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Cross Border Insolvency Update - January 2021

Impact of Brexit on enforcement of judgments

The European Regime (consisting of the following main instruments: the Recast Brussels Regulation, 2001 Brussels Regulation, Brussels Convention and the 2007 Lugano Convention) enabled a simple pathway for the enforcement of a judgment in EU Member States and European Free Trade Association member states (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) saving time and costs by removing the need for any additional recognition requirements or procedures. Regulation 805/2004 was created for a similar purpose: it created European Enforcement Orders which applied to most EU Member States in relation to recognition and enforcement of uncontested claims.

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Impact of Brexit on insolvency

The Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on Insolvency Proceedings (Recast) ("Recast Insolvency Regulation") sets out the rules on jurisdiction to commence insolvency proceedings after 26 June 2017 and the law governing such proceedings. Insolvencies opened prior to that date are subject to the Council Regulation (EC) No 134/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings ("Insolvency Regulation") but for ease while below we only refer to the Recast Insolvency Regulation, the same principles apply for the Insolvency Regulation.

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Short Stories

Norwegian Air cuts long-haul flights

The coronavirus pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the travel industry, with Norwegian Air the latest airline operator to be facing insolvency. The Norwegian airline company has ceased to offer long-haul services, in a bid to secure its future operations, resulting in around 2,000 job losses worldwide. In a statement released by the airline company, it is reported that “the board of directors of the legal entities employing primarily long haul staff in Italy, France, the UK and the US have contacted insolvency practitioners”.

Brexit and the Scottish seafood exportation industry

The UK’s fishing industry has been struggling with the post-Brexit exportation system, with Scotland most severely affected. The customs declarations and certificates now required to export seafood, in particular shellfish, to Europe are creating delays to the export processing resulting in produce expiring before reaching its destination. Protests have been taking place at Downing Street to raise awareness of the struggling seafood export industry post-Brexit.

New restructuring options for SMEs introduced in Germany

On 1 January 2021, a new restructuring framework was enacted in Germany. The Law on the Stabilisation and Restructuring Framework for Companies (StaRUG), provides a variety of restructuring options for SMEs. The options include a settlement scheme to be reached via a court-appointed mediator and a restructuring scheme, similar to the US Chapter 11 proceedings or the UK Restructuring Plan, for use by companies who will be unable to pay their debts within the next 24 months.

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