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Thursday, May 9, 2019
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IWIRC London Network - Updates from Asia

IWIRC London Network and IWIRC Singapore hosted a breakfast seminar which took a detailed look at some recent Hong Kong and Singapore restructuring cases.

Eloise Fardon (senior associate, Stephenson Harwood Hong Kong) presented on developments in the Hong Kong restructuring scene, in particular case law developed to provide assistance to foreign officeholders in Hong Kong avoiding the need for costly parallel winding up proceedings. Eloise took us through several landmark cases, concluding that the Hong Kong Companies court is now generally prepared to provide assistance and recognition to a foreign liquidator (or equivalent) and that banks are expected to provide information to foreign insolvency officeholders without requiring a court order to do so.

For Singapore, Meiyen Tan (head of restructuring & insolvency, Oon & Bazul) provided an overview of the recent Zetta Jet Pte case where the Singapore court had to interpret the newly adopted UNCITRAL Model Law on cross border insolvency for the first time. Of particular interest to an international audience is the fact that the Singapore court concluded that the appropriate time to assess a debtor’s COMI was at the time of filing for recognition proceedings.

Sheila Ng (partner, Rajah & Tann)  and Meiyen Tan provided an update on super priority financing in Singapore using the new legislative regime which allows, in certain circumstances, rescue financing to obtain super priority and thereby prime existing secured lenders. They discussed respectively the Attilan Group Limited case (where super priority was eventually denied by the courts) and Asiatravel.com Holdings – where super priority to rescue financing was afforded.

Last but not least, Lauren Tang ( partner, Virtus Law, Stephenson Harwood) provided an overview of the first scheme of arrangement moratorium case in Singapore: Re IM Skaugen where the court was prepared to grant a moratorium that covered international arbitration and had an extraterritorial effect.

The audience in both London and Singapore had questions for the speakers and members of IWIRC London networked before over breakfast while IWIRC Singapore members enjoyed an afternoon tea and drinks. This was a fantastic opportunity for IWIRC to show its true international colours, combining forces in two countries with lawyers presenting who were deeply involved in the cases and could passionately talk about the issues at hand.

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