The Hon. Mr. Justice Jonathan Harris of the Court of First Instance, Companies Court of Hong Kong, provided his insights to the Hong Kong Lawyer on the JIN Guidelines, Z-Obee and Hong Kong’s future as a regional restructuring hub.
Full article here. As recently as March 2017, Mr. Justice Harris as keynote speaker, spoke, along with Victor Joffe QC and Harneys’ Ian Mann at the inaugural conference on Cross-Border Insolvency organised by Kong Kong Law Society’s Academy of Law. JIN Guidelines In terms of the chances of Hong Kong adopting the Singapore-led collaborative initiative as a Practice Direction (as Bermuda and the BVI have done), Mr. Justice Harris indicated this was likely not to be the case. Rather, he felt that there was already invaluable experience derived from the discussion and lateral thinking sparked by the drafting process of the JIN Guidelines for solving problems encountered by practitioners and the courts in cross-border insolvency.
The decision of Mr. Justice Harris in Z-Obee to adjourn a winding up petition in relation to a Bermuda company so that an application to appoint restructuring provisional liquidators in Bermuda could be made, has been lauded as “cutting edge” and “innovative”. However, Mr. Justice Harris believes his judgment in that case simply reflects his approach on how common law tools, like judicial assistance and recognition can be used to find more straightforward and cost-effective solutions for foreign companies seeking to restructure in Hong Kong. Mr. Justice Harris commented on the fact that Hong Kong does not have a statutory regime or cross-border recognition provisions when it comes to company restructuring. Although the Z-Obee method formed a neat solution for offshore companies, he felt that legislative reform was needed.
Bermuda law advice is provided through Zuill & Co., an independent Bermudian law firm in exclusive association with Harneys.