Category

Hong Kong

Category

On 15 July 2019, UNCITRAL formally approved a new model law (linked here) for enterprise group insolvencies on how to administer group insolvencies across multiple jurisdictions. A lesson learnt from the 2008 global financial crisis when we saw the collapse of Lehman Brothers was the absence of legislation that dealt with group insolvencies. This has been identified as a major gap in UNCITRAL’s model law on cross-border insolvency (MLCBI). 

In Lasmos Ltd v. Southwest Pacific Bauxite (HK) Ltd (02/03/2018, HCCW 277/2017), [2018] HKCFI 426 (“Lasmos“), the Court of First Instance held that a winding-up petition based on a disputed debt may be dismissed if there was an arbitration clause in the underlying agreement, upon which arbitration has commenced.

This decision broadens the traditional ground of dismissal, which previously required the subject company to demonstrate that it had a bona fide defence on substantial grounds to the underlying debt. The decision also clarifies the circumstances where winding-up proceedings will prevail.