Wellers provides cross-border insolvency solutions

The Wellers Law Group recently acted for the Joint Provisional Liquidators (‘JPLs’) of a large insurance company in liquidation in Bermuda. The unusual or even unique background was that that the US government had imposed sanctions against the company’s parent company requiring the JPLs to obtain licences from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) in the US.

The company had numerous multi-million dollar claims and needed to obtain information and documentation in relation to these, so that they could be pursued and the monies collected for the benefit of the company and creditors. This task was complicated by the international background, conflicting laws and sanctions.

Certain entities that may have had the information and documentation sought by the JPLs were in the UK so we applied for a Recognition Order in the High Court.

This involved the application of the Cross-Border Insolvency 2006 (‘CBIR’) which confirmed that the UNCITRAL Model Law has legal force in Great Britain and applies where assistance is sought in Great Britain by a ‘foreign representative’ in connection with a ‘foreign proceeding’.

The JPLs had secured relevant orders in the Supreme Court of Bermuda making them a ‘foreign representative’ and the liquidation of the company was a ‘foreign proceeding’ within the meaning of the CBIR.

The CBIR gave the JPLs authority to apply directly to a court in Great Britain and more specifically, they could apply to the court for recognition of the foreign proceeding in which they had been appointed. This enabled the foreign proceedings to be recognised here in the UK and enabled the JPLs to utilise UK legislation to obtain the information and documentation it sought from UK third parties.

Once a Recognition Order had been made, and using the powers provided by section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986, but within the confines of the OFAC licences, we conducted interviews of third party company office-holders to obtain the information and documentation needed thereby enabling the JPLs to pursue the company’s claims.

Led by Jonathan Tyler, the team at Wellers Law Group were able to demonstrate their expertise working on high value cross-border insolvency litigation within a complex and sensitive international framework to achieve a positive outcome for its client.

To contact Jonathan please call 01732 446361 or email jonathan.tyler@wellerslawgroup.com