International Co-Chairs Corner - October 2021

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As co-chairs, we thank all of the members of ABI’s International Committee for their continued support and involvement with the committee during this pandemic-dominated year. We also extend a warm welcome to our new members and encourage you to reach out to us or International Committee Membership Chair Kenneth Kraft (Dentons Canada; Toronto) to discuss ways to get more involved with the International Committee. In addition, we are grateful to the ABI staff and Board of Directors for their continued support, for their ability to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for continuing to produce exceptional content across the ABI platform.

We are excited to tell you about some of exciting events coming your way during the fall as we continue to transition from fully virtual conferences back to live conferences. First, for the second year in a row, we will be teaming up with the American College of Bankruptcy, International Insolvency Institute (III), TMA Europe, INSOL and IWIRC, and combining ABI’s Cross-Border Insolvency Program, which is traditionally held in New York City in early November, with the International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium, traditionally held in mid-November in Europe. The resulting International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium and Cross-Border Insolvency Program will be a three-day virtual event presented on ABI’s innovative online platform Nov. 17-19, 2021. The program will include the annual “America Now” update with U.S. bankruptcy judges, a “Far East” update, and variety of interesting panels touching on developments and trends in insolvency and restructuring across the globe.

Then, just a couple of weeks later (after a pause for some turkey), the International Committee will partner with the Legislative and Secured Credit Committees at the Winter Leadership Conference to present “Chapter 11 Issues and the Airline Industry.” This panel will examine recent trends and issues in the chapter 11 reorganizations of airlines, with a particular focus on foreign-based airlines that have sought chapter 11 protection in the U.S., such as Avianca Airlines, Aeroméxico, Philippine Airlines and LATAM Airlines. The panel will also analyze governmental and legislative initiatives in the U.S. and Europe, taken in response to COVID-19, that (for the time) staved off formal reorganization proceedings for most U.S.- and European-based airlines. Hon. Kevin Carey (ret.) (Hogan Lovells US LLP; Philadelphia) will be moderating the panel, leading a discussion with Hon. Martin Glenn (U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); New York), who is overseeing the Avianca chapter 11 case; Cecily Dumas (BakerHostetler; San Francisco), who regularly represents aircraft lessors; Kyle J. Ortiz (Togut, Segal & Segal; New York), who is co-counsel to the LATAM debtors and is acting as an expert witness in connection with Philippine Airlines’ recognition proceeding in the Philippines; and Evan Fleck (Milbank LLP; New York), who is representing Avianca in its chapter 11 case. The Winter Leadership Conference will take place Dec. 9-11, 2021, at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and panel is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10, at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

However, you don’t have to wait for those conferences to enjoy amazing content, as this newsletter features articles on a variety of trending cross-border topics, including:

A special thanks go to the International Committee’s newsletter editors, Ben Swell (Swell & Kettle Lawyers; Sydney, Australia) and Adam Crane (Baker & Partners; George Town, Grand Cayman), for putting together another timely and informative newsletter! If you are interested in contributing to future newsletters or to the International Committee in any way, please reach out to any of the committee leaders. Their contact information can be found on the International Committee’s webpage. All newsletters and past webinars are also accessible on the site.

We hope to see you at an ABI conference soon. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter.

Help Any Way You Can in 2021

We are always looking for new ideas, opportunities and participation from committee members. Contributions to our newsletter help the committee better serve its members. Suggestions for presentation and annual meeting topics are also greatly appreciated. We will continue to have our Special Projects Leader coordinate and facilitate contributors to our program materials to support our various panels and presentations for the International Insolvency & Restructuring Symposium and Cross-Border Insolvency Program, Annual Spring Meeting, and Winter Leadership Conference. Please contact Adam Swick if you wish to help or if you have another colleague you would like to recommend, especially a younger lawyer aspiring to do more for the committee.

Support in producing new webinar content is another area in which we welcome help. We would like to have one webinar in the spring and one in the fall, and we greatly appreciate new ideas and new active participants. Please contact Kyle Ortiz if you’d like to contribute your time and expertise to these programs.

We will be publishing a list of dates for quarterly meetings in the near future to discuss ideas for all of the above. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. We find that these quarterly meetings are particularly helpful because they allow us to brainstorm new ideas and directions, and reach out to volunteers to help carry out the committee’s work. Our prior calls were especially helpful in assisting ABI, which cannot take an official position on any pending legislation, but which can facilitate our individual members in providing commentary and participating in the legislative process. A good example of this is the commentary produced by members of the International Committee and reported on by Kyle OrtizRafael Zahralddin and Sarah Denis in their article “NBC’s Proposed Revisions to Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code,” which appeared in the ABI Journal’s October 2018 Legislative Update column. Please join our efforts and participate in these quarterly calls. You may reach out to Rafael Zahralddin with ideas for agenda items.

If you are interested in contributing to the committee in any way at all, please reach out to any of the committee leaders. Their contact information can be found on the International Committee’s webpage. All newsletters and past webinars are also accessible there.

Finally, if there is any way you think the International Committee can provide more value to you, please reach out to us and share your ideas and time.