Singapore Hosts Inaugural Forum on Managing Cross-Border Insolvency Cases

October 24, 2016

The Judicial Insolvency Network (JIN) conference aims to encourage communication and cooperation amongst national courts.

From 10 to 11 October, Singapore hosted the inaugural JIN conference. JIN is a network of insolvency judges from around the world whose aim is to encourage communication and cooperation amongst national courts by pulling together best practices in cross-border restructuring and insolvency to facilitate cross-court communication and cooperation.

The JIN conference was attended by 11 insolvency judges from eight territories—namely Australia (Federal Court and New South Wales), England and Wales, the British Virgin Islands, Canada (Ontario), the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong SAR, the United States (Delaware and the Southern District of New York), and Singapore. Judicial Commissioner Kannan Ramesh (co-chair of the Committee to Strengthen Singapore as an International Centre for Debt Restructuring) and Judicial Commissioner Aedit Abdullah represented the Singapore judiciary at the JIN conference. While judges from Bermuda, South Korea, and Japan were not present, their judiciaries requested to be kept abreast of the discussions.

The inaugural JIN conference is timely, as it coincides with the Singapore government’s increasing efforts to fortify Singapore’s position as an international restructuring hub (see our August 2016 LawFlash on the subject). The JIN conference also comes at an opportune time considering that regional law firms are reporting a significant increase in insolvency and restructuring work amid global and regional corporate defaults.

The conference culminated in the preparation of draft guidelines for communication and cooperation between the jurisdictions’ insolvency representatives, courts, and other parties (Guidelines). The Guidelines aim to provide a framework for parties in cross-border restructuring and insolvency proceedings to customise protocols to facilitate court-to-court communication and cooperation. The recognition and enforcement of foreign insolvency judgments and the wider use of alternative dispute resolution tools such as mediation and arbitration in cross-border restructuring will also be considered. The Guidelines will now be considered for approval in the judges’ respective jurisdictions.