This article first appeared in Volume 20, Issue 1 of International Corporate Rescue and is reprinted with the permission of Chase Cambria Publishing - www.chasecambria.com.
In the current economic environment, directors will be fully focussed on avoiding any breach of their fiduciary duties, particularly if they are directors of companies experiencing or at risk of financial distress.
This client briefing provides a general overview of the duties of directors of Guernsey companies in these circumstances and is not comprehensive. We recommend that clients obtain specific legal advice in relation to any individual matter which may concern them.
Who are the Directors?
When a court-appointed trustee or liquidator is tasked with liquidating an entity, they need to gain possession of all of the entity’s assets. In crypto cases, this task can prove difficult when trying to identify and control all of the entity’s different digital assets and obtain cooperation from the entity’s former operators. Unfortunately, in the case of Three Arrows Capital (“3AC”), the two founders have refused to cooperate with recovery efforts and have absconded to unknown foreign countries.
Where a British Virgin Islands company is struck off the register, its directors and members cannot carry on the company's affairs, commence or defend legal proceedings in the name of the company, or deal with the assets of the company.
The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has issued its first judgment appointing Restructuring Officers under the new section 91B of the Cayman Islands Companies Act, which came into force on 31 August 2022.
It is difficult to predict what 2023 might hold for businesses in the UK. Given the difficult economic environment, many will already be facing a challenging start to the year. Although the challenges of the pandemic (such as lock downs) have gone, others have materialised. Energy price hikes and inflation rises continue to make trading conditions tough.
On 10 October, the Dubai Court of First Instance issued a potentially ground-breaking judgment in respect of directors’ liability in the context of corporate insolvency.
In particular, in the matter of the liquidation of the public company Marka PJSC (“Marka”), the Court held the company’s board of directors and managers personally and jointly liable for the company’s outstanding debts, totalling close to AED 450 million.
Following the growing trend of companies participating in acquisitions and corporate restructurings, the rigorous procedure resulting from liquidation becomes incumbent to fully understand before a company’s directors and shareholders propose to walk through this route.
The new United Arab Emirates (UAE) Insolvency Law (Federal Law No.9 of 2016) (Insolvency Law) was published in the UAE Gazette on 29 September 2016 and came in to force three months later on 29 December 2016. The Insolvency Law is a federal law that applies to all seven emirates comprising the UAE. The initial view from market participants is that by replacing the old insolvency law, which placed a greater emphasis on creditor protections and formal bankruptcy proceedings alongside criminal penalties, the Insolvency Law is an overdue but welcome development.