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Dear Members

At the time of writing, we are busily preparing for our first in-person Council meeting since October. I am delighted that we have been able to revive the tradition of holding the Spring Council meeting in the hometown of the President, so I am looking forward to welcoming your Council members to Malahide, County Dublin, next week.  

High on the agenda is the formulation of a taskforce on the future strategic direction of our organisation so watch this space for more news on that front.

We will be joined for part of the programme by INSOL Europe members Mark Woodcock and Judith Riordan as representatives of RII (Restructuring and Insolvency Ireland) to have a formal signing ceremony to record the cooperation agreement entered into between INSOL Europe and RII. This is but one sign of the growing strength and depth of INSOL Europe's communication channels to the insolvency communities all over Europe.

A few weeks ago I was honoured to attend a meeting in Brussels which was generously hosted by Belgium's Council member Bart De Moor. I was delighted to meet with representatives of Belgium's Reseau Cap (an informal association of Belgian insolvency lawyers and accountants) with a view to exploring further cooperation between our organisations.

To cap the visit, I was treated to a personal tour of the Palais de Justice led by Bart. The scale of the complex is hard to imagine without seeing it in person. It is said to be the largest building constructed in the 19th century and remains one of the largest of its kind. The scale of the renovations are extraordinary but they also allow me to observe the old adage of 'a stitch in time…' and how that also applies to early intervention in restructuring and insolvency. 

On that note, INSOL Europe was delighted to be invited to participate in a conference hosted by the Malta Institute of Management this week. The conference was targeted at Malta's  new insolvency legislation and we were ably represented by UK Council member Frances Coulson and our CEO Paul Newson.

Spring is a great time for plans and projects so I hope to  be able to share more news of our future endeavours after our Council meeting.

Barry Cahir
President, INSOL Europe

 

Barry Cahir
President of
INSOL Europe

 

This issue is kindly
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in more than 40 countries
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Yearbook 2023: Call for Contributions to the New Edition

Following on from last year’s launch, we are pleased to announce the return of the Yearbook project for a second year. The Yearbook 2023 will be published electronically to all delegates of the Amsterdam Annual Congress in October before general release. 

We herewith invite and encourage all members - and especially our young members - to contribute to the Yearbook 2023 by submitting a proposal for a paper. 

 

The Yearbook 2023 will focus on the following topics:
1)    The EU Harmonisation Proposal;
2)    Environmental, Social and Governance considerations vs Insolvency;
3)    New legislation impacting the insolvency profession;
4)    The impact of differing European insolvency legislation on asset recoveries; and
5)    Corporate governance and insolvency

If you are interested in participating in this new project, please submit your proposal for a contribution (containing a short description of the topic you want to write about) ultimately by 10 March 2023 to us by using the following email address: Jake.Beake@btguk.com

Full details of the Yearbook 2023 schedule can be found on our website.

2023 EECC Conference: Don't miss the Early Booking Deadline!

Registration is now open for our
EECC Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania

Download the Congress Brochure • Technical Programme

Early booking deadline 23 March 2023

We are delighted to invite you to the amazing city of Vilnius for the return of the INSOL Europe Eastern European Countries’ Committee Conference from 18 to 19 May 2023, organised in cooperation with Mykolo Romerio Universitetas.

Vilnius is a compact and walkable city filled with urban green spaces and healthy doses of impressive architecture, tasty eats and all kinds of exciting leisure activities. Vilnius’ UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town is one of Eastern Europe’s biggest and most well preserved. Vilnius is quickly building a reputation as a fresh destination with dynamic arts and culture scenes, seemingly endless culinary delights, and all kinds of events.

Some say that “Boring isn’t an option in Vilnius!” It’s a city packed with action, art, inspiration, history and more than a few unexpected adventures along the way. In parallel with the existing technical programme, you will have the opportunity to get lost in this beautiful city which promises you beautiful discoveries.

Find out what else you can expect to find in Vilnius during your trip
on the GoVilnius website or download the Tourist Guide here.

You might even want to extend your stay to take in some of the attractions!

With thanks to our Main Sponsor:

Insolvency during martial law in Ukraine

Before the start of the large-scale war in Ukraine, about 100 bankruptcy cases were opened per month. With the start of the war in March 2022, this indicator dropped on average to 10 cases per month. This happened because as of 24 February 2022, the courts practically stopped working, except for courts in western Ukraine. 

Also, on 24 February 2022, the Unified State Register of Court Decisions was closed to public access. This was done to preserve the register, protect it from destruction as a result of massive Russian cyber-attacks, and also to conceal information about judges who were in danger due to the occupation of new territories.

In May 2022, Ukrainian courts resumed their full operation, continued to hear cases in previously opened bankruptcy procedures, and opened new cases of insolvency. From June to December 2022, the number of open bankruptcy cases in Ukraine increased to 50 cases per month.

Currently, access to the Unified State Register of Court Decisions has been restored, and the register is under enhanced monitoring of cyber threats. The judicial system of Ukraine has demonstrated its ability to function fully even in conditions of martial law.

A feature article on the affect of martial law in Ukraine and the consequences of the ongoing war will be published in the Spring edition of Eurofenix.

 
Update on National Insolvency Statistics from Lithuania

No significant surge in restructuring cases despite transposition of the Preventive Restructuring Directive. This is the conclusion of the summary of the recent statistics in Lithuania on restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings, as reported by Andrius Juškys and Frank Heemann from bnt attorneys in CEE. 

Lithuania has transposed the Preventive Restructuring Directive by amending its relatively young Law on Insolvency of Legal Entities of the Republic of Lithuania (the LILE). The amendments came into effect on July 15, 2021.

Their aim was to facilitate access to restructuring procedures for legal entities with financial difficulties, i.a. by motivating debtors to initiate at an early stage restructuring proceeding for rescuing businesses. Due to external factors the impact of external factors, such as the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine and record high inflation, it is difficult to assess the actual impact of the amendments to the LILE and related tools such as the Early Warning System on decisions of companies with financial difficulties to initiate or not restructuring or to choose other insolvency proceedings. However, until now there has been no significant increase neither in restructuring nor in bankruptcy proceedings.

Historically, the number of restructuring proceedings has always been low since the introduction of this kind of proceedings in 2001 with the Law on Enterprise Restructuring. Only 2% of all opened insolvency proceedings have been opened as restructuring proceedings. What is more, only 11% of all restructuring proceedings in the last 20 years have been successful. True, the number of new restructuring proceedings opened in 2022 increased from 12 to 21 compared to 2021 but this number was still considerably below the 2008-2020 average of 38 new opened restructuring proceedings per year. In the first two months of 2023, 5 restructuring cases were opened.

The number of bankruptcy cases opened in recent years was also below the pre-COVID pandemic average: 766 openings for bankruptcy in 2021 and 636 in 2020 were the lowest numbers since 2007. The expiration of measures taken by the Government during the COVID pandemic, such as subsidies, tax deferrals, moratoria on filing obligations contributed to an increase in the number of bankruptcy filings, as did other external factors. The increase in bankruptcy openings amounted to 53% with 1171 in 2022 as compared to 677 in 2021.Still, this number remains below the average of 1400 new bankruptcy openings per year during 2001-2019 and has a tendency to grow in 2023.

In summary, while the statistics show an increase in restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings in the past 2 years, this increase appears to be first and foremost a sign of a certain normalization of the number insolvency proceedings after COVID-19 related subsidies and other legal measures supporting businesses during the pandemic have expired. The overall numbers of opened proceedings still remain below pre-COVID figures. A clear link of the increase of insolvency proceedings to recent amendments to the LILE cannot be confirmed, as yet.

Further statistics from Lithuania and from all jurisdictions can be found on our website here.

  

Inside Story - New tools for greater efficiency in French insolvencies
The current multiplication of crises is weakening the entire economic environment, regardless of the size or history of the company. With the end of the aid policies practised until now by many governments, the difficulties are becoming more acute. At the same time, legal tools are evolving to enable the consequences of these crises to be dealt with more effectively.

In October 2021, the multi-professional firm O3 Partners accompanied one of the alternative players in the energy sector, which until then had been growing rapidly, in what will be the first application in France of the accelerated safeguard procedure with classes of affected parties. This procedure has been completely renewed by Ordinance No. 2021-1193 of 15 September 2021, which came into force on 1 October 2021 and which transposed the Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency.
 
The context of unification of the different laws of the EU Member States gives the ordinance an innovative character, but has also added legal uncertainty to the economic insecurity. It creates a new field in which counsel and experts as well as the court must integrate and implement new concepts and reasoning stimulating imagination and creativity.

Read how the case unfolded in this month's Inside Story

Young Members Group to join forces with AIJA in Seville, Spain

 

The Young Members Group of INSOL Europe and the Insolvency Commission of AIJA are to join forces again and hold a seminar in the beautiful city of Seville from 29 June until 1 July 2023.

The format will be similar to the very successful seminar on Mallorca and the technical committee is working hard to put together an attractive and special technical programme, as well as some social highlights as a frame for a wonderful weekend. 

To get the show on the road we need you and your firm's Young Members but also your financial support. Therefore we are excited to share some fantastic sponsorship opportunities which we hope will be of interest to you. These range from €750-€4000 so there are plenty of options to suit your budget. For further details of the sponsorship opportunities, please contact Hannah Denney

A big portion of the young members of INSOL Europe and many members of AIJA will participate. After so many years of covid, this is your chance to get the visibility not only within INSOL Europe but also within AIJA. Find out more about the event here.

If you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Co-Chairs of the INSOL Europe Young Members Group (Clarissa Nitsch & Robert Peldan) for more information.

 
Academic Forum Conference 2023: Call for Papers Reminder

‚ÄčThe Academic Forum of INSOL Europe will be hosting its 19th annual conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on Wednesday 11 – Thursday 12 October 2023, immediately prior to INSOL Europe's main Annual Congress taking place in Amsterdam from 12 - 15 October 2023.

Expressions of interest are invited for the delivery of research papers and a presentation within the overall academic conference theme: “The Perpetual Renewal of European Insolvency Law” by 1 March 2023.

The Academic Forum encourages submissions on all relevant topics within the theme, dealing with substantive or procedural, as well as national or cross-border issues.  

Further details can be found on the Academic Forum website.

The Fraud Conference 2023: Now Only 1 month to go!

Early-bird offer closing soon!

Register your place before 3 March to save 15% off the ticket price

Join us at The Fraud Conference 2023 on Monday 27 March at the Royal College of Physicians, London. This conference brings together world-class experts including law makers, insolvency practitioners, counter fraud specialists and renowned academics to discuss the latest trends, innovations and developments in tackling economic crime.

This year the conference will be chaired by Frances Coulson (Wedlake Bell; UK Country Coordinator for INSOL Europe, Deputy Chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel; Chair of the R3 Fraud Group). Details of the topics and confirmed speakers is available to view here.

With thanks to our Main Sponsor:

 


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

Please send your suggestions to Paul Newson, CEO & Communications Manager,
email: paulnewson@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.