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Issues of Insolvency Law

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on a l to r basis: Nicholas Woo, Phillip Sykes, Stephen Robins, Alan van Praag, Julian Wilkinson and Vasanti Selvaratnam

This London Shipping Law Centre event come at no better time, as with the current worse global economic crisis in all fronts – shipping being no exemption, the need to know what is happening is paramount, particularly when there is a knock at your door or officials come up the gangway of your vessel!

Hosted at Moore Stephens’ auditorium at its spacious City HQ’s, the debate was chaired by Julian Wilkinson from the hosts.  Panellists included Vasanti Selvaratnam, QC from Stone Chambers, who was the first on the podium talking on the crucial issue of the “Interface between the Judgements Regulation and Insolvency Regulation”; a well construed brief presentation with a bit of Madoff within  and quite clear mentioning and explaning of Insolvency Regulations Recital 6 and 7!

Then come Philip Sykes from the hosts who very briefly and eloquently tackled the issue of “Cross-border insolvency agreements and their practical aspects”. Sykes is the head of the Corporate Restructuring at Moore Stephens and focused on the Key Principles, the Recovery of Assets, the Creditors and Return; excellent!

He was followed by Birkett’s  Nicholas Woo and his “Recognition and Relief in England in Cross Border Shipping Insolvencies”, beginning with an interesting slide on a charterparty Chain scenario where one vessel was chartered several times – his own personal record being 13 times, where two of the parties appeared twice in the chain! The other thing he said, worth to remember, was that Insolvency comes in various guises and that insolvency equals bankruptcy, as well as that it also equals rehabilitation and finally the Cebu and the Cebu 2 case explained too.

Stephen Robins from South Square Chambers came with the best hand-out we have recently seen on such a debate, referring to “Cross-border shipping insolvency”.

The last speaker come all the way from America. New Yorker Alan van Praag from Eaton and Van Winkle LLP – using Greek at his ease, explained in detail and just on time the “Recognition under US law of foreign liquidation and reorganisation proceedings”, a paper for strong nerves.

There was only one question as all where “exhausted” from listening within a small period of time five delicate matters.

At the reception which followed it was clear that everybody is looking forward for a repeat with more question time.-

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