Walkers insolvency ace wins in Caymans Parmalat action

Parmalat’s special administrator Enrico Bondi has been barred from administering the collapsed dairy company’s Cayman Islands companies following a tense court battle.

In a significant victory for local firm Walkers, a Cayman Islands court upheld insolvency supremo Michael Crystal QC’s argument that Bondi should not act as both an official appointed by the Italian regulator and administrator of the Cayman companies.

The finding of a conflict of interest heralds a significant defeat for Bondi’s legal team, comprising Linklaters’ Italian ally Gianni Origoni & Partners and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

They had hoped to clinch victory after replacing their original counsel in the Caymans action, William Trower QC, with Crystal’s arch-rival Gabriel Moss QC. All three barristers are tenants at 3/4 South Square.

Ernst & Young’s (E&Y) Caymans lawyer Guy Locke, a partner at local firm Walkers, said Bondi may appeal when the provisional liquidator presents its winding-up petition of the three Parmalat-related companies in the Caymans.

If the petition is successful, E&Y will go from being provisional to full-time official liquidators.