Grateful thanks to the Association des Juristes Franco-Britanniques for organising on Wednesday last week a timely conference on the new European Insolvency Regulation (EIR).

Held in Paris at the Maison du Barreau and chaired by the learned Yves Chaput, Emeritius Professor of the Université de Paris Panthéon Sorbonne, the panel was set the unenviable task of not simply setting the background to the present EIR and the objectives in the recent reforms but, also, of presenting the new expanded EIR and the view of the reforms forming in both France and the UK.

Jean-Luc Vallens, judge of the court of appeal in Colmar gave a masterful synthesis of the Introduction and development of the present EIR, and the challenges facing the national courts of the European Union when faced with well advised debtors able to interpret to their advantage measures meant to provide stability in cross border failures. Judge Vallens was assisted in this by a tour de force offered by Maître Myriam Mailly PhD LLD on the tricky question of the opening processes under the EIR and the approaches adopted not only by the national courts of France and our own courts but, also, the jurisprudence of the European Court.

Conducted entirely in French it was in this august company that our own Simeon Gilchrist, partner in the Insolvency & Restructuring group was able to set out the present approach of the English courts through an historical analysis of the 1986 Insolvency Act and the application of the present EIR to the gateway to Collective insolvency processes under that Act here in the UK.

The panel session included a lively debate on the approach to forum shopping, and as to whether all “COMI” shift is necessarily abusive in a free market, the challenges ahead on the entirely new group rules, and the benefits of restricting secondary proceedings through the formalisation of undertakings from the main proceedings office holder to creditors in a territory in which secondary proceedings might be opened.

With the new EIR now published in the official journal of the European Communities, and the countdown to its application now underway, it is to be hoped that the Association will re-run this topical and insightful course in London, although sub-titles might be required!

To discuss or learn more of the application of the new EIR, please contact Simeon Gilchrist or Sophia Mew. Alternatively, please contact us on t: 020 7691 4000 | e: info@edwincoe.com

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