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International Insolvency Co-operation in Bermuda

November 2011

Bermuda has no statutory equivalent of Chapter 15 of the US’s Bankruptcy Code, section 426 of the UK’s Insolvency Act 1986, or the UK’s Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006, by which the UK implemented the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (‘the UNCITRAL Model Law’).

The Supreme Court of Bermuda has nonetheless confirmed, following the Privy Council decision in Cambridge Gas Transportation Corp v Navigator Holdings plc [2007] 1 AC 508 (‘Cambridge Gas’), that:

“As a matter of common law, the [Supreme Court of Bermuda] may (and usually does) recognise Liquidators appointed by the Court of the company’s domicile and the effects of a winding-up order made by that Court, and has a discretion pursuant to such recognition to assist the primary liquidation Court “by doing whatever it could have done in the case of a domestic insolvency”.

However, the precise scope of the Bermuda Court’s common law power to assist foreign liquidations, and, in particular, to “provide assistance by doing whatever it could have done in the case of a domestic insolvency” has been the subject of considerable debate, as illustrated by a number of recent judgments which are discussed in this article.


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