COMI and bankruptcy tourism in England

By Amy Patterson

Schrade, a German national, who had lived and worked in Germany his whole life, moved to England following the onset of financial difficulties in May 2012. In January 2013, he petitioned for his own bankruptcy, which was opposed by Sparkasse Ludenscheid on the primary basis that his centre of main interests (COMI) was not in England and Wales.

The registrar at first instance analysed the factual matrix and found in favour of Sparkasse. Factors of particular importance were that Schrade’s family ties were in Germany, he continued to operate a bank account in Germany (which generated a higher turnover than his English account), he was involved in German litigation and the disposal of his German assets appeared to be in order to distance himself from Germany. Schrade appealed…

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