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INSOL Europe news and offers

Dear Members

I hope you all enjoyed the break over Christmas and found some time to relax with your families. The holiday is one of those rare times when everyone in our profession stops working, so unlike other times when returning from holiday, we aren't faced with a huge in-box to deal with!

I am pleased to bring you the January edition of our monthly newsletter. This month, we are launching the 'Call for Papers' for our Academic Conference in Sorrento in October, which is always a great partner to the main event, our Annual Congress. We are relying on your input to create a great programme, so please do send your ideas to the Co-Chairs shown below.

With our joint Fraud Conference in London in just a month's time, we bring you an update on one of the highlights of the conference, focusing on Artificial Intelligence - is it an opportunity or a threat? Read on below to find out more.

Also this month, we are pleased to bring you news of a new training project in Italy on the “Management & Practice of International Contracts in the Foreign Direct Investments Sector”. I will be speaking at the 3rd module on 7 May, so please read on and register your attendance if this interests you.

Our technical articles this month bring you updates on new laws in Ukraine, national insolvency statistics in Portugal, and a study on liquidations in Scotland. Our website is regularly updated with technical resources such as these so please do visit on a regular basis to stay informed and keep up to date. And don't forget to read the latest version of Eurofenix for even more in-depth news and articles.

Finally, we are pleased to announce the 10th National Association agreement with NIVD which has just been signed today! You can find more about this initiative and a full list of all the bodies we have agreements with here.

Happy reading!

Giorgio Corno
President, INSOL Europe


Giorgio Corno
President of
INSOL Europe


This issue is kindly
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Academic Conference Sorrento 2024 - Call for Papers

The Academic Forum of INSOL Europe will be hosting its 20th Annual Conference in Sorrento, Italy, on Wednesday 2 – Thursday 3 October 2024, immediately prior to INSOL Europe's Annual Congress taking place in Sorrento from 3-6 October 2024.

Expressions of interest are invited for the delivery of research papers and a presentation within the overall Academic Conference theme: ​The Evolution or Revolution of European Insolvency Law”.
Prof Rodrigo Rodriguez (Chair) and Dr Jennifer Gant (Deputy Chair) invite you to submit your proposals for papers to present at the conference by 1 March 2024. Full details and the submission form can be found on the Academic Forum website.


AI and the near future of fraud

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is perhaps the most significant technological innovation since the internet went mainstream. AI and machine learning has featured heavily in our daily lives for some time now – most of us use ‘phone assistants, maps and navigation, help chatbots and digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa.

The potential to usefully apply this technology across a range of industries is immense. It is already happening in education, healthcare, gaming and finance to name a very few sectors. 

The release of ChatGPT a year ago was a watershed moment, and in addition to writing articles for us on the near future of fraud (joke!), it is probably the advent of ChatGPT and similar generative AI applications (and some of their well-publicised issues) that has prompted much argument over whether AI is a force for human advancement or will trigger the rise of the machines to the detriment of mankind.

Where there is opportunity, there will always be bad actors seeking to exploit others for financial gain. A recent video by Deutsche Telekom titled Without Consent posted on social media considered this point and provoked a passionate response. The video demonstrated the risks parents take when posting footage of their children on social media, oblivious to the potential future impact. In the film, an adult “Ella”, whose pictures as a child her parents had posted, and now AI-generated from that posted footage, tells her parents about the consequences of their actions. Bad actors steal the photos and videos and use them in humiliating and criminal ways. Ella’s identity is stolen and used for credit card fraud, decimating her credit rating. Using AI tools, her voice is used in ‘phone scams, leaving her vulnerable to criminal action herself, and her original childhood images used to create child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”). To her parents, Ella’s pictures were warm memories, but to others, they are useful data to be manipulated and sold.

This is not a dystopian future; this is happening now. It has been reported that AI-generated images of CSAM are on the rise, as is deepfake revenge porn and fraud, all notably caused by human abuse of an ethically neutral technology. Can humans keep control? Will our baser selves take over through AI? Whether we are equipped to deal with these issues will be an overarching theme, to be dealt with at “The Fraud Conference” on 29 February 2023, jointly organised by R3, the Fraud Advisory Panel and INSOL Europe.

For more information visit the Fraud Conference 2024 website here.

New Law on Credit Unions comes into force in Ukraine

On 1 January 2024, the Law of Ukraine on Credit Unions entered into force, which brings forth amendments and supplements to the Code of Ukraine on Bankruptcy Procedures. Roman Marchenko, Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, reports.

In essence, a credit union is a financial institution established on the basis of cooperative principles. Its purpose is to cater to the needs of its members through mutual lending and offering financial and other services provided for by this Law, as well as engaging in other activities specified therein. 

This is made possible by consolidating the monetary contributions of the union’s members and other sources defined by this Law. Among the new features of the bankruptcy procedure of credit unions in Ukraine are as follows:

  1. A claim to open proceedings in the case of bankruptcy of a credit union may be lodged to the economic court by the debtor represented by the liquidator of the credit union appointed at the request of National Bank of Ukraine according to Article 105(3) of the Civil Code of Ukraine, or by the National Bank of Ukraine itself (which is a mandatory participant in the bankruptcy proceedings concerning this debtor category).
  2. A credit union may be subjected only to court procedures for asset distribution and liquidation, with no application to it of the financial rehabilitation procedure. Financial rehabilitation of a credit union before the opening of bankruptcy proceedings is not allowed.
  3. A distinctive procedure for meeting the demands of creditors of a credit union in case of its liquidation, which is defined by Article 60 of the Law of Ukraine on Credit Unions.
  4. The arbitrator overseeing the bankruptcy case of a credit union must successfully complete an examination based on the prescribed training program for arbitrators in bankruptcy cases of non-banking financial institutions.
National Insolvency Statistics Update: Portugal

On the 31st of July 2023, DGPJ (Direção-Geral da Política de Justiça) published its insolvency statistics for the first trimester of 2023, regarding corporate and individual insolvencies proceedings. Francisco Patricio & Francisco Esteves de Almeida of Abreu Advogados (Lisbon, Portugal), present a summary of the statistics.

The number of insolvencies proceedings filed before the Portuguese Courts in the first trimester reached its peak in 2012, on the aftermath of the sub-prime crisis, and during the intervention of the International Monetary Fund in Portugal. 

The number of proceedings filed before the Courts gradually decreased until 2021 (in 2021 the decrease amounted to 57,78%, comparing to 2012). 

With the end of the pandemic legislative measures, and with the increase of interest rates, in the first trimester of 2022, although registering a low number of filed proceedings (2412 filed proceedings), there was an increase of 4,37% comparing to the previous year. This upward trend is now confirmed by the DGPJ for the first trimester of 2023, in which 2809 new proceedings were filed, amounting to an increase of 21,55% compared to 2021, and of 16,46% compared to last year.

In what concerns declared insolvencies by the Courts, such number, in the first trimester period, was at its highest in 2014, with 4260 declared insolvencies, gradually decreasing until 2022, when only 2082 proceedings concluded in declared insolvency (a decrease of 51,13%). By the first trimester of 2023, there were already declared 2490 insolvencies, with only 20,2% relating to companies.

A relevant statistic to point out is the one regarding the credit recovery rate. The credit recovery rate, i.e, the proportion of the amount of credits which were paid compared to amount of recognized credit, stands at only 8.5%. This means that 91.5% of the amount of credit which is recognized by Courts were not matched by an effective payment of said credit. Furthermore, it is important to note that the proportion of cases with some kind of payment of credits is 48.5% compared to 51.5% with no payment at all.

DGPC also published, in August 10, the number of declared insolvencies for the second trimester of 2023, which amounts to 2219 declared insolvencies, a decrease of 3,86% comparing to the second semester of 2022, when 2308 insolvencies were declared. In the second semester, the number of declared insolvencies reached its peak in 2013 (4438 declared insolvencies) having gradually decreased until the second trimester of 2020 – in 2021 and 2022 the number of declared insolvencies in the second trimester started to increase once again, mainly due to the adverse economic effects of the Covid pandemic and of the increasing rates, on smaller businesses. 

The first two trimesters of 2023 confirmed the trend that in Portuguese courts, the number of declared insolvencies in the first semester is higher than in the second semester.
Current market expectations are that numbers will start to increase now and that the year of 2024 will be a very busy year for restructuring and insolvency practice areas.

Further statistics from Crotia and other jurisdictions can be found on our website here.


Eurofenix: Winter Edition now published

The Winter 2023-24 edition of Eurofenix is now available to view online, featuring reports, case studies, European law updates and conference news, as well as many other articles including:

  • Conference Reports from Amsterdam
  • Creditor Claims in Ukraine & Russia
  • Fraud Conference & AI News
  • Richard Turton Award paper
  • Distribution in UK Corporate Insolvency
  • Cryptocurrency & Bankruptcy
  • Pre-packs & Harmonisation in the EU
  • Resignations & Scandal in Texas
  • Country reports, Book reviews 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.

Eurofenix is kindly sponsored by Prof.Dr.Pannen

Read the new edition here!

INSIDE Story: An Emprical Study of Liquidations in Scotland

There is a significant degree of uniformity between corporate insolvency law in Scotland and in England and Wales, with many key elements reserved to the UK Parliament. The same types of corporate insolvency procedure exist in both systems, including liquidation in its various guises: members’ voluntary liquidation (MVL), creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL) and compulsory liquidation (winding up by the court). Nevertheless, there are differences in the relevant laws and insolvency practice.

This is reflected in the fact that compulsory liquidations have historically been more commonplace in Scotland than CVLs, but the opposite is true for England and Wales. There are also differences in adjacent areas of law, such as the law of debt and the law of secured transactions, with these having an impact on insolvency outcomes.

Despite the contrasts between English law and Scots law and the availability of valuable data, there is a general absence of empirical analysis of corporate insolvency in Scotland. Consequently, the authors undertook a study to examine insolvent liquidations (i.e. CVLs and compulsory liquidations) for Scottish companies whose liquidations had their end point within a 12-month period. This enabled them to make a number of significant findings regarding the size of estates of liquidated companies, their lifespans and the duration of the liquidation procedures, as well as with respect to expenses, the role of state and the recoveries by various groups of creditors. 

Read the full story here by Dr Jonathan Hardman, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, UK and Dr Alisdair MacPherson, Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK

Transversal Skills Laboratory - 6 Training Modules in Italy

INSOL Europe is pleased to announce its support to the “Transversal Skills Laboratory” project on “Management & Practice of International Contracts in the Foreign Direct Investments Sector” under the leadership of Prof. Antonio Leandro (Full Professor of Public and Private International Law, Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy).

The laboratory, scheduled into six modules, deals with the role of the contract in the foreign direct investments sector with a theoretical-practical approach. A bi-directional perspective is adopted that covers national companies bent on foreign markets and foreign companies turned on domestic markets. 

Against the background of globalised markets, attendees will get familiar with the growing phenomena of reshoring, nearshoring, and friend-shoring, as well as the 'ESG' impact on international business. Accordingly, lectures and workshops will adopt a law-and-economics approach. 

Attendees will also acquire knowledge of the primary means to settle commercial and investment disputes as well as to deal with the impact of insolvency proceedings upon contracts devoted to implementing investments. 

UNIDROIT, the Southern Adriatic Sea Port System Authority and INSOL Europe support the event. Representatives of the three institutions are included in the teaching staff, including INSOL Europe's President, Giorio Corno. 

See the technical programme (IT and EN versions) where you will find the relevant the link to register. Registrations are open until 25 March 2024. 

The Fraud Conference 2024 - Now only 1 month to go!

Now only 1 month to go! - Register here for £345

Returning for a fourth year, the Fraud Conference is back on 29 February 2024 at the Royal College of Physicians, London, hosted by the Fraud Advisory Panel, INSOL Europe and R3. INSOL Europe members can register at the special rate of £345.

EECC Conference 2024: Save the Date!

Save the date! Our next EECC conference will be held in Krakow, Poland, 13-14 June 2024. Details to be confirmed soon.

Annual Congress 2024 - Sorrento - Save the Date!

Preparations are already underway for our next Annual Congress, to be held in Sorrento from 3-6 October 2024. We are pleased to announce that the 2024 Technical Committee will be chaired by Rita Gismondi (Gianni & Origoni, Italy; INSOL Europe Country Coordinator) and Bart de Moor (Strelia, Belgium; INSOL Europe Council member & Country Coordinator) and the other members will include:

  • Andri Antoniou (CRI Group, Cyprus; INSOL Europe Country Coordinator)
  • Giorgio Corno (Studio Corno Avvocati, Italy; INSOL Europe President)
  • Incoronata Cruciano (Schiebe und Collegen, Germany; INSOL Europe Council member & Country Coordinator)
  • Klaudia Fratczak-Kospin (WKB Wierciński, Kwieciński, Baehr, Poland; Co-Chair of the Young Members Group)
  • Jan Lilius (Hannes Snellman Attorneys, Finland; INSOL Europe Council member & Country Coordinator)
  • Justice Catarina Macchi (Civil Court of Milan, Italy; INSOL Europe Judicial Wing member)
  • Sabina Schellenberg (Froriep, Switzerland; INSOL Europe Council member & Country Coordinator)
  • Prof. Patrizia Riva (Studio Patrizia Riva, Italy; INSOL Europe Council member)
  • Prof. Rodrigo Rodriguez (Universität Luzern, Switzerland; INSOL Europe Academic Forum Chair)

Information about the Annual Congress will be published on our website soon!


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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.