Creating a more predictable insolvency regime would make the Channel Islands the financial centres of choice for global investors was one of the conclusions that came from the day-long seminar in Jersey held by INSOL International (International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals), which focused on current trends and developments in insolvency.
The event was held in partnership with ARIES (The Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Experts), a recently established professional body for Channel Islands practitioners and a member association of INSOL.
More than 100 delegates from the Channel Islands, UK, USA and BVI attended the event, which featured a series of panel discussions on technical and topical considerations for insolvency and restructuring practitioners in offshore jurisdictions.
The panel discussions throughout the day covered topics such as asset tracing, insolvency of financial institutions and credit, security and enforcement in the Channel Islands, featuring a range of leading speakers in the insolvency and restructuring field.
Maurice Moses, EY partner – one of the events platinum sponsors – chaired the closing panel, which assessed the current trends and new developments taking place in Guernsey and Jersey to review their existing insolvency regimes. Consultation papers are being drafted for both jurisdictions.
“While both consultations are yet to be published, each provides valuable suggestions on how Guernsey and Jersey’s legal and regulatory frameworks could be developed.
Maurice, although based in London has significant involvement in the Channel Islands market place. He is an integral part of EY’s Liquidation and Strategic Exit Routes (LASER) team, focusing on providing contentious insolvency advice in the UK and Channel Islands.
“The UK is considered the jurisdiction of choice in this space, with well-regarded courts and judiciaries, and we are eager to see the Channel Islands aligning their insolvency regimes with the best of what is working elsewhere, to continue to prosper as an attractive place to do business. The consultations are an extremely positive step towards this.The conference was an excellent platform to begin these discussions with a wider audience and it was encouraging to hear the views of local practitioners. Many delegates were very interested to see, comparatively, how insolvency is approached in the Channel Islands and where it is heading,” he said.
While Guernsey’s framework is currently more in line with the modern UK legislation, Jersey has less of a defined insolvency regime, with fewer tools available to practitioners when approaching insolvency.
“It is important to realise that, although seemingly counter-intuitive, a strong and predictable insolvency regime will actually make a financial centre more attractive to investors. Predictably reduces risk providing potential investors with an added layer of security. While both islands have regimes that are adequate for their current purposes, having defined processes in place can be a powerful aid in marketing a jurisdiction to potential investors,” said Mr Moses.