Our team have extensive experience of insolvency related matters and bring together a host of legal, accounting and commercial experience of Jersey’s financial services industry.

The firm is regularly instructed by local and international insolvency practitioners, financial institutions, companies, trusts and private individuals.  We advise on, and act in the following areas: advising creditors on Dégrèvement, advising on advantages and disadvantages of issuing Désastre proceedings, advising on ‘look-back’ provisions in the Companies and Bankruptcy Laws, advising shareholders on merits of pursuing just and equitable winding-up proceedings, advising companies on the different forms of winding up available under the Companies Law 1990 where they are seeking to cease operations or wind up an insolvent business, and Jersey and cross-border personal and corporate insolvencies.

Baker & Partners has represented several foreign office holders seeking to have their appointments recognised in Jersey. In Re Durant International Corporation (in liquidation) and Kildare Finance Limited (in liquidation) the firm obtained recognition orders for the liquidators of two BVI companies that had been held liable in a substantial fraud claim brought in Jersey by the Federal Republic of Brazil and the Municipality of Sao Paulo. This case was eventually determined by the Privy Council (see The Federal Republic of Brazil and another v Durant International Corporation and another [2015] UKPC 35). Against the same background the firm subsequently obtained recognition orders on behalf of the liquidators of a further BVI company, MacDoel Investment Limited.

Court Recognition Orders

Foreign office holders cannot act in Jersey without a court recognition order.

Such an order is a valuable weapon in an office holder’s armoury both in cross-border insolvencies and in fraud and asset recovery investigations.  There are a limited number of countries who benefit from a specific regime under the Bankruptcy (Désastre) Law 1990; for other countries a common law regime applies. The Baker & Partners’ team regularly obtain such recognition orders and are extremely familiar with the procedures required both under statute and common law.

What is Dégrèvement?

Dégrèvement is a debt recovery procedure against Jersey land. It is an archaic remedy with complex and cumbersome procedures – nevertheless, because of deficiencies in other methods of enforcement, it remains the most common way to enforce debts secured on property.

What is a Désastre?

Désastre is the Jersey equivalent of personal and corporate insolvency. It is the only method which creditors (as opposed to the company itself) can use to bankrupt an individual or corporate body.  It is governed by the Bankruptcy (Désastre) Law 1990. Our lawyers have extensive experience in advising creditors on the advantages and disadvantages of issuing désastre proceedings against either companies or individuals to enforce a debt or judgment, whether arising in Jersey or overseas.

Winding-up procedures under the Companies Law

Creditors can commence winding-up procedures under the Companies Law including summary winding-up for solvent companies. There is no equivalent in Jersey of the English law concept of administration but companies have been wound-up in Jersey under the “just and equitable” winding-up provisions in the Companies Law in circumstances where an equivalent of administration is required (for example: to enable a business to be carried on as a going concern pending any sale).  The “just and equitable” route has also been used for the “pre-pack” sale of a business.

'Vulnerable' transactions during insolvency proceedings

There are various ways in which “vulnerable” transactions, which pre-date an insolvency, may be set aside during insolvency proceedings. This includes where they appear to have been either at an undervalue or in the nature of a preference.

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