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      Insolvency News and Analysis - Week Ending April 24, 2015
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    Posts Tagged ‘Chapter 11’

    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending April 24, 2015

    Friday, April 24th, 2015
    Historic Minnesota Supreme Court Chamber in th...

    Historic Minnesota Supreme Court Chamber in the Minnesota State Capitol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Trends

    Why It’s OK That Companies Are Dying Faster Than Ever

    Business Bankruptcy Filings Continue To Decline, Will The Trend Continue?

    Retail Chapter 11 Filings Up, Bucking Bankruptcy Trends In Economic Recovery

    Proposed Recommendations for the Reform of Chapter 11 U.S. Bankruptcy Code

    Administration

    SEC Temporary Asset Freeze Not Barred by Automatic Stay Provisions

    US SDNY Bankruptcy Court Finds Bank Violated Automatic Stay by Placing Administrative Freeze on Debtor’s Bank Account

    Avoidance and Recovery

    Minnesota Supreme Court Rejects The Ponzi Scheme Presumption: Lenders Claw Back Some Of Their Own Rights

    Valuation

    Valuation of derivatives and complex securities

    Confirmation

    ABI Commission Report – Cramdown Interest Rates

    Cross-Border

    US Bankruptcy Court Recognized Israeli Liquidation Proceeding in a Chapter 15 Case

    Delaware decisively ousts New York as friendliest US cross-border insolvency venue

     

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending April 17, 2015

    Friday, April 17th, 2015
    Trade Off theory diagram

    Trade Off theory diagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Trends

    Corporate bankruptcies are on the rise in America

    U.S. public companies seek bankruptcy at fastest 1st-qtr rate since 2010

    Q1 Bankruptcy Filings Fall 15%

    Dr. William Rule (AOUSC): When Will Bankruptcy Filing Trends Change Course?

    The $12,473 Corporate Reorganization

    Current Developments

    Bankruptcy Year In Review 2014

    Corporate Governance

    Corporate Governance In Chapter 11 – Business As Usual, With Possible Exceptions

    Administrative Claims

    Reclamation, Administrative Claims and Other Possibilities for Recovery When a Factor Has Not Approved Orders

    Unsecured Claims

    Mandatory Subordination: How Even A Money Judgment Can Be Treated Like Equity In Bankruptcy

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending April 3, 2015

    Friday, April 3rd, 2015

    Bank Run

    Trends

    Q1/15 Commercial Bankruptcy Filings Down 19%

    Peer-to-peer lending is surging in the US, and it could hurt big banks

    Case Commencement

    Involuntary Bankruptcy Petitions: A Powerful Weapon, But Beware Of The Downside Risks

    Secured Claims

    Lender Beware: The Pitfalls of Narrowly Defined Secured Obligations

    Unsecured Claims

    Creditors’ Rights in Chapter 11: Use Them or Lose Them

    Avoidance and Recovery

    Reforming Preference Law

    Confirmation

    Third Circuit Finds Settlement Agreement to be Plan Modification

    Cross-Border

    Centre of Main Interest (COMI) and Jurisdiction of National Courts in Insolvency Matters (Insolvency Status)

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending March 20, 2015

    Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

    jobs

    Trends

    Poll: Retail could push bankruptcies to rise

    Will Lower Unemployment Drive Bankruptcies?

    Case Commencement

    Petitioning Creditor Concerns in Involuntary Chapter 11

    Chapter 11 Triage: Diagnosing a Debtor’s Prospects for Success

    Sales

    Bankruptcy Sales: The Stalking Horse

    Claims

    Litigation or Estimation? When Should Nonbankruptcy Actions Continue in Their Original Forums, and When Should They Be Resolved Through Estimation in Bankruptcy Court?

    Look Before You Lend: Creditors’ Rights Against LLC Owners

    Avoidance and Recovery

    Eighth Circuit Says Focus is on the Intent of the Debtor in Fraudulent Transfer Law, Does Not Address Ponzi Scheme Presumption

    Cross-Border

    US Bankruptcy Court Declines to Grant Comity to Mexican Labor Board’s Decision

    Jacobs v. Terpitz: Entering Into A Partnership Constitutes “Minimum Contacts”

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending March 13, 2015

    Friday, March 13th, 2015

    bankruptcy

    Trends

    Survey sees potential for rise in Chapter 11 filings this year

    Return of the Turnaround?

    Executory Contracts

    Dysfunctional Analysis Part 1

    Dysfunctional Analysis Part 2

     Related Articles

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    Bankruptcy and Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending March 6, 2015

    Friday, March 6th, 2015

    Secured Credit

     

    Trends

    Bankruptcy Filings Down Again 10.1% in February 2015

    ABI: February Chapter 11 Filings Down 25%

    Secured Claims

    No Security by Obscurity: The Importance of Clearly Identifying Collateral

    Avoidance Actions and Recoveries

    Avoiding the Avoid: Re-Securing the Mortgage Lender Post-BFP

    Intellectual Property

    Don’t Complicate Things: Existence of a License Comes Down to the Terms of a Contract

    Confirmation

    Del. District Court Upholds Use of Pre-Confirmation Tender Offers

     

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending January 16, 2015

    Sunday, January 18th, 2015
    A bond from the Dutch East India Company, dati...

    A bond from the Dutch East India Company, dating from 7 November 1623, for the amount of 2,400 florins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Legislation and Reform

    ABI Wants Chapter 11 Easier for Small Companies: Bankruptcy

    Automatic Stay

    Prepetition Stay Waivers: Which Way Is The Wind Blowing?

    Postpetition Ratification of Prepetition Stay Waivers – A Possible End Around of the General Prohibition Against Prepetition Waivers of Bankruptcy Rights?

    Secured Claims

    Charging Liens and Trump Cards: Specific Isolated Funds Not Required

    UCC Collateral Description: More May Not Be Better

    Unsecured Claims

    Chesapeake Bond Redemption Case: Ambiguity, Plain Meaning and Value

    Reorganization and Exit Strategy

    Cashing Out: The Rise of M&A in Bankruptcy

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week Ending January 9, 2015

    Saturday, January 10th, 2015

    BK Options

    Trends

    Bankruptcy Count Lowest Ever. Uptick Anticipated – Health Care Filings Lead Count

    Bankruptcies Down 12% in 2014, Forecast Predicts the Same Decline for 2015

    Legislation and Reform

    Redemption Option Value: Broad Implications for Secured Lenders

    ABI Chapter 11 Reform Commission Series: Oversight of the Case (Part I)

    Corporate Governance

    APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS ON THE EVE OF BANKRUPTCY: WHY THE GROWING TREND?

    Secured Claims

    Review Twice, File Once, Review Again; UCC-3 Termination Intent Irrelevant

    Even The “Cleverly Insidious” Lender Cannot Prevent Its Borrower From Filing Bankruptcy

    Common Provisions in a Chapter 11 Plan Prevent Lender from Collecting From the Owner of the Debtor

    Leases and Executory Contracts

    Capital Leases in Bankruptcies – A Lesson from Xchange Technology Group

    It’s Not Purdy, But It’s Not A Per Se Security Agreement

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    Insolvency News and Analysis – Week of December 19, 2014

    Sunday, December 21st, 2014
    English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

    The Nine

    Legislation

    Four Things You Need to Know About Chapter 11 Reform

    Corporate Governance

    Slouching Towards Bankruptcy: Corporate Fiduciaries Escape Liability in Ultimate Escapes

    Secured Credit

    When is a Typo in a Loan Document More Than Just a Typo?

    Avoidance and Recovery

    Good Faith Transferee in a Fraudulent Transfer Action can only Retain Transfers Equal to the Value It Provided to the Debtor

    Confirmation

    SCOTUS To Decide Whether Order Denying Plan Confirmation Is “Final,” Appealable

    Cross-Border

    U.S. Court Asserts its Authority in a Cross-Border Bankruptcy Case

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    It’s Different In Hong Kong

    Monday, January 24th, 2011

    Readers of this blog will know that a number of jurisdictions around the world have remodeled their insolvency schemes based on concepts developed originally in the US under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Relatively recent examples of this trend include the People’s Republic of China as well as Mexico.

    But not all jurisdictions have rushed to follow the US.  For one, Hong Kong – one of the world’s leading financial centers – has struck out on a different path.

    Image of Hong Kong Skyline Image was taken may...
    Image via Wikipedia

     

    With origins steeped in colonial history and a long-standing tradition of UK law, Hong Kong still follows the legal contours of most commonwealth jurisdictions, including those applicable to the resolution of insolvencies.  In Hong Kong, a “winding-up” is the traditional means of achieving a moratorium on creditor activity; however, “winding up” has been limited to liquidation.

    Corporate reorganization (or “corporate rescue,” as it’s sometimes called) relies on the implementation of a “scheme of arrangement.”  In Hong Kong, however, schemes are deemed of little practical value where their comparative complexity and expense buy no moratorium from creditors.

    Previously, corporate reorganization in Hong Kong relied upon an ad hoc solution – utilization of the “winding up” procedure to implement what was known colloquially a “provisional liquidation.”  The essence of the “provisional liquidation” concept is that a voluntary winding up is commenced – and the debtor can avail itself of a moratorium against creditor action – while a court administrator is appointed to oversee the debtor until the company and its creditors can reach acceptable reorganization terms (at which time, the winding up is dismissed and the debtor reorganized consensually).  Though initially accepted, such solutions were ultimately sharply limited by the Hong Kong courts.

    In 2009, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) published a consultation paper reviewing corporate rescue procedure with the aim of reforming key reorganization issues.  The FSTB paper – and the different concepts it proposes for Hong Kong reorganization vis á vis “US”-style Chapter 11’s – are the subject of recent analysis by Dr John K.S. Ho, Assistant Professor, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong and Dr Raymond S.Y. Chan, Associate Professor, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University.

    Specifically, Dr’s Ho and Chan ask “Is Debtor-in-Possession Viable in Hong Kong?”  In providing an answer, they discuss reform efforts in Hong Kong, noting that a “provisional supervision” has been and remains the preferred approach to Chapter 11 rather than a US-style “Debtor-in-Possession” (DIP) approach, where management remains in control of its own destiny.

    So why doesn’t a US-oriented corporate rescue scheme work in Hong Kong?  According to Ho and Chan, “[i]n order to understand the corporate rescue law of a jurisdiction, one must also recognize the economic nature and historical development of that society.”  Some of the differences in economic development which shape differences in US and Hong Kong insolvency laws include:

    Varying Appetites for Risk.  “In the US, it is widely believed that there is a different attitude towards risk and risk-takers . . . .  Debt forgiveness, both personal and business debt, ultimately was seen as critical to a vibrant American economy.  These historical and economic factors explain in large part why the US business bankruptcy system is more forgiving towards the debtor than other jurisdictions are.  However, the same analogy may not apply to the concept of corporate rescue in Hong Kong because the stakeholders which reform proposal in Hong Kong is most concerned with are different from Chapter 11 in the US.”

    Different Stakeholders.  How are Hong Kong stakeholders different?  And why should corporate rescue look different in Hong Kong than in the US?

    [I]n Hong Kong, the objectives for . . . corporate rescue are radically different . . . .  [E]mployees should generally be no worse off than in the case of insolvent liquidation and . . . consideration should be given to allow greater involvement of creditors in the rescue process in exchange for their being bound by the moratorium once the process commences and the rescue plan is agreed . . . .  [P]revious attempt[s] to introduce a corporate rescue law failed in Hong Kong because of the disappointing treatment of workers’ wages, complete exclusion of shareholders from the provisional supervision process, and the difficulty in classification of creditors.  Therefore, if a law is to be successfully promulgated this time, greater consideration would need to be given to these stakeholders.

    Though they explain how the proposed treatment of Hong Kong stakeholders in a corporate reorganization might differ from those in a US Chapter 11, Ho and Chan don’t really explain the why of those differences.  What they do offer is an explanation for the absence of any interference with secured creditors’ rights, noting that this “is understandable given the fact that many major secured creditors [in Hong Kong] are financial institutions such as major banks and their influence both politically and economically cannot be ignored given that the growth of Hong Kong as a financial services hub has been supported largely by the banking sector.”

    These differences are “in line with the legal creditor rights ratings of the two jurisdictions as reported in a financial economics study in which a creditor rights index is developed for 129 countries and jurisdictions. This index ranges from 0 to 4 (with higher scores representing better creditor rights) and measures four powers of secured lenders in bankruptcy.  Hong Kong (and also the UK) has a perfect score of 4, but the US has a score of 1.”

    Different Corporate Ownership and Control Structures.  A more interesting difference arises from the authors’ argument that, unlike in the US, share ownership and corporate control in Hong Kong are closely related:

    According to research conducted at the turn of the millennium, . . . separation of ownership and control, [has] largely become the phenomenon in the US.  This trend was accompanied by a shift in bankruptcy law towards a more flexible, manager-oriented regime, assuming that managers of corporations that have filed Chapter 11 will subsequently make business decisions in the best interests of the corporations as a whole. On the bankruptcy side these developments culminated in 1978 with the enactment of the Bankruptcy Code and its DIP norm.  However, in Hong Kong, [this] type of [dispersed corporate ownership] is not as prevalent. According to research on ownership structures and control in East Asian corporations, about three-quarters of the largest 20 companies in Hong Kong are under family control, while fewer than 60 per cent of the smallest 50 companies are in the same category. As for corporate assets held by the largest 15 families as a percentage of GDP, Hong Kong displays one of the largest concentrations of control, at 76 per cent. For comparison, the wealth of the 15 richest American families stands at about 3 per cent of GDP.

    Because of this reality, the Ho and Chan argue that the DIP concept so common in US reorganizations simply isn’t practical in Hong Kong:

    Given such context, a corporate rescue process based on the DIP concept of the US will not be practical for Hong Kong because wide dispersion of share-ownership and manager-displacing corporate reorganization simply do not exist in reality.  This is consistent with the government’s proposal in rejecting the DIP given concerns that if the existing management was allowed to remain in control, a company could easily avoid or delay its obligations to creditors as the managers of a family business either are family members or are nominated by the family.  They are expected to place the family’s interests in the corporation as the first priority even at the expense of creditors’ interests.

    Though these differences may be true in the case of publicly held and traded US corporations, they are not so clear in the case of closely-held US companies – which many readers will acknowledge comprise the bulk of US business.

    Why No Post-Petition Financing?  As for post-petition financing – a mainstay of US reorganizations – Ho and Chan point out that though the US has developed a vibrant distressed debt market, “the debt market is not as developed and is materially underused in Hong Kong.  The major reason for illiquidity and lack of use is best expressed as Hong Kong’s cultural background.  Hong Kong lacks no resources for deal structuring but has no tradition of traded debt, and corporate governance practice has historically been insufficient to support issue of debts by large companies.”

    Economic Efficiency.  Finally, the authors cite well-recognized and frequently noted flaws in the Chapter 11 process: Its perceived inefficiency arising from its “one-size-fits-all” approach, as well as the arguably high rates of recidivism amongst those debtors who do successfully confirm a Chapter 11 Plan.

    Whatever one’s take on Ho and Chan’s assessment of US-style reorganizations, their work affords an interesting glimpse into alternative methods of corporate rescue currently under consideration in one of the world’s most sophisticated financial jurisdictions.

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