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In In re Roberts, No. 22-10521, 2022 WL 4592086 (Bankr. D. Colo. Sept. 23, 2022), the Bankruptcy Court of the District of Colorado (the “Bankruptcy Court”) held that a Debtor’s alleged ownership interest in cannabis-related companies did not require a dismissal of the case and that a Chapter 7 trustee could administer the Debtor’s assets. This represents a significant change from prior decisions from this Court, which has usually dismissed any bankruptcy case involving cannabis.

Background

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During a November 9, 2022, hearing on summary judgment motions in the Hertz bankruptcy, Delaware Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath issues the following oral ruling:

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As discussed in previous installments of this White Paper series, the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act (the “Bill”)1 proposes a comprehensive statutory and regulatory framework in an effort to bring stability to the digital asset market. One area of proposed change relates to how digital assets and digital asset exchanges would be treated in bankruptcy. If enacted, the Bill would significantly alter the status quo from a bankruptcy perspective

OVERVIEW OF DIGITAL ASSETS IN BANKRUPTCY

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“… [B]ecause Congress has not clearly abrogated the solvent-debtor exception,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a reorganized solvent debtor had to “pay what it promised now that it is financially capable.” In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., 2022 WL 8025329, *1, (5th Cir. Oct. 14, 2022) (2-1). Moreover, “given [the debtor’s ] solvency, post-petition interest is to be calculated according to the agreed-upon … contractual default rate …,” not the “much lower Federal Judgment Rate …,” held the court. Id.

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Bankruptcy is a formal process geared toward preserving stakeholder value. Often, the proceedings include negotiations between stakeholders that are arduous, time-consuming and expensive. Positioning the company for healthy and sustainable growth is often viewed as a post- emergence priority, as companies naturally prioritize the near-term financial realities threatening their very survival.

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The landscape of digital assets, blockchain and related technologies is constantly evolving. Each quarter, Ropes & Gray attorneys analyze government enforcement and private litigation actions, rulings, settlements, and other key developments in this space. We distill the flood of industry headlines so that you can identify and manage risk more effectively.

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Historically, Guernsey's insolvency law had limited operational provisions (compared to English law) and was largely developed by a bespoke and flexible application of common and customary law principles by the Royal Court. The old regime will now be updated and revised by the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 (Insolvency) (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 (Ordinance) which was passed on 15 January 2020. Although it does not yet have force of law it is anticipated to become law in the latter part of this year. 

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This week’s, TGIF considers the Court of Appeal’s decision in Westgem Investments Pty Ltd v Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd [2022] WASCA 132, handed down on 4 November 2022 in favour of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd and Lloyds Banking Group (Financiers).

Key takeaways

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On November 11, 2022, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Case No. 22-11068). The company reports $10 to $50 billion in both assets and liabilities and intends to place an additional, approximately 130 affiliates into bankruptcy.

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A common yet contentious liability management strategy is an “uptier” transaction, where lenders holding a majority of loans or notes under a financing agreement seek to elevate or “roll-up” the priority of their debt above the previously pari passu debt held by the non-participating minority lenders. In a recent decision in the Boardriders case, the minority lenders defeated a motion to dismiss various claims challenging an uptier transaction.

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