By a two-to-one majority, the Court of Appeal recently granted an appeal and set aside the High Court's recognition of Indonesian bankruptcy orders on the basis that there had been a breach of natural justice in their making. While recognition in this case proceeded on the basis of the common law regarding the recognition of bankruptcy orders, this case could be a useful interpretive aid for future challenges under statutory recognition procedures.
The Singapore High Court recently addressed, for the first time in a written grounds of decision, the question of whether a foreign company has the requisite standing to apply for a Section 211B moratorium under the Companies Act. The grounds of decision, which the court noted was issued to assist interested parties, provides much-needed clarity on the requirements of the so-called 'substantial connection test' that foreign applicants must satisfy in order to be eligible for moratorium protection under Section 211B.
In 2016 the Ministry of Law unveiled plans to strengthen Singapore as an international centre for debt restructuring. Pursuant to these plans, numerous complex legislative changes were introduced to Singapore's debt restructuring and insolvency laws. This article focuses on Singapore's experience of transplanting the US Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession financing provisions into the 2017 amendments to the Companies Act.
In these unprecedented times, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their owners require swift and cost-effective methods to sustainably manage and restructure their debt burdens, so that they can focus on transforming their businesses to meet the challenges of the post-COVID-19 economy. This article examines the legislative action taken by the government thus far, with a specific focus on its impact on SMEs.
Otonomos BCC Pte Ltd is one of the first technology companies specialising in blockchain technology to be wound up by the Singapore courts. As there are likely to be more insolvency and restructuring cases dealing with cryptocurrency in the near future, this article examines the legal nature of cryptocurrency in the insolvency and restructuring sphere, the feasibility of using cryptocurrency as security and the potential challenges faced by insolvency practitioners relating to cryptocurrency.
Singapore is positioning itself as a hub for insolvency and restructuring. Imminent changes to Singapore's mediation landscape suggest that mediation will soon become one of the tools available to insolvency and restructuring practitioners in resolving their clients' concerns. Similarly, there is room for employing arbitration in specific types of dispute, which will assist with insolvency and restructuring matters and help to resolve them more expediently.
An online travel platform recently obtained Singapore's first super priority order for rescue financing pursuant to Section 211E(1)(b) of the Companies Act. This groundbreaking decision provides valuable guidance to insolvency practitioners regarding future applications for super priority rescue financing, which will hopefully increase the attractiveness of distressed financing as an investment opportunity in Singapore, fostering its development as an insolvency and restructuring hub.
Parties entering into arbitration agreements ordinarily abide by their contractually chosen dispute resolution mechanism and proceed accordingly. However, counterparties sometimes start proceedings in a foreign jurisdiction in breach of an arbitration clause. A recent Singapore Court of Appeal decision sets out firm guidance that a party that finds itself in this scenario should act as fast as possible to restrain the counterparty by way of an anti-suit injunction.
The Singapore High Court recently delivered a landmark decision on the recognition of foreign bankruptcy proceedings and the public policy exception under the Singapore Model Law. In this groundbreaking decision, the court ruled on several matters relating to the law for the first time, including the relevant date and other factors for determining a debtor's centre of main interests.
In a recent High Court judgment, the plaintiff successfully imposed a winding-up order on a debtor company six weeks after the service of a statutory demand for an underlying debt of $250 million. This decision is an important comment on the standard of proof required for a debtor company to show that there is a dispute – and therefore stave off winding-up proceedings by a creditor – where the underlying contract is subject to arbitration.
The Companies Act was amended in May 2017 to introduce a number of improvements to Singapore's debt restructuring laws regarding super-priority status for rescue financing, schemes of arrangement, judicial management and cross-border insolvency. This article reviews the various court decisions (both reported and unreported) that have been issued since the changes became operative.
In 2017 Parliament aligned Singapore with other leading arbitration jurisdictions by embracing third-party funding as a viable method for increasing access to justice for parties involved in specific arbitration proceedings. Less than one year later, the market for third-party funding in Singapore has seen significant activity, and practitioners and clients alike are keen to explore the benefits and opportunities associated with third-party funding.
The much-anticipated Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Bill was recently passed. The bill aims to ensure that Singapore's restructuring and insolvency laws remain relevant and progressive to support its position as a global restructuring hub. The bill also represents the last phase of implementing recommendations from the Insolvency Law Review Committee and the Committee to Strengthen Singapore as an International Centre for Debt Restructuring.
The Singapore High Court recently delivered a landmark decision on the question of public policy under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, as adopted by Singapore in the Tenth Schedule to the Companies Act (the Singapore Model Law). This is the first reported decision in which a Singapore court has been faced with the question of public policy in an application for recognition of a foreign insolvency proceeding.
The Financial Year 2015 Budget Statement was recently submitted to Parliament. The 2015 budget focuses on promoting innovation and internationalisation and investing in economic and social infrastructure for the future. Numerous changes to fiscal policy have been introduced pursuant to the 2015 budget. These changes have significant tax implications for potential inbound investors.
Singapore's strong financial centre and stable political environment are among the many reasons why investment in Asia-Pacific starts there. Singapore also offers a competitive corporate tax regime. This update explains the corporate income tax regime in Singapore and tax-related concepts that are relevant to foreign investment, and highlights key considerations for any foreign party intending to invest in Singapore.
A recent decision of the Singapore High Court gives valuable insight into the court's approach to applications for the private direct sale of arrested vessels in Singapore. However, much will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, and the Singapore courts are exercising more caution when dealing with applications for judicial approval of private direct sales in order to safeguard the interests of all interested parties.
As a general rule, a foreign company must set up an appropriate business entity before commencing business in Singapore. The three most common types of business entity used by foreign companies wishing to establish a presence in Singapore are representative offices, branch offices and private companies with limited liability.
The European Union and Singapore recently initialled a free trade agreement, which includes an investment chapter that is still under negotiation. Although the full details are yet to be seen, the chapter is expected to contain provisions on fair and equitable treatment and most-favoured nation treatment, as well as an umbrella clause and a dispute resolution agreement.
Corporate counsel have been closely following new initiatives introduced by the Singapore government this year that affect the hiring of foreign employees. While the initial measures have been relatively moderate, a pattern is starting to develop that could potentially have a large impact on Singapore's workforce – one-third of which is composed of foreign employees.