Picard v Primeo: Cayman Court considers assistance in a post-Rubin world

The dicta of Lord Hoffman in Cambridge Gas and HIH supporting the application of the principle of “modified universalism” have provided a foundation for the recent trend in the law relating to international insolvency towards greater assistance provided to foreign insolvency proceedings. 

In summary, the principle of modified universalism is that there should be a unitary bankruptcy proceeding in the court of the bankruptcy’s domicile which receives worldwide recognition and it should apply universally to all the bankrupt’s assets. In practice, domestic courts follow this principle by recognizing foreign officeholders that are empowered by foreign law to act on behalf of an insolvent company. Central to this principle is the idea that such recognition, “carries with it the active assistance of the court” and that in providing such assistance, “the domestic court must at least be able to provide assistance by doing whatever it could have done in the case of a domestic insolvency.” In theory, the principle should ensure fairness between creditors, so that there would be no advantage to creditors located in a jurisdiction where more assets are located…

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