In Re C (a Bankrupt) BVIHC 0080/2013: common law recognition of a foreign bankruptcy trustee in the BVI

In Re C (a Bankrupt) BVIHC 0080/2013, Mr Justice Bannister QC allowed common law recognition of a foreign bankruptcy trustee for the first time in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The learned judge held that section 470 of the BVI Insolvency Act 2003 ‘provides for recognition at common law of foreign representatives [as defined] and for provision of assistance… to them by the court, whether or not they apply specifically under section 467’.

The judge expressly confirmed that his earlier ruling in Picard v Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities LLC was wrong.

Recognition of foreign liquidators is dealt with in Part XVIII of the Insolvency Act, which largely mirrors the UNCITRAL model law. However, Part XVIII is not in force. Part XIX of the Insolvency Act gives the court power to make specific orders in aid of foreign proceedings, but only in relation to insolvency proceedings in specific ‘relevant countries’. Section 467 is the section of the legislation that provides that a foreign representative from a relevant country can apply for one of eight specific orders..

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