Global Restructuring Review - Cross-border restructuring and insolvency legal news, features and events

GRR Awards 2017 - cross-border cooperation in a specific insolvency or restructuring matter

Richard Woolley

26 May 2017

GRR Awards 2017 - cross-border cooperation in a specific insolvency or restructuring matter Profits from the GRR Awards go to the Swawou Layout School in Sierra Leone Swawou Layout Community Primary School for Girls

Following our previous announcements of shortlists for GRR’s awards ceremony in June, today we present the nominees for the award for cross-border cooperation in a specific insolvency or restructuring matter.

The GRR Awards will take place on 21 June at the Waldorf Hilton in London, just after the International Insolvency Institute wraps up its 17th annual conference in the city.

Proceeds from the black-tie ceremony – which will see the launch of the GRR 100 guide to the world’s leading cross-border restructuring law practices and the unveiling of the first ever GRR 30 ranking – will go to the Swawou Layout Community Primary School for Girls in Sierra Leone.

Details of the event can be found here.

On Wednesday we announced the nominees in the category of most important recognition decision, and the following day we published the candidates for the award for innovation in cross-border insolvency and restructuring.

Below are the matters in which we think parties and judges showed exemplary cross-border cooperation.

Nominees for cross-border cooperation in a specific insolvency or restructuring matter

Banners Broker – The Isle of Man High Court stayed the liquidation of an alleged pyramid scheme in December 2016, granting Manx liquidators’ calls to transfer charge of the case to a Canadian court-appointed receiver for the sake of convenience.

Gulf Pacific – In December 2016, the Singapore High Court recognised the appointment of liquidators over a Hong Kong shipping company despite the fact it was involuntary liquidation and outside of the common law powers of assistance laid out in Singularis. The court, ruling months before Singapore’s adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law, concluded that the “traditional territorial focus on the interests of local creditors no longer has primacy over more internationalist concerns.”

Hanjin Judge Sherwood of the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey concluded with his counterpart in Korea that common benefit claims – that is, claims that are deemed in the public interest and can be reimbursed at any time – against the troubled shipping company belonged in Seoul for the sake of convenience, in a judgment issued in January. The US and Korean judges had a telephone conversation during a two-day trial to decide on the matter.

Hellas – The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York stayed a case filed by the liquidators of the Greek telecoms company in August 2016, finding that their UK law avoidance claims against a group of US defendants should be heard in England.

Kaupthing HF - The Isle of Man High Court indefinitely adjourned proceedings for the recognition of the winding-up of the failed Icelandic bank in March 2016 for the practical reason that an “aura of uncertainty” exists in Manx law over the recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings. However, the court decided not to withdraw the proceedings entirely in case a creditor made a claim in future, in which case it might be relevant if recognition proceedings were ongoing before the bank exited the winding-up process.

Nortel – After eight years in dispute over how to allocate US$7.3 billion in liquidation proceeds kept in a lockbox, international Nortel debtors and their creditors reached a settlement in October 2016. It followed lengthy litigations in which courts in Delaware and Ontario held a groundbreaking trial by video-link in 2015. Both courts approved the settlement in January 2017, following in the steps of their English counterparts in November.

Roust Corporation – The US Bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York confirmed the pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan of the Eastern European spirits producer, just 11 days after it simultaneously filed for Chapter 11 protection and submitted a full restructuring plan – the fastest approval in the New York court’s history. The court acted with speed after hearing that the stigma associated with bankruptcy in Eastern Europe could spook creditors.

Winsway – The coking coal supplier’s scheme of arrangement required coordination between counsel and judges in Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands and New York (where the Hong Kong proceedings were recognised in June 2016) with court hearings taking place in each jurisdiction.

Z-Obee – In February, courts in Hong Kong and Bermuda sanctioned the transfer of the electronics group’s insolvency proceeding from one jurisdiction to the other, in recognition of the fact that Bermuda’s provisional liquidation mechanism can be used for restructuring purposes, whereas Hong Kong’s is used only for liquidation.