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INSOL Europe news and offers
October 2020: Association News & Updates

Dear Members

Whilst I am writing my first contribution to this newsletter from my home "office desk" as your newly appointed President I realise once again what unprecedented situation we are all in. COVID-19 is still (and again) among us in a second wave and ever stricter preventive measures are upon us to try to get a grip on the virus, awaiting a vaccine to become available for the entire world. 

"Returning to normal" seems far away, but stays much desired. Getting accustomed to the "new normal" is the thing we all have to do and cope with. The fights of doctors and nurses to save lives are heroic and deserve our greatest gratitude and admiration. We cannot but stay home and stay safe awaiting better times.

However, as I have said during my acceptance speech at the Ordinary General Meeting on 2 October, the INSOL Europe family in the end will not be beaten by COVID-19 and will emerge stronger and more coherent. 

As heralded by the slogan of our recently held online conference "Towards a new world", the Executive, council and staff of INSOL Europe is fully committed to make the period until the Dublin congress in October 2021 a success.
It was fantastic to experience that despite these difficult times so many of you could attend our online conference and participate in the program and discussions. I hope you will benefit from the presentations. Many thanks also to our sponsors who have remained so loyal in these financial challenging times for us.

Should you have missed the conference, recordings of the sessions will be published for members in the coming week. 

The INSOL Europe team speed skated through all technological challenges and by now has fully adapted itself to the digital world. We are well equipped to offer you as a member an interesting program for the upcoming year even if it remains difficult to meet in person for the time being. 
It is the Executive's intention and my personal challenge for this presidency to strengthen INSOL Europe's position as leading organisation in this turmoil and ensure it will remain the "centre of main interest" of the European restructuring and insolvency community, reflected also in our new logo.
Our country-coordinators are set to develop further local programs and plans, thereby bringing the best INSOL Europe has to offer digitally to your doorstep. 

Throughout Europe legislators are active in implementing the European Restructuring Directive, which will offer new restructuring instruments to us all. We have published a series of Guidance Notes for legislators and the third Note will be published shortly.

INSOL Europe will also further liaise with relevant officials of the EU to increase cooperation and consultation which shows the prominent position of INSOL Europe in the restructuring and insolvency arena.

Finally, the Youth is the Future, the saying goes. One of the most important long term objectives of the Executive is to encourage young practitioners to become part of the INSOL Europe family and make sure our legacy passes over to younger generations. Let's bring them on board in huge numbers.

Please join me in welcoming our new Vice President Barry Cahir and Treasurer Eamonn Richardson, both from Ireland, where we hopefully will meet for our Dublin congress in October 2021. 

A huge thanks to all who have supported INSOL Europe during the last difficult year. We could not have made it until here in relatively good shape without your help.

Please stay safe and healthy.

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.

Autumn on the Italian Riviera (Virtually)

This year’s conference took an unusual form, prompted by the advent of the coronavirus and restrictions on mass gatherings. Echoing Vivaldi’s famous oeuvre, the main event took place in four parts (like the seasons) on successive Thursdays in the month of October.

Titled “Towards a New World”, perhaps a pre-emptive look at the shape of things to come, the sessions grouped together keynote speakers, discussion panels and Q&A on very topical themes set against the context of the health issues of today, featuring contributions from eminent academics, judges and practitioners.

As such, reflecting concerns arising in 2020 and likely to last into the near future, the themes of the webinars ranged from the state of play with the Preventive Restructuring Directive, to relief offered to directors from the spectre of wrongful trading during the pandemic, to the reshaping of procedures, including CVAs in an age of Covid-19 and new scheme-like processes in the Netherlands, to the rescue of SMEs in troubled times as well as judicial responses to the pandemic and relevant case studies illustrating the concerns of today as restructuring and insolvency adapt to the prevailing context.

Overall, the sessions were well-attended and the discussion lively. Structuring the conference in bite-sized pieces met with a very favourable response from the audience. A full review of all four sessions will be published soon on our website, and in the Winter edition of Eurofenix.

Academic Forum Conference 2020: Autumn Dreams of Insolvency

The Academic Forum annual event took place in the form of a Webinar on 30 September 2020. With nigh on 80 participants joining online, the event kicked off with an introduction and explanation of Zoom protocol by Professor Tomáš Richter (IEAF Chair; Charles University Prague). Condign appreciation was given to the sponsorship by Edwin Coe LLP, which has supported Academic Forum events in the past few years. Outlining the difficult choice of the Management Board from many worthy entrants, Professor Richter underlined the excellence of the 2 papers to be presented, both reflecting research-in-progress.

Thus, the technical programme focused on two major themes, the first by Professors Horst Eidenmüller and Kristin van Zwieten (Oxford) on creditor cooperation duties in out-of-court restructurings/workouts in pandemic times and beyond, while the second by Lydia Tsioli (King’s College London), looked at models and filtering mechanisms in international insolvency texts from the US Chapter 11 to the European Union Preventive Restructuring Directive relating to the notion of a “viability assessment”. Both the presentations showed that there is still some way to go before businesses in distress can benefit from the same advantages whether they are located in the EU or more globally.

Vigorous questioning followed the presentations with a high level of participation by the audience. In conclusion, Professor Richter thanked the speakers for their thought-provoking and timely presentations and also expressed the hope that the occasion of the conference scheduled for Dublin in 2021 would permit participants to gather in person for a fuller programme.

You can watch a recording of the event here or read a detailed report of the conference by Myriam Mailly, Technical Officer and Paul Omar, Technical Research Coordinator here.

EECC Conference December - Registration Now Open!

On 3 and 10 December 2020 we will be holding our first Eastern European Countries' Committee online conference 'Tectonic Changes in Eastern European Insolvency', bringing together fresh insight and exceptional speakers.

Register your free place here:

As the evolving impacts of COVID-19 ripple through our communities, we are all facing unforeseen challenges. With a renewed spotlight on insolvency, gaining fresh insight and real life examples will help us, as insolvency professionals, stay on top of our game, enhance business resiliency, ensure business continuity and most importantly, stay connected. Watch, listen, and ask questions from the convenience of your home or office, no travel needed. Add the dates to your calendar and join us!

If you have any queries, please contact Event Manager, Harriet Taylor.

Council Elections, Changes & Retirements

Executive rotation

At our recent OGM, Ms Piya Mukherjee passed on the baton of President to Mr Marcel Groenewegen. Ms Mukherjee then stepped into Mr Alastair Beveridge’s shoes as Immediate Past President. Mr Beveridge has now retired from his Executive duties. Mr Frank Tschentscher is now Deputy President and Mr Barry Cahir joins the Executive as Vice President. Mr Eammon Richardson also joins the Executive as Treasurer. Mr Chris Laughton has now retired from his role as Treasurer and has been succeeded by Mr Eammon Richardson. Mrs Caroline Taylor retired after many years of being Director of Administration and the INSOL Europe lynch pin. Caroline remains a member of the INSOL Europe family as she has taken a part-time role as Event Strategy Director. Ms Catherine Dyke-Price is replacing Mrs Taylor with the new title, Chief Operating Officer.

Council Election results & Co-opted seats

Mr Florian Bruder received the most votes for the available seat for Germany and Mr Francisco Patricio won the most votes for Portugal (a seat had become available because Portugal had hit 30 members and that is the minimum required number of members for a country to have a seat on Council). Both new members were approved by Council during the meeting on 2 October 2021. In addition to this, the Council also approved the second term in Council for Mr Giorgio Corno (Italy), Ms Frances Coulson (UK) and Ms Rita Gismondi (Italy).

At the Council meeting the Council approved the newly appointed co-opted seats and these were given to Ms Clarissa Nitsch (Austria), in her capacity as the new Young Members Group co-chair and Ms Nicoleta Nastasie (Romania), in her capacity as Judicial Wing co-chair.

The Council also agreed to re-co-opt Mr David Rubin (UK) for his services to the sponsorship team, Mr Radu Lotrean (Romania) in his capacity for his work on the High-Level Courses and co-chair of the Membership Development Committee, Mr Koch (Germany) in his capacity as co-chair of the Turnaround Wing and as INSOL Europe's representative on the board of INSOL International, and Mr Tomas Richter (Czech Republic) in his capacity as chair of the Academic Forum.

Honorary Members

At the OGM, Mr Radu Lotrean was awarded Honorary Membership for outstanding meritorious service to INSOL Europe as member of Council, Co-Chair of the EECC and Past President. Mr Chris Laughton was awarded the title of Honorary Officer for his outstanding contribution to the work of INSOL Europe as Council Member, Past President and Treasurer.

Committee Changes

Mr Georges-Louis Harang and Ms Anne Bach have stepped down as co-chairs of the Young Members Group and Ms Clarissa Nitsch and Mr Robert Peldan have become the new co-chairs. Mr Georges-Louis Harang will stay on for a further year to assist the new co-chairs.

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


INSIDE Story: Making sense of the COMI definition in Italy

It is well-known that the centre of main interests (“COMI”) is defined by Regulation (EU) 2015/848 (“EIR”) as “the place where the debtor conducts the administration of its interests on a regular basis and which is ascertainable by third parties” (Article 3 (1)). It mainly works both as a ground of jurisdiction (to open the main proceedings) and as a ground for the Regulation to be applied. 

The Italian Business Crisis and Insolvency Code, which was promulgated by legislative decree 12 January 2019 no. 14, revises the Italian insolvency law. One novelty is to have replaced the debtor’s “principal seat” with the COMI as a ground of jurisdiction (see Article 11), both to open Italian insolvency proceedings and to rule on the so-called “ancillary actions”. Besides, the Code embeds the same definition of the COMI as the EIR (see Article 2 (m)). Antonio Leandro, Professor, Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, Italy, explains the changesRead 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.

Richard Turton Award 2020 Presentation
The Award Panel is pleased to announce that the 2020 winner is Carla Cervantes from Peru. Carla is currently working as a legal assistant at Estudio Martinot Abogados. It was a difficult decision, particularly as this year a record number of applications was received. The panel adjudicating this year’s applications was made up of: Robert van Galen, INSOL Europe; Neil Cooper, INSOL International; Christina Fitzgerald, R3 and Maurice Moses, IPA. 
This year’s winner, Carla Cervantes, will be writing a paper on “Necessary reforms: Adaptation of insolvency regimes in Latin America due to the crisis”, which will be published in summary in one or more of the Member Associations' journals and in full on their websites. We would like to congratulate Carla on her excellent application, and also thank all the candidates who applied for the award this year and wish them a successful career in their chosen field.

As part of the award, Ms Cervantes was invited to do a short presentation during the INSOL Europe OGM on 2 October 2020 and will attend in person the INSOL Europe Congress in Dublin, Ireland in October 2021.

Vist our website for more information about the Richard Turton Award and to watch the short presentation video featuring Ms. Cervantes.

ERBD Insolvency Assessment Update & Questionnaire

In partnership with INSOL Europe and other international organisations, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development launched last month an Insolvency Assessment on formal business reorganisation procedures. Intended to cover the states where the EBRD invests as well as other economies in Europe and further afield, the assessment seeks to discover the state of play in these countries.

In an age of Covid-19, the pace of reforms has already begun to accelerate to cope with the expected fallout from the crisis. Of particular concern is the position of micro-, small- and medium-enterprises, constituting by far the largest proportion of businesses in any economy, whose ability to cope with the consequences of the pandemic is already being severely tested. Entrepreneurs in economies with limited resources and without a developed infrastructure to help support business will come under particular stress at this time.

In emerging and developing countries, reform projects already undertaken will need to be reviewed, while ongoing reforms will have to be redesigned at some speed. Even in developing countries with historically greater economic resilience, legal regimes have had to adjust to the evolution of the pandemic and its impact on particular economic sectors. But for those economies in transition especially, there is a real need to ascertain what will be the likely knowledge transfer and capacity building requirements they will need to undertake the necessary reviews.

To this end, INSOL Europe members in all jurisdictions, but especially those in recent EU accession and candidate countries, can help by filling out the online questionnaire, which is targeted at respondents with a legal background in restructuring and insolvency and which is available at the new EBRD assessment website. The questionnaire will only be available until 31 October and we urge our members to complete this as soon as possible. 

The assessment is also accompanied by a short survey on non-performing loans (NPLs) addressed to financial institutions and their advisors. The latter seeks to identify potential obstacles for NPL resolution in the banking sector, which will undoubtedly suffer a deterioration in loan portfolios as a result of the economic crisis.

INSOL Europe is proud to be associated with this project, which will add to the ability of the EBRD and other international organisations to target resources to provide assistance in strengthening national reorganisation frameworks and providing businesses and their creditors with the tools to achieve a successful restructuring. The results of the country surveys and a cross-jurisdictional analysis are likely to be available in 2021 Q1 and will be published on the EBRD assessment website.

The results will also help national authorities to think beyond emergency short-term legislation to the longer-term reforms necessary to help businesses return to viability and to protect jobs. In this work, INSOL Europe members, many of whom are already active as advisors to national policy-making and legislative bodies, can further contribute to the success of this initiative.

Joint Fraud Conference 2021: Registration Opening Soon!

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding a joint conference with R3 and the Fraud Advisory Panel on 2 & 3 February 2021 (new dates for this online event)

This online conference will focus on topics related to global financial crime, tackling rogue companies, UK compensation orders, asset tracing, cryptocurrency fraud, and digital forensics, with speakers from international police agencies, insolvency and fraud specialists, academics and many more.

Look our for updates and registration details coming soon on our website.

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.