Herbert Smith Freehills to act for individual defendants in US$950 million clawback case brought by FTX Bankruptcy Estate

A defendant group has appointed international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to defend against clawback claims totalling US$950 million made by the FTX Bankruptcy Estate. The international team advising these defendants is led by Herbert Smith Freehills Prolegis’ Director Daniel Chia in Singapore and Herbert Smith Freehills partner Peter Behmke in New York. The defendant … Read more

When informal workouts don’t work out: English High Court rules bank that lent support to restructuring did not dishonestly assist in putting assets beyond creditors’ reach

In the current economic climate, more and more companies are getting into financial difficulties, informal workouts by debtor companies, with support from certain creditors, seem to be increasingly common. The latest English High Court decision of Henderson & Jones Ltd v Ross & Ors [2023] EWHC 1276 (Ch) highlights a possible litigation risk for the supportive creditors – … Read more

English High Court gives guidance on the so-called creditor duty where a company faces solvency-threatening claim

When a company is in the so-called “twilight zone” approaching insolvency, it is well-established that the directors’ fiduciary duties require them to take into account interest of creditors (the so-called “creditor duty”). In the recent decision of Stephen John Hunt v Jagtar Singh [2023] EWHC 1784 (Ch), the English High Court examined whether it is necessary to … Read more

Not “worthless window dressing”: Hong Kong Court declares keepwell deeds are enforceable contractual obligations

In two remarkably similar cases, Re Peking University Founder Group Company Limited [2023] HKCFI 1350 (the “Peking University Case”) and Re Tsinghua Unigroup Co., Ltd [2023] HKCFI 1572 (the “Tsinghua Case”), the Hong Kong Court affirmed the enforceability of keepwell deeds entered into by PRC companies as credit enhancement for bonds issued by their respective offshore subsidiaries. The Court recognised … Read more

Arbitration and Insolvency: Australian court determines when arbitration costs orders can be recoverable against a company in administration

The Federal Court of Australia recently determined an application brought by the administrators of a company in voluntary administration seeking judicial guidance on how to deal with claims for costs and interests resulting from two prior arbitrations. The key issue was whether the costs and interests awarded in the previous arbitrations were admissible to proof … Read more

Appeal Court clarifies that solvent foreign liquidators may be recognised in Singapore as “Foreign Proceedings” under the model law

Singapore’s highest court has definitively held that foreign insolvency, restructuring or liquidation proceedings concerning solvent companies should be recognised in Singapore (Re Ascentra Holdings, Inc (in official liquidation) v SPGK Pte Ltd [2023] SGCA 32), overturning a first instance decision taking the contrary view. The Singapore Court of Appeal accepted the first appellant’s (“Ascentra“) submission … Read more

Keeping the door open: Hong Kong Court reaffirms commitment to mutual recognition of insolvency proceedings with Mainland China

Two recent cases, Re Guangdong Overseas Construction Corporation [2023] HKCFI 1340 (the GOCC Case) and Re Trinity International Brands Limited [2023] HKCFI 1581 (the Trinity Case), reaffirm the commitment of the Hong Kong Court to cooperating with the Mainland Court in terms of mutual recognition and assistance of insolvency proceedings. These cases show that the Hong Kong … Read more

Good things take time: Parliamentary Joint Committee delivers report on Australia’s corporate insolvency framework

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (the Committee) has delivered its report following an inquiry into the “effectiveness of Australia’s corporate insolvency laws in protecting and maximising value for the benefit of all interested parties and the economy”.[1] The Committee has recommended that, as soon as practicable, the Australian government should commission … Read more