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INSOL Europe news and offers
October 2021

Dear Members

Welcome to the October edition of the INSOL Europe Newsletter. I am sure you will find it, as always, a very good read providing you with updates on the happenings in the world of restructuring and insolvency across Europe.

Autumn has been a long time coming and as the days become shorter and with the world still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-pandemic, it may appear for many that we will go straight to winter. However, I take comfort in the words of German writer Theodor Storm: “Clouds gather, treetops toss and sway; But pour us wine, an old one! That we may turn this dreary day, To golden, yes, to golden! Autumn has come, but never fear, Wait but a little while yet, Spring will be here, the skies will clear, And fields stand deep in violets.”

It may feel as if every new day in 2021 is Groundhog Day, whereby the common theme is COVID (with the US election and the continuing Brexit saga close runners up). However, as I have said during my acceptance speech at the Ordinary General Meeting on 6 October 2021, I do not want to dwell too much on the dark days of the past two years but instead want to remain focused on optimistic prospects and share my conviction that we will not be beaten by COVID. The bonds which have been forged in adversity have only served to intensify our relationships with one another. We have faced the challenges we were – and are – faced with and adapted. As we now begin to emerge from the other side of this crisis, we do so as a stronger and more coherent organisation. 

Looking ahead now, we see that the European Commission is contemplating further legislation to harmonise insolvency regimes and rules in the Member States and we will liaise closely with the Commission and other EU officials to offer advice and assistance – maybe training – so as to strengthen our position as THE European organisation of restructuring and insolvency professionals. Together with Barry Cahir as Deputy President, Giorgio Corno as our new Vice President, the Council and the entire INSOL Europe staff, I am committed to delivering first-class content, lectures and networking opportunities so that you feel that you are getting the fullest value for your membership. We set off on that journey by delivering the first session of our Autumn Online Conference which was yet again high class. I should like to extend my deepest gratitude to all involved and to our sponsors who have remained so loyal and supportive in these challenging times. Should you have missed the conference, recordings of the sessions will be published for members in the coming weeks and if you have not done so already, I encourage you to register for the next and final session on 21 October. It offers a fantastic program and will be well worth your time. 

The next step on our "return to normal" will be celebrating our organisation’s 40th anniversary with all of you in Dublin in March 2022. We have chosen the theme and title “Back to the Future 2" for our Congress, primarily as a reference to the EU Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency and the status of the implementation process in the various jurisdictions but also as a tribute to you, our members, for your remarkable capacity to adjust and evolve and meet the various challenges of the past two years with extraordinary resilience and creativity. Our programme is broad and diverse indeed and features fantastic panels and presentations that will bring you up to speed on the latest trends and developments in our rapidly changing profession and take you [back] to the future indeed. I am very much looking forward to it and to seeing all of you in Dublin to celebrate our organisation’s anniversary and the unshakeable bonds between us suitably. 

In this edition, we are focussing on the wide variety of events that our members can attend in the next few months - all online, until our Annual Congress returns in person in Dublin - you can find out more below and make sure you don't miss out!

I recommend that you take some time - maybe over a cup of coffee (or tea) - to read the collection of pieces in this month's edition. I do not think you will regret it. 

In closing, I hope wherever you are reading this, you are staying safe and well.

Frank Tschentscher
President INSOL Europe

 

 

Frank
Tschentscher

President of
INSOL Europe

 

This issue is kindly sponsored by:
 

LETT

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

Autumn Online Conference: Report on the first session

The first part of our Autumn Conference series took place on 7 October. In the chair as facilitator, Carmel King (Grant and Thornton, UK; Co-Chair, INSOL Europe Anti-Fraud Forum) set the scene by thanking the sponsors Netbid for their generous support.

Then came Marcel Groenewegen to undertake his final task as President, sending his greetings and reporting 70+ registered at this, the first of 2 webinars, with an attractive programme dealing with recognition in the UK and real estate themes with valuation and the future of the IOH profession as topics for Part Two in a fortnight’s time.

The main act in the first session was to follow, with Barry Cahir (Beauchamps, Ireland; Deputy President of INSOL Europe) deputed to introduce the keynote speaker: Miha ┼Żebre (Legal and Policy Officer, DG Justice and Consumers; EU representative at UNCITRAL).

In his keynote address, Miha noted the momentum in the wake of the Preventive Restructuring Directive and COVID-19 crisis, indicating that the climate seems beneficial to initiatives on convergence. Within the Commission, the Civil Law Unit treats insolvency law as a “core” matter and work is progressing on the new initiative, though a decision on its form (whether a legislative instrument or other) has not yet been taken.

Overall, Miha is impressed with the calibre of the Experts’ Group, representing a wide constituency in the field, with many INSOL Europe members naturally involved as the crème de la crème of expertise in Europe. It is anticipated that there will be a rough idea by early January of potential proposals with a hopeful conclusion by June.

On other initiatives, the EU has still to formulate an approach to the UNCITRAL framework, since adoption of model laws might be problematic, given EU’s status as an observer. Equally, despite some early adherents, adoption across all 27 member states will also raise issues, largely due to member state caution over convergence. Already, though such an exercise has met with favour among many stakeholders, member states are less sanguine. In fact, 7 member states have sent a joint letter warning against harmonisation, though the (possibly usual) scepticism or reluctance might, with the help of the insolvency community, be countered.

The keynote interview was followed by panels on "Regulations, Recognition and Relief in the UK – A Primer for non-UK Insolvency Professionals" and "The Real Estate Industry: New Measures passed by States". Read a full report of these sessions by Paul Omar and Myriam Mailly here.

Session 2 takes place on 21 October. Full details are on our website.

Register for the second session here
(€50+VAT for members or €75+VAT for non-members).

Kindly Sponsored by 

EECC Online Conference: Set your alarm and regiser today!

Set your alarm for our next EECC Online Conference:

A Wake-up Call for Sleepy Companies?

16:25 CET, Thursday 25 November 2021 

Many articles and experts forecast a rising tide of insolvencies in Europe given all we have been through in the past year and, it’s more than understandable. We were used to seeing insolvency following somewhat regular patterns, and following 2009, we learned to spot a crisis.

Just imagine having the ability to send a message to yourself from January 2020 – but nothing too specific as to not disturb the axis of time – what would you even say? Buy stock in pharma companies? That would be too obvious and most surely go against time travel regulation.

Where to even begin? More has changed in the last 18 months than in the previous ten years put together. We have a pandemic, with its everchanging variant, fleeting state aid, whole industries on the brink of collapsing while others flourish unexpectedly and a restructuring Directive being dragged through parliaments for transposition.

Once, we had the luxury of certainty. Given the same data set, we persisted in the belief that everyone would draw the same conclusion and, moreover, that we could see the future, as though reason operated according to an obligatory physics, like the optics of an eye. At the beginning of that year, we were once certain that we could see, in broad strokes, how it was going to play out. Now, uncertainty is all we have, and it freed us; it made room for possibilities and new strategies – for growth, pushing us forward. Now, all we have are plans a, b, c, and so on.

This is the painful beginning of the new restructuring. We invite you to discuss together scenarios and plans on Thursday, 25 November from 16:25 CET for a two-hour EECC session - A wake-up call for sleepy companies? Will there be a growing army of zombie companies? Are we ready? Are the tides changing? What about Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria? Have airlines reached a survival at any cost point? 

So join us online from the comfort of your home/office in this journey to embrace uncertainty in these new exciting times!

Further information
The latest updates will be posted on our website when available. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact the Secretary to the EECC, Niculina Somlea.


Kindly sponsored by

Academic Conference 2022, Dublin: Call for Papers

Call for Papers - Dublin 2022

The Academic Forum of INSOL Europe will be hosting its Annual Conference at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, 2-3 March 2022, immediately prior to INSOL Europe’s Annual Congress taking place in Dublin from 3-6 March 2022.

Expressions of interest are invited for the delivery of papers
within the overall conference theme, which will be: 

The Emerging New Landscape of European Restructuring and Insolvency

The theme is intended to focus on, inter alia, the following overall topics:

  • Reflections on the 2019/1023 Directive as such, and on further harmonization of insolvency laws in the EU;
  • Reports on national implementations of the 2019/1023 Directive in the EU Member States, including related changes to insolvency and company laws;
  • Cross-border issues relating to the new restructuring frameworks;
  • The longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on insolvency and restructuring laws in the EU and elsewhere;
  • Digital assets and data in the context of insolvency proceedings and the new restructuring frameworks.

Expressions of interest are invited for the delivery of research papers within the overall academic conference's theme and should be sent by email on or before 6 December 2021 to Line Langkjaer, the Academic Forum's Secretary, at: linehl@law.au.dk.

A paper submission form relating to this call is available on the INSOL Europe website at https://www.insol-europe.org/academic-forum-events

Proposals for papers will then be reviewed by the Academic Forum's Board and, on or around 10 January 2022, the Board will contact authors of those papers that will have been selected for presentation at the conference.

In the meantime, the registration brochure is now available at https://www.insol-europe.org/events where you can also proceed to registration.

Further information about the INSOL Europe Academic Forum can be found here.

 

The Academic Forum is pleased to announce
the generous sponsorship of Edwin Coe LLP

 

 

Annual Congress 2022 - Meet us in Dublin!

Reach out for a return to normality
with INSOL Europe's 'Back to the Future 2' Congress in Dublin, Ireland: 3-6 March 2022

Download the Congress brochure here

With only 1 month to go before the 17 November early booking discount rate deadline, we are delighted that confidence to travel is firmly back on the agenda as clearly evident by the number of registrations already received for our next long-awaited Annual Congress. 

The Dublin Congress promises to bring our INSOL Europe family back together again with an exceptional technical programme and fabulous networking opportunities from beginning to end. We have certainly been apart too long and with that in mind, our social programme will not disappoint, with much in store for our delegates and guests to enjoy during their stay. 

Together with the warmth and unique hospitality of our friends in Ireland, we look forward to welcoming you to sample all the excitement that a stay in Dublin has to offer. We therefore encourage early booking to benefit from the discounted rates and secure your place by registering here. A limited number of bedrooms have been blocked at corporate rates, details of which can be found here.

Additional information can be found in the Congress brochure, and will be posted on our website. Please contact our Event Manager, Harriet Taylor who will be happy to assist with any queries.

With thanks to our Main Sponsor:

 

Benefits of INSOL Europe Membership

  • Discounted rates for our conferences and online events
  • Free access to our Web series – Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021
  • Free digital copies of publications in the INSOL Europe Technical Series including "The European Communication & Cooperation Guidelines for Cross-Border Insolvency."
  • Free copies of Eurofenix, INSOL Europe's popular quarterly journal
  • Discounted advertising rates for you and your business in Eurofenix
  • Opportunities to join working groups, write articles for our newsletters and website
  • Weekly emails with top European insolvency news items
  • Access to the INSOL Europe European Insolvency Regulation Case Register now hosted by LexisNexis
  • Access to a tracker of insolvency reforms globally produced by Lexis Nexis in partnership with INSOL Europe
  • Privileged website access to password protected members' areas which includes:
    • Glossaries of Terms relevant to insolvency laws of most European countries
    • A downloadable version of the Membership Database
    • Material from the Eastern European Countries' Committee
    • Current edition of Eurofenix in PDF format
    • Forthcoming papers by the Academic Forum
    • INSOL Europe's Financial Statements
  • Discounted rate for the INSOL International conferences
  • Discount of 25% off INSOL International’s Foundation Certificate in International Insolvency Law
  • Free copies of INSOL International's quarterly newsletter, "INSOL World", together with their annual Membership Directory and technical releases.
Visit our website for more details or contact Hannah Denney.

 

INSIDE Story: Turning back the clock in post-Brexit UK and Cyprus

The loss of the relatively streamlined and automatic recognition regimes which applied between the UK and EU member states by virtue of the EU Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings 2015 (848/2015) (EIR Recast), has been described as a “great tragedy”. What was a clear and smooth route to recognition between Member States, facilitating more efficient and swift cross border insolvency proceedings with obvious benefits to creditors and other stakeholders, no longer applies for UK office holders who will need to seek recognition in EU member states and vice versa, leaving office holders to navigate through a fragmented and less predictable landscape of common law, domestic legislation and international treaties to identify the most appropriate route.

For insolvency proceedings which commenced prior to 31 December 2020, the position was clarified by the Withdrawal Agreement (2019/C 384 I/01); the EIR Recast continues to apply to those cases. The pathway, however, to recognition for insolvency proceedings commenced post 31 December 2020 will undoubtedly be more complex and the increase of cross border structures involving Cyprus means it is necessary to identify the legislative framework which will be applicable for recognition to be achieved.

Read the full story here by Chris Iacovides and Andri Antoniou of CRI Group, Cyprus.

 
Connecting Minds 2021: New Videos Published!

After a break over the Summer, our Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021 series continues with our popular video conversation format established in 2020. 

This year, the INSOL Europe Country Coordinators will share their experiences with representatives from their local associations, highlighting the reforms and challenges of the national insolvency framework to address the current crisis and other key issues in their jurisdiction.

The latest video from Poland can be seen here alongside Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Latvia, Portugal, Finland and France.

Coffee Breaks: Connecting Minds 2021 are brought to you in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and its Legal Transition Programme (LTP). The LTP is the EBRD’s initiative to contribute to the improvement of the investment climate in the Bank’s countries of operations by helping create an investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environment.

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

Watch the latest videos here

 

In partnership with:

Richard Turton Award 2021 Competition Now Open!

Richard Turton had a unique role in the formation and management of INSOL Europe,
INSOL International, the English Insolvency Practitioners Association and R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals in the UK. In recognition of his achievements, these four organisations jointly created an award in memory of Richard. 
This award for the best paper will be presented at the INSOL Europe Congress in Dublin, 3-6 March 2022.

The award is open to applicants who fulfil the following criteria:

  • is a national of a developing or emerging market country;
  • works in or studies in the field of insolvency & restructuring law and practice*;
  • is under 35 years of age.

The successful applicant will:

  • Be invited to attend the INSOL Europe Congress in Dublin, Ireland, 3-6 March 2022 all expenses paid.
  • Write a paper of 3,000 words on a subject of insolvency or turnaround agreed with the panel. This paper will be published in summary in one or more of the four Member Associations' journals and in full on their websites.
  • Be recognised at the Congress and receive a framed certificate of the Richard Turton Award.

Application deadline: 1 December 2021

If you fulfil the application criteria and are able to meet the application requirements, you are invited to apply by sending your CV, a 200-word statement outlining why you should be chosen, and the title of your proposed paper with a brief synopsis* to Harriet.Norman@insol.org 

Applications will be adjudicated by a panel representing the four associations. Their decision will be made by 4 January 2022 to allow the successful applicant to co-ordinate their attendance with INSOL Europe. 

* Full terms and conditions on our website.

Eurofenix - Autumn 2021 - Now Published!
The Autumn edition of Eurofenix is now available to download, featuring reports and case studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe as well as many other articles including:
  • Cryptocurrency fraud: The English Court considers (Carmel King)
  • Towards harmonisation of transactions avoidance laws (Reinhard Bork)
  • French pre-insolvency proceedings: A before and after the COVID period? (Georges-Louis Harang and Gaël Couturier)
  • Rembrandt: Excellent artist, but also a structural troublemaker? (Bob Wessels)
  • The Examinership of Norwegian Air Group (Ruairi Rynn and Rebecca Martyn)
  • For great ills, great remedies! (Catarina Serra)
  • Restructuring Stockmann, the iconic department store operator (Jyrki Tähtinen and Robert Peldán)
  • US Column: Chapter 11 under fire (David H. Conaway)
  • Conference News, Country Reports and more!

If you would like to contribute an article to a future edition or are interested in advertising opportunities, please contact publication manager Paul Newson.

Kindly sponsored by

 

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

Please send your suggestions to Paul Newson, Communications Manager,
email: paulnewson@insol-europe.org.

INSOL Europe, PO Box 7149, Clifton, Nottingham. NG11 6WD
www.insol-europe.org
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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.