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INSOL Europe news and offers
January 2020: Conference News & Updates

Dear Members

January and a new decade – the 20's! I wish all a Happy New year and a joyful and prosperous 2020.

Whilst I am writing this intro, nearly 3,000 leaders from 117 countries including 53 heads of state/government are attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The overall theme of the Annual Meeting is Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World. 

"Shareholder capitalism" has guided the world economy since the 1970's and this narrow focus on short-term profit-making to shareholders is now blamed for everything that bedevils our societies, from the financial crisis to rising inequalities, and from the collapse of societal trust to populist politics and climate change.

In Davos the world leaders are debating a return to "stakeholder capitalism", which defines the purpose of a corporation not just to create financial return to its shareholders, but to create benefits to all of its stakeholders—customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders. A holistic approach.

The notion of "stakeholder capitalism" does seem to be gaining momentum and I wonder what impact this will have on us in the restructuring and insolvency world. In insolvency, the primary stakeholders are the creditors. Will other stakeholders be considered equally important? Will creditors be called to accept a decreased return in order to save jobs? Will the office holder have a duty to consider broader environmental consequences? 

In INSOL Europe, behind the scenes we are warming up for the 2020-events which in the forthcoming months include:

  • INSOL Europe is co-labelling a conference on Applicable Law in Cross-Border Insolvency Proceedings from 27-28 March in Zagreb, see below.
  • Registration is now open for the EECC conference in Kyiv from 21-22 May, see below for further details.

More to come – stay tuned!

Piya Mukherjee
President of INSOL Europe

 

 

Piya Mukherjee
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

EECC 2020 Kyiv (Ukraine): Registration now open!

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for our Eastern European Countries' Committee Conference which will take place in Kyiv from 21-22 May 2020. 

Kyiv is located on the Dnieper River. At the banks of the river, stands a monument dedicated to the city’s founders, depicting a boat with the three brothers armed with spears and a bow standing at the stern and their sister standing on the prow with her arms stretched as opening for a new beginning. This evocative image, the embodiment of struggle, determination and courage, is illustrated today by Ukrainian insolvency professionals. This means that the Ukrainian insolvency profession is full of opportunities. On 21 October 2019 the Ukrainian Code on Bankruptcy Proceedings, adopted earlier this year, became effective. 

The new law aims to strengthen the rights of creditors, improve the procedure of debtors’ assets sale at bankruptcy auctions, provide precise mechanisms for restoring the solvency of debtors, and enhance the overall efficiency of bankruptcy proceedings. The Code introduces the concepts of personal bankruptcy and simplifies corporate bankruptcy. Moreover, their efforts of creating an Insolvency Practitioners’ Association have paid off, and recently they had their first general meeting. Similar to the Dnieper, as legend states, blessed by his father to transform into a river and catch up to his sister, Ukrainian insolvency practitioners are moving fast and we look forward to sampling a little bit of their innovative practice. It is this determination that makes Ukraine the perfect place for our 16th EECC Conference! 

Network with colleagues

We hope you will join us, as we have prepared many surprises and good entertainment, and we encourage you to come early and stay late. On 21 May (Thursday, pre-conference) there is the INSOL Europe optional networking dinner at the restaurant Publicist during which the guests can have a taste of both Ukraine’s culinary and music traditions. On Friday evening there is the Young Members Reception at the Rockfellow 210 (just five minutes walk from the hotel).

Register today or Download the Congress Brochure for full details.

Academic Conference Sorrento 2020: Call for Papers

The Academic Forum of INSOL Europe will be hosting its 16th annual conference in Sorrento, Italy, on Wednesday 30 September–Thursday 1 October 2020, immediately prior to INSOL Europe's main annual conference taking place in Sorrento from 1 to 4 October, 2020.

Expressions of interest are invited for the delivery of research papers within the overall academic conference's 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:
•    Commentaries on the 2019/1023 Directive as such
•    First reports on implementation issues arising in the EU Member States
•    Other related topics. 

For further details, please visit the Academic Website here. 

 
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:

  • 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: Georgian Insolvency Law is on the Move

‚ÄčGeorgia’s insolvency system is facing significant changes today. The new draft law is ready to be enforced and will completely change the system. The current Insolvency Law 2007 is appreciated as primarily oriented towards a rapid liquidation of insolvent corporate entities and private entrepreneurs’ businesses with the subsequent distribution of remaining assets amongst the creditors. The number of insolvency cases dealt with by the local courts is fairly limited, most probably due to insufficient assets in the insolvent entities to cover the costs of the insolvency procedure.

The law leaves many aspects of insolvency procedures either unclear or unregulated.

Nana Amisulashvili, Chair, BRIPA (Business Rehabilitation and Insolvency Practitioners Association), Georgia, reports on the need for reform and the bold approaches of the new law. Read 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.

Eurofenix Winter Edition now published

Eurofenix is INSOL Europe's quarterly journal featuring 48 pages of news, country reports, conference reports and in-depth articles from a broad range of contributors.

The Winter 2019/2020 edition has now been published to all members who will be receiving their copy shortly. It can also be viewed online here.

The new edition features in-depth reports of the recent Annual Congress in Copenhagen at which there were over 450 delegates.

The journal is printed in full colour and distributed widely within the European and global insolvency and restructuring community.

If you would like to advertise click here or to contribute an article click here. For all other information, please email Paul Newson.

To browse our collection of back issues, please visit our website here.

The Plight of Small Entrepreneurs: MSEs & Insolvency on the agenda

Florian Bruder (DLA Piper Munich) and Paul Omar (Technical Research Coordinator, INSOL Europe) report from the recent UNCITRAL conference in Vienna.

The 54th session of Working Group V began in Vienna with the nomination of a new Chair, Harold Foo from Singapore. The objective of the session was to consider the problem of insolvency in relation to Micro- and Small-Enterprises (MSEs). Delegates to Working Group I on business law rules joined the insolvency experts in the room for four days of deliberations. The aim was to provide a model law to help govern the position of enterprises that constitute, in many developing and developed countries, 90-95% of all businesses operating in the economy. Recommendations on the principle of a simplified insolvency regime and its treatment of all business debts were readily adopted at the end of the four days’ work, though not without a great deal of scrutiny of the proposals. Overall, the right balance was sought between the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide framework and the simplified version that was to be recommended for adoption by UN member states.

A great number of issues arose that required a resolution through the consensus model that UNCITRAL operates. Delegates were asked to determine, inter alia, whether a debt repayment plan as a condition for discharge should be an adjunct to or an outcome of simplified proceedings and whether the overall framework should refer to “competent authorities” or just “courts”, with a view to being as embracing as possible with respect to the oversight authority for such proceedings. Other issues canvassed included whether there should be a cap on the number of times proceedings can be extended or instigated, avoiding the possibility of “repeat offenders”, whether the principle of a “discharge” should be framed negatively or positively, by being attainable at a reduced cost and with limited formalities (as the World Bank Principles also foresee) and whether, in particular, secured creditors should be immune from any stay provided in such proceedings.

In addition, concerns were raised over what information should debtors have to provide for proceedings to begin or continue and whether the opening of proceedings could be “automatic” on filing or needs to be subject to control by a competent authority. Whether clawback rules needed to be expressly mentioned was also a theme debated in the group. The context for these issues, in particular, was how to avoid fraudulent filings and how to prevent abuse of process. Lastly, touching on the situation of No Income No Asset cases, delegates were of the view that guidance had to be given as to what elements of a simplified regime would be appropriate for these problematic, but increasingly prevalent cases. As such, a number of delegations volunteered to provide technical assistance should any UN member states require help in transposing one or more of the series of Model Laws that have resulted from UNCITRAL’s work since 1997.

Annual Congress 2020 Sorrento: Save the date!

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to our 39th Annual Congress from 1 to 4 October 2020 in Sorrento (Italy) on the breathtaking Amalfi coast.

Expect lemon groves, implausibly clear waters, a spectacular view of the Gulf of Naples and marvellous sunsets. It was here, though, that Ulysses resisted the tempting chants of the Sirens, tied to the mast of his ship and with his ears plugged with wax!

Expect a tempting technical programme. An enriching plethora of debates and discussions under the visionary overall theme “Towards a New World”. In this new world, Brexit would have happened (…or would it?), Members States will be in the process of transposing the Directive on Pre-Insolvency Restructuring and the new groundbreaking reform of Italian insolvency law would have come into force. 

These and many more visions will be the topics of the sessions in the technical programme put together expertly by our hardworking Congress Technical Committee with co-chairs Giorgio Corno (Studio Corno Avvocati) and Simeon Gilchrist (Edwin Coe) at the helm. We are very pleased and thankful for all the suggestions for topics received from the membership – the Congress Technical Committee has been spoilt for choice!

Visit our website or Download the Congress Flyer for more details.

Forthcoming Events: Dates for your Diary

This conference, on applicable law in cross-border insolvency proceedings, builds on the framework in the European Insolvency Regulation. With view to a possible updating of this framework and the inclusion of other topics within, this conference seeks to explore contemporary legal opinion about the critical issues that a renovation of the framework will face.

Jointly organised by the European Commission DG Justice and Consumers, the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the support of the Ministry of Justice of Croatia, the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb and INSOL Europe, this conference will feature specialists from the international insolvency, private international law and other relevant fields.

Hosted in Zagreb, a vibrant city and capital of the latest member state of the European Union, the conference will take place at the premises of the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb over a day and a half. 

Further information and registration details to follow on our website.

 

Our growing list of events for the forthcoming year now includes:

  • 27-28 March: Joint Conference on Applicable Law in Cross-Border Insolvency Proceedings, Zagreb (Croatia)
  • 21-22 May: EECC Annual Conference, Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • 11 June: INSOL Europe/INSOLAD Conference, The Netherlands
  • 25 & 26 June: INSOL Europe/DAV Insolvency Section Conference, Brussels
  • 14 July: INSOL Europe/R3 Seminar, United Kingdom
  • 30 September - 1 October: INSOL Europe Academic Forum Annual Conference, Sorrento (Italy)
  • 1-4 October: Annual Congress, Sorrento (Italy)
  • 27 October: INSOL Europe Anti-Fraud Forum/R3 Conference, London

For more information about these events, visit the INSOL Europe website.

 

 


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. Tel: +44 115 8780584
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.