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INSOL Europe news and offers
December 2020: Association News, Updates & Videos

Dear Members

We are about to enter the Christmas holidays and for many of us these will be very different, given the new strict lockdown measures that have been implemented in large parts of Europe to help us through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Whilst 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, there is now light at the end of the tunnel with a COVID-19 vaccine hopefully becoming available at very short notice. I am confident 2021 therefore will bring better times for all of us.

INSOL Europe was established 40 years ago and for this reason 2021 is a special year to celebrate as well. I hope to be able to welcome many of you in Dublin at our Annual Congress to jointly raise our glass on this anniversary.

For the time being we will continue our digital programmes. A number of new initiatives have been developed for 2021 and you will find more on these initiatives in this newsletter.

The new year will start off with an online webinar of our Academic Forum on 20 January 2021. Then, on 2 and 3 February 2021 an Anti-Fraud Webinar entitled ‘Preparing for the new world: A toolkit for action’ will follow. It is a joint event by INSOL Europe, R3 and the Fraud Advisory Panel and will provide a counter-fraud toolkit for practitioners to help them prepare for the new world. Speakers will provide unique insights into topics related to global financial crime including tackling rogue companies, cryptocurrency fraud and digital forensics.

Brand new is our online mini Spring 2021 conference to be held on 4 and 18 March 2021. It will be organized in the same format as our ‘Towards A New World’ virtual conference, but only on two days. As I write this column, the technical programme is being put together. 

You may recall that in 2020 we started our COVID Coffee Breaks series, which proved very successful. We have decided to continue this format for 2021 and have labelled the new series ‘Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021’. Our Country Coordinators will play an active role.

Our EU Study Group has participated in a number of requests from the European Commission to provide input for future insolvency and restructuring legislative initiatives. The EU study group contributed to a report of the ‘High Level Forum on the Capital Market Union’ (June 2020) and provided feedback for the ‘Consumer Policy – the EU’s new Consumer Agenda’ (October 2020). The latest initiative of the European Commission is called ‘Insolvency laws: increasing convergence of national laws to encourage cross-border investment’. The EU Study Group provided feedback for this initiative in December 2020 and we intend to be involved in this project in the course of 2021.

Finally, the two co-chairs Barry Chair and Giorgio Corno and the Technical Committee are busy putting together the technical programme for our Annual Congress from 7-10 October 2021, to be held in the wonderful city of Dublin. 

Looking into 2021, it promises to become an exciting “digital” year indeed with a lot of interesting activities for you all. 

You will also find in this newsletter reports from recent events including our EECC online conference, the joint IOH/Turnaround Wing Webinar, UNCITRAL and more! Many thanks to all those who contributed to this newsletter and enjoy reading it.

Please also visit the INSOL Europe’s website to stay up to date with our initiatives. 

I wish you and your loved ones a warm, safe and healthy Christmas and all the best for a wonderful 2021. 

Marcel Groenewegen
President INSOL Europe



Marcel Groenewegen
President of
INSOL Europe


This issue is kindly sponsored by:


DLA Piper is a global law
firm with lawyers located
in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

EECC Conference Recordings Published

The Eastern European Countries’ Committee held an online event in two parts on 3 and 10 December to focus on the evolving impact of COVID-19 on business resilience and continuity, sponsored by BDO Restructuring (overall sponsor) and supported by CITR and Ilyashev and Partners (session sponsors).

Keynote speaker of Part I (3 December) was Catherine Bridge Zoller (Senior Counsel, EBRD), speaking of the insolvency assessment on formal business reorganisation procedures, launched in September 2020 in partnership with international bodies, including INSOL Europe. A preview of interim results was given resulting from analysis of over 34K responses to the questionnaire from 57 countries. The exercise focused on three benchmarks: flexibility (importance of the rescue culture within the insolvency framework), efficiency (both economic and procedural) and effectiveness (the presence of necessary tools) with full results expected in 2021 Q1 (with individual country profiles to follow).

In the 'Financing Companies in difficulty during Coronavirus Times' session, moderated by Dmitry Konstantinov (Ilyashev and Partners, Russia), panellists Tomáš Brožek (Deloitte, Czech Republic) and Edvins Draba (Sorainen, Latvia) provided an outline of measures in their respective jurisdictions. Following that, in the session entitled 'Struggling, Learning and Overcoming – COVID stories of Restructuring and Insolvency in Eastern Europe', moderated by Irina Misca (CITR Cyprus), panellists Oleksander Plotnikov (Arzinger, Ukraine) and Adrian Cohen (Clifford Chance, UK) covered developments in the UK, Ukraine and Cyprus. 

Opening Part II (10 December), Marcel Groenewegen spoke warmly of the work of INSOL Europe in the former accession countries and the challenges facing jurisdictions still emerging and developing in reacting to the pandemic and other economic crises.

In the session 'Implementing the EU Directive on Restructuring and Second Chance in Eastern Europe', moderated by Roman Knut-Seger (BDO Restructuring, Germany), panellists enlightened the audience on steps taken towards implementation of the Directive in their respective jurisdictions. 

In the final session, 'AI vs Hammer', moderated by Andreas Weinberger (NETBID, Austria), Marko Zaman (Zaman, Slovenia) and Ernst Giese (Giese & Partner, Czech Republic) described the core actions of auctioneers in insolvency (public) sales.

Concluding the series of online events, EECC Co-Chair Evert Verwey (Clifford Chance LLP, The Netherlands) thanked Radu Lotrean (CITR Romania) for his service as Co-Chair and welcomed Niculina Somlea (STRIDE, Romania) replacing Radu in the role.

Each session was recorded and is free to watch on our website for members of INSOL Europe. Catherine Bridge Zoller's presentation can also be downloaded here.

Thank you to our conference main sponsor

Practitioners on the Cusp of Change: Webinar Report

A collaboration between the Insolvency Office-Holder (IOH) Forum and Turnaround Wing saw the holding of a webinar on 17 December on the theme of the Practitioner in the Field of Restructuring (PIFOR), a profession created by the new Preventive Restructuring Directive 2019. Myriam Mailly, Technical Officer and Paul Omar, Technical Research Coordinator report.

Speaking to a large audience, panellists (UK: David Soden; DE: Robert Hänel, ES: Alberto Nuñez-Lagos and FR: Jean Baron) offered insights into how transposition by member states (accompanied by analogous measures introduced post-Brexit into the UK) offer new tools for restructuring plans, in the shape of moratoria, (cross-class) cram-downs and the abolition of ipso facto clauses.

Examining the transposition process and the updated EBRD IOH Guidelines, on which INSOL Europe provided comments during a recent consultation, panellists report that procedural changes are not bringing alterations universally to the status of practitioners, the PIFOR not being seen in a few jurisdictions as a radically different profession. However, in some countries, a distinction is being drawn between domestic and cross-border cases, leading to potentially different streams of practice without much cross-over. Some Member States, nonetheless, are enabling foreign practitioners to act in cross-border cases, perhaps leading to Europe-wide support for a specific PIFOR profession, particularly to allow specific sector expertise (e.g., aviation, transport, health etc) to be transportable across borders.

As Member States get to grips with the new directive regime, many are bringing previous experience with pre-insolvency processes to the transposition table, creating better conditions for acceptance of the transition to preventive restructuring. This reference back to domestic professional regulatory standards also appears to result in the emergence of certain pre-conditions, such as the need for independence, diligence, adherence to professional standards, respect for confidentiality etc. becoming common benchmarks for PIFORs across Europe.

Watch a recording of the Webinar on our website here.

Virtual Voices in Vienna: UNCITRAL 2020 Conference Report
UNCITRAL Working Group V (Insolvency Law) met for its 57th Session on 7-10 December 2020. Dr Jennifer L. L. Gant and Paul Omar report.

Although there were no sugary Austrian delights on offer in the global virtual environment, over 90 delegates from across the world “gathered” via the UN online platform for four days of deliberations. The topic of discussion was a draft text on a Simplified Insolvency Regime for micro- and small-enterprises (MSEs) in financial distress. Drafted in conjunction with Working Group I (on micro-, small- and medium-enterprises), delegates considered 63 of the 88 recommendations, offering input largely predicated on balancing the desire for simplicity and flexibility against the need to ensure that such an instrument, when implemented, would not be prone to abuse.

Careful attention was paid to issues, such as the appropriate form of notice, the role of the court in approving and appealing procedural aspects, the involvement of the competent authorities, as well as issues arising from institutional differences between jurisdictions. One topic in particular emerged during the session, that of the need perceived by major delegations for the inclusion of explicit mention of employees within the text. As a result, interventions were supplemented on the final day with the introduction of a compromise text featuring recommendations with employee-focused references, jointly drafted by the USA and the EU. Although a full discussion of this addition was stymied due to technical problems with the video-conferencing platform, it was agreed that consideration would occur at the next meeting in New York, scheduled for May 2021.

New Work for New York? The UNCITRAL-HCCH Colloquium

On 11 December 2020, immediately after the UNCITRAL Working Group V (Insolvency Law) meeting in Vienna, a Colloquium on Applicable Law was organised, jointly with the Hague Conference (HCCH) on the topic of the applicable law in insolvency proceedings. Over four sessions held virtually, speakers addressed what has been proposed as the topic of UNCITRAL’s next project, once work on the Model Law for simplified proceedings for micro- and small-enterprises has concluded, likely to occur at the New York session scheduled for May 2021. The initiative has been championed by the European Commission, with whom INSOL Europe, the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Ministry of Justice jointly organised an event in September 2020 in Zagreb on the theme to gauge traction at the international level for such a venture.

Four sessions covered important topic areas within the scope of a possible project, the first on the nature of applicable law examining the work of UNCITRAL and the European Union in the field, while the second explored major concerns in relation to rights in rem, securities and financial instruments, avoidance actions and special contracts, including employment obligations. Later in the afternoon, the third set of speakers outlined regional approaches to the concept of applicable law, covering Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa as well as the overall methodology for dealing with choice of law issues. In the final session of the day, representatives from HCCH, the European Commission and UNCITRAL discussed the possible scope of work, the shape of future plans and the nature of the text to embody the project.

JCOERE Project Joint Webinar, 27th November: Report

The JCOERE Project, led by Professor Irene Lynch Fannon (University College Cork) and funded by the EU’s Justice Programme 2014-2020, hosted an end-of-project webinar on 27 November 2020. The webinar, titled “Corporate Rescue and Legal Supports for Businesses Post-COVID-19”, featured three panel sessions moderated by the UCC Team. Molly O’Connor, Research Administrator – Project Manager and Dr Jennifer L. L. Gant, Project Researcher report.

The first panel included Judges Michael Quinn and David Barniville from the Irish Commercial Court, discussing recent developments in Irish Examinerships and Schemes of Arrangement, particularly in light of EU legal developments and Brexit. Professors Gerard McCormack (University of Leeds) and Reinout Vriesendorp (University of Leiden; De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek) formed the second panel, giving topical presentations on legislative developments in preventive restructuring in the UK and the Netherlands, against the background of the Preventive Restructuring Directive. Presentations in the final session focused on support for SMEs post the COVID-19 pandemic. Neil McDonnel (CEO) and Barry Lyons (Solicitor) from the Irish SME Association discussed the rescue of SMEs under recent Irish legislation introduced to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

The webinar attracted attendees from the legal practice, academia and business with a global audience. The Q&A sessions were lively and relevant, resulting in interesting and important discussions. It was an excellent capstone to a significant project and an important opportunity to engage in discussion about recent developments in European preventive restructuring, as well as changes to the corporate rescue culture in light of the pandemic.

Special Offers for Members of INSOL Europe

We have arranged many special offers for our members, including exclusive discounts on publications and events as well as special rates for advertising in Eurofenix, our quarterly journal. These are often time limited and updated regularly on the Members Offers section of the website.

Offers are changed regularly and currently include:

  • Free online conferences for all members
  • 20% discount off selected titles from Oxford University Press
  • 10% discount off an individual subscription to Global Restructuring Review
  • A discounted 'Pro' profile on SpeakerHub
Read more


COVID Coffee Break Series Updates - Series 2 Summary

Welcome to our second INSOL Europe COVID Coffee Break highlights video showing all the participants who have featured in the latest 6 episodes!

We will be returning in 2021 with a new series of videos entitled 'Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021' featuring further updates from our Country Coordinators, and also from our Working Groups, with news about their activities and plans for the coming months.

The COVID Coffee Breaks are brought to you in partnership with LexisNexis with whom INSOL Europe is honoured to collaborate on the COVID-19 tracker of insolvency reforms globally.

Watch the videos here


Thank you to our sponsors of the 2020 COVID Coffee Break Series:

If you would like to sponsor a Coffee Break video in 2021,
please contact Hannah Denney, Sponsorship Manager, for details.

INSIDE Story: Covid Act II - Changes to Czech Insolvency Law

With the numbers of active cases of coronavirus SARS CoV-2 rising in the Czech Republic, a new law aiming once again to further mitigate the impact of the measures in combating the coronavirus SARS CoV-2 epidemic has been recently adopted (the Covid Act II).

The Covid Act II concerns three main areas: (a) extending the time of the suspension of the debtor’s duty to file for insolvency; (b) renewing the time period for debtors to apply for an extraordinary moratorium protecting them from certain creditor actions; and (c) removing the condition to obtain creditors’ approval of an extension of an already declared extraordinary moratorium. This article by Petr Sprinz (of Counsel, Allen and Overy, Czech Republic) and Jiří Rahm (Associate, Allen and Overy, Czech Republic) will address the topics below from the perspective of questions frequently asked by clientsRead the full story and other articles here.

If you would like the opportunity to have your Inside Story published in a future edition, please email Communications Manager, Paul Newson for details.

New: Academic Forum January 2021 Webinar - Register Today!

INSOL Europe Academic Forum Online Webinar
20 January 2021 - 16:00 to 17:40 (CET)

Free for INSOL Europe members - register here
(Non-members please contact Hannah Denney)

As a follow-up to our Academic Conference in September, we are pleased to announce a new Webinar in January 2021. We are excited about the tehnical programme and have the following confirmed speakers for this event:

  • Prof. Antonio Leandro (Associate Professor of International Law at the Department of Economics, Management and Business Law of the University of Bari, Italy) will be speaking on: “Harmonizing Insolvency Regimes in the Prism of European Investment Law”
  • Prof. Gerard McCormack (Professor of International Business Law at the University of Leeds in the UK, Visiting Professor at the University of Vaasa in Finland and INSOL International Scholar for 2020/2021) will be speaking on: “Restructuring and Stays – Moving Forward in Europe?”

For a full programme and further information on the speakers and panel sessions, please visit the Academic Forum website here.

Registration will be free for members. If you are not a member, please contact our Membership Manager, Hannah Denney for details on how to register.

So don't delay - add the dates to your calendar, register today and join us online!

Thank you to our Academic Forum Sponsor:

Joint Virtual Fraud Conference: Register today at the early-bird rate

Early-bird tickets offer ending soon!
Click here to get your tickets at the special price with 20% discount

R3 are processing all registrations for the Fraud Conference – including those received from members of the Fraud Advisory Panel and INSOL Europe. Members of INSOL Europe should use your unique booking code below: 

INSOL Europe Member: INSOLFC21
Young Member: NewINSOLFC21

Your ticket will give you full access to all live and on-demand sessions, Meeting Hub and Virtual Exhibition. 

Plus: Joint the virtual wine tasting for £30+VAT at the time of booking. Limited to 30 tickets on a first-come-first served basis.

Visit the conference website for more information and to register your place!

Thanks to our conference sponsors:


We welcome feedback, news and story ideas for future newsletters. 

Please send your suggestions to Paul Newson, Communications Manager,

INSOL Europe, PO Box 7149, Clifton, Nottingham. NG11 6WD
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Disclaimer: This newsletter is sent to members of INSOL Europe. No responsibility legal or otherwise is accepted by INSOL Europe for any errors, omissions or otherwise. The opinions expressed in the articles that appear are not necessarily shared by any representative of INSOL Europe.