Nottingham Insolvency Conference hailed a success

Nottingham Insolvency Conference hailed a success

CBIL team

The Centre for Business and Insolvency Law recently welcomed a return visit by the INSOL Europe Academic Forum to Nottingham. Following in the footsteps of a successful collaboration in 2012, a second joint conference was held on 25-26 June 2015.

On this occasion, the conference was jointly hosted by Radboud University Nijmegen, who have been working successfully in partnership with Nottingham Law School for some time, including on the unique “Dual” LLM in Insolvency.

The overall theme of the conference agenda was ‘Re-Imagining Rescue’, with a particular focus on the following topics: ‘Current Approaches to Corporate Rescue’; ‘Judicial Perspectives and Insights into the Insolvency Process’; ‘Practitioners and Rescues’; ‘Comparative Perspectives into Pre-Insolvency Arrangements’ and ‘Cross-Border Rescues in the EU’.

To open the event, a welcome was provided by Robert van Galen, President of INSOL Europe, and the recently appointed Dean of Nottingham Law School, Prof Janine Griffiths-Baker. This was followed by the keynote address given by Professor Ray Warner (St John’s NY), who provided an insightful and amusing account of European rescue initiatives from a North American perspective.

The substance of the first session that immediately followed contained criticisms of current approaches to the rescue imperative. Chaired by Neil Cooper (NLS), speakers included Dr Irit Mevorach (Nottingham), Jenny Clift (UNCITRAL) and Dr Sarah Paterson (LSE).

The second session later in the afternoon moved the debate on to a judicial perspective, inviting eminent judges from a range of international jurisdictions to share their experiences and insights on corporate rescue. Chaired by Hamish Anderson (Norton Rose Fulbright, London; NLS), panellists included Mrs Justice Desiree Staal (The Netherlands), Mr Justice Heinz Vallender (Germany), Mrs Justice Jeanette Melchior (Denmark) and Mr Justice David Richards (United Kingdom).

The day’s events then concluded with a reception and a dinner at the Riverside restaurant on the Trent, where attendees had the opportunity of enjoying traditional Nottingham hospitality in modern surrounds with the after-dinner speaker being Neil Cooper (Honorary Life President, INSOL Europe).

The second day saw discussions resuming early with three sessions filling the day. The first provided a focus on corporate rescue from the perspective of the practitioner, particularly in what practitioners require for a successful rescue. Chaired by Professor Frits-Joost Beekhoven van den Boezem (ING Bank; RUN), presentations came from Nicolaes Tollenaar (RESOR, Netherlands), Adrian Thery (Garrigues, Spain), Mark Fennessy (Proskauer, UK) and Michael Nienerza (Goerg, Germany), providing a truly comparative perspective.

A similar flavour also informed the next session, containing a discussion of pre-insolvency arrangements in selected jurisdictions. Chaired by Professor Paul Omar (NLS), insights came from Professor Juana Pulgar Ezquerra (Complutense Madrid), Professor Melissa Vanmeenen (Antwerp), Dr Alexandra Kastrinou (NLS) and Lézelle Jacobs (University of the Free State).

Finally, and also providing an international focus, the last session of the day featured a critical analysis of the recently amended European Insolvency Regulation, due to come into force in 2017. Chaired by Richard Sheldon QC (South Square; NLS), views were provided by Professors Gerard McCormack (Leeds), Francisco Garcimartin (Autónoma Madrid) and Michael Veder (RUN). Concluding remarks also came from Professor David Burdette, co-organiser of the conference.

Overall, the conference attracted nearly 90 delegates from the world of academia, practice, the judiciary and policy makers. The conclusion of such a successful occasion, blending theory and practice, is tribute to the hard work of members of the Centre for Business and Insolvency Law, which has had for some time a growing reputation as a centre for excellence in the teaching and research of insolvency law.

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