Regulation of May 2015 on insolvency proceedings
In January 2018 the English High Court considered whether it had jurisdiction under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 (CBIR) to extend a temporary stay on the commencement of enforcement action in respect of English law debt obligations owed by a foreign debtor so that in effect the stay became permanent, or whether such a permanent stay would breach the long established rule in Gibbs(which provides that the discharge of an English law governed debt under the insolvency laws of a foreign jurisdiction outside of England and Wales is not a valid discharge of such debt). Ultimately, the court found that ordering a permanent stay would substantively affect the creditors’ rights and amount to a discharge of the English debts, in breach of the rule in Gibbs, and that the CBIR could not be used to modify that rule.
 Antony Gibbs & Sons v La Societe Industrielle et Commerciale des Mataux (1890) 25 QBD 399 Continue Reading “Stayin’ Alive” – English Court confirms CBIR doesn’t override the rule in Gibbs
On 8 February 2018, the Hong Kong Court of First Instance (the “Hong Kong Court“) ruled in Re Supreme Tycoon Limited  HKCFI 277 that the common law power to recognise and assist foreign insolvency proceedings extends to voluntary liquidations. This is the first authority on this issue in Hong Kong. Continue Reading Hong Kong Court confirms common law recognition and assistance for foreign voluntary liquidations
On 9 November 2017, in a rare example of a contested recognition hearing, His Honour Judge Paul Matthews granted recognition of Agrokor’s extraordinary administration (EA) as a foreign main proceeding under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 (CBIR).
Agrokor d.d. is the holding company for a group of companies specialising in agriculture, food production and related activities in Croatia. Before its financial difficulties, the group’s annual revenue was estimated to amount to around 15% of Croatia’s GDP. On 6 April 2017, the Law on Extraordinary Administration Proceeding of Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Croatia (the Law, also known as Lex Agrokor) became effective. On 10 April 2017, following an application by Agrokor, an order for extraordinary administration (EA) was made in respect of Agrokor itself and 50 of its affiliates. In July 2017, Agrokor applied to the English court for recognition of the EA as a foreign proceeding under the CBIR. A proceeding will be a foreign proceeding if it is “…a collective judicial or administrative proceeding in a foreign State…pursuant to a law relating to insolvency in which proceeding the assets and affairs of the debtor are subject to control or supervision by a foreign court, for the purpose of reorganisation or liquidation” The recognition application was challenged by one of Agrokor’s largest creditors, who had also brought arbitration proceedings in the English courts, on a number of grounds, all of which were dismissed by the court.
A Hogan Lovells team led by partner Tom Astle is acting for an adhoc committee of bondholders, and providers of a c€1bn super senior DIP facility to the Agrokor Group.
The Singapore Companies Act (Amendment) Act 2017 (the ”Act”) significantly overhauls Singapore’s corporate rescue and restructuring framework. In doing so, Singapore has adopted a number of key features from Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. This client alert highlights the main amendments of the Act that corporate debtors, lenders and distressed investors should be aware of. In particular the Act now provides:
1. better accessibility to Singapore’s corporate rescue and restructuring framework for foreign companies;
2. US Chapter 11 style rescue/DIP financing;
3. enhanced moratoriums with extra territorial effect;
4. increased disclosure, cram-downs and prepacks; and
5. for the adoption of UNCITRAL Model Law.
There is no doubt that the introduction of this Act greatly improves the legal framework for debt restructurings in Singapore. We envisage that this Act will put Singapore firmly on the map as a key centre for international debt restructurings providing debtors, lenders, alternative capital providers and distressed investors access to internationally recognised and highly familiar restructuring tools and techniques. The amendments discussed in this client alert came into effect on 23 May 2017. Read our alert, Singapore Insolvency and Restructuring Reforms
The Singapore parliament recently passed a bill bringing in U.S. Chapter 11-inspired changes to its debt-restructuring framework, including provisions allowing (i) courts to approve financing with priority ahead of existing senior secured facilities; (ii) courts to approve a scheme even if there are dissenting creditor classes; and (iii) international assistance proceedings.
These provisions borrow heavily from the existing provisions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
In light of these changes and the impact on future restructurings, we hosted a webinar on the current and coming use of U.S. Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 proceedings in Asian restructurings.
Some of the topics discussed included:
- Why Asian debtors might look to a Chapter 11 solution over other procedures such as Schemes of Arrangements;
- How the equivalent provisions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are applied and the key concepts parties will need to be familiar with; and
- The likely need for U.S. counsel to provide expert testimony in Singapore proceedings regarding the application and interpretation of the new U.S.-based provisions.
Cross-border insolvency – introductory paragraph: The decision in a recent Singapore case may be the missing part of the puzzle for cross-border recognition cases. The Singapore High Court granted recognition of insolvency proceedings commenced in Tokyo, notwithstanding that the companies in question were incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”). In doing so, the court relied upon a common law application of COMI principles to grant recognition, and arguably filled a gap by finding that there is a basis for courts to recognise insolvency office holders appointed in a jurisdiction other than the place of incorporation. Continue reading
Berau Capital Resources Pte Ltd (“Berau”), a special purpose vehicle incorporated to raise funds on behalf of an Indonesian mining and coal company, initiated proceedings in the High Court of the Republic of Singapore pursuant to section 210(10) of the Companies Act on July 4, 2015.
On July 10, 2015, Berau filed a petition for recognition of the Singapore proceeding in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “New York Bankruptcy Court”) under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. In a decision makes it more likely that foreign companies with New York law governed securities will be able to utilize Chapter 15 even if they otherwise have no U.S. connections, the New York Bankruptcy Court granted recognition to Berau’s Singapore proceeding and held that not only had Berau satisfied Bankruptcy Code section 109(a) because it had established an attorney retainer account in New York, but that Berau’s indenture governed by New York law and containing a New York choice of forum clause constituted Berau’s property in New York that also satisfied Bankruptcy Code section 109(a). Continue reading