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UNCITRAL: The Plight of Small Entrepreneurs: MSEs and Insolvency on the Agenda

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…

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Annual Congress ​Copenhagen: A Danish Take on Information and Insolvency
With Chris Laughton as Congress Facilitator kicking off proceedings, Alastair Beveridge (Outgoing President) began by welcoming delegates to a rainy, but beautiful, Copenhagen.

A packed day and a half of technical sessions, all the various groups and constituencies having met on the eve of conference, saw proceedings start with a challenge by the keynote speaker Professor Vincent Hendricks of the University of Copenhagen who drew the attention of delegates to the profusion of information available every day. 

Though it added to knowledge, he said, it did not mean an increase in wisdom. In light of that benchmark for the event, the technical agenda strove hard not just to deliver information, but to do so in a way that added to experience and expertise.

The first day did not spare the delegates. Packed sessions on the Preventive Restructuring Directive (“PRD”) and Brexit brought conference up to date on signal events in the year, one firmly past, the other yet to happen (if indeed at all). For devotees of the PRD, the subtle detail of the application of the viability test and the extent and necessity for court supervision featured. For those weary of Brexit, the panel brought some interest back to current development by charting the competition between jurisdictions for business. Four key sectors were at the forefront in the break-out sessions: healthcare, airlines, retail and MSMEs, all adding to the impression of much ferment still happening in the industry. Post-lunch, the key themes of the PRD and Brexit appeared again with debates on cram-down and recognition of insolvency-related judgments. In between, the fate of non-performing loans and a study of the OW Bunker collapse from the Danish perspective added spice to the overall mix.

On day two, a second keynote speaker from Aalborg University, Professor Henning Jørgensen, spurred the Congress on to consider the future environment within which business would be developing with traditional concerns for employees still uppermost in policy-makers minds. Sessions on litigation funding, the value and disposal of social media accounts, directors’ duties in the context of early warning systems and the prepacking of employees as part of business transfers then provided a great deal of focus for attendees on issues of note in practice. Following the close and handover to Piya Mukherjee (Incoming President), delegates enjoyed an afternoon of leisure in the city before the gala dinner. Located in the tent-like structure of Wallman’s Circus Building, the event raised the roof with applause for the technical expertise and skill of the performers, incidentally setting a new standard for gala dinner entertainment. With echoes of the music and performance lingering in the night, delegates departed with thoughts of Sorrento next year.

A full report by Myriam Mailly, Joint Technical Officer, and Paul Omar, Technical Research Coordinator, will appear in the next edition of Eurofenix.
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