On 11 November 2022, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands heard the first petition to appoint restructuring officers under the new Cayman Islands restructuring regime that came into force on 31 August 2022.
The following briefing provides a round-up of the Cayman legal and regulatory developments during the third quarter of 2022 that may be of interest to funds clients. We are pleased to note that there is nothing critical or requiring immediate action at this time.
Summary of recent legal and regulatory developments
The approach of the Cayman Grand Court to the terms and timing of the discharge of provisional liquidators of In the Matter of Star International Drilling Ltd (unreported, FSD 88 of 2021 ASCJ) may provide a window into what is expected to be a similarly flexible approach to the appointment of restructuring officers.
Star International Drilling Ltd's application to discharge its joint provisional liquidators
Seahawk China Dynamic Fund: winding up on just and equitable grounds
In a recent decision, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands grappled with the question of whether the need for an investigation into the affairs of the company is a stand-alone ground for winding up. While the Court did not determine the question conclusively, it did provide an indication of how it may rule if the issue were to be placed squarely before the Court again.
In the Matter of Seahawk China Dynamic Fund
The failed bid of liquidators for two hedge funds affiliated with defunct investment firm Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., to obtain recognition of the funds’ Cayman Islands winding-up proceedings under chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code was featured prominently in business headlines during the late summer and fall of 2007.
The High Court has granted three insolvent Cayman companies (each in liquidation) a worldwide freezing order in support of proceedings against Mr Terrill, an individual who operated behind the companies' respective corporate directors as their sole director and shareholder. The court exercised its discretion to grant the injunction despite there being a delay of more than a year between the discovery of suspicious transactions linked to Mr Terrill and a Letter of Request applying for a freezing order being sent by the Cayman court together with the companies' liquidators to the English cou
In the recent decision In the Matter of Padma Fund L.P. (unreported, 8 October 2021) (Padma), Justice Parker found that the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (Court) has no jurisdiction to wind up a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership (ELP) on the basis of a creditors' petition. Instead, the Court found that an unpaid creditor must present a petition against the general partner (GP) of the ELP.
Adopting the analysis of the United Kingdom Jurisdictional Task Force ('UKJT") on the proprietary status of crypto currencies, a recent decision of the English High Court, AA v Persons Unknown, has found that crypto assets such as Bitcoin are "property" and therefore capable of being the subject of a proprietary injunction or freezing order.
The Cayman Islands Government has published the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Bill) which will introduce welcome amendments to the Companies Act (2021 Revision) (Act), to facilitate the efficient restructuring of distressed companies for the benefit of their stakeholders.