Canada: BLG Associate Wins Prize For Insolvency Article On Director Liability And Environmental Costs
Last Updated: September 1 2014

Toronto (August 21, 2014) — The International Bar Association's (IBA) Insolvency Section has selected Borden Ladner Gervais'(BLG) Matti Lemmens as the winner of the 2014 Michael Prior Scholarship. The scholarship is presented annually to a young lawyer who provides a high calibre analysis of a cutting edge topic relevant to international insolvency. Lemmens' paper discusses the potential impact of finding directors personally liable for environmental costs incurred by an insolvent company.

"We are all very proud of Matti for winning the Michael Prior Scholarship," said John Blair, partner and National Group Head, Commercial Litigation Group at BLG. "Her paper analyzes the implications of this important business issue at an academic level and provides a glimpse of her sharp mind and legal expertise."

The Michael Prior Scholarship is awarded to a young lawyer who has written an outstanding academic paper which is published in the IBA Insolvency Journal. Lemmens has been invited to participate in a session on insolvency and the environment where she can discuss her paper and its conclusions.

"The IBA Insolvency Section Scholarship was very topical for Canadian law this year. The topic was director liability in insolvencies, which is an area of insolvency and environmental law that has seen rapid development recently", stated Matti Lemmens, associate, Commercial Litigation Group, BLG. "In Canada, environmental regulatory authorities have shown a keen interest in ensuring that environmental remediation be paid, even pursuing environmental proceedings against directors of insolvent debtors. The paper explores whether it is appropriate to find directors liable for environmental remediation when polluting debtors are unable to pay."

Each year the IBA, the largest international organization of law societies, bar associations and individual lawyers engaged in transitional law, holds an annual conference, which attracts the participation of over 4000 lawyers from more than 100 jurisdictions. To make the conference accessible, scholarships are awarded to young lawyers who wish to participate. As a scholarship winner, Lemmens receives free conference registration to the 2014 IBA conference in Tokyo this October, two years free IBA membership, Legal Practice Division (LPD) and Public and Professional Interest Division (PPID) including membership of one committee within the awarding section and one free PPID Committee; a waiver of either the next IBA annual conference registration fee or the registration fee for the next specialist conference of their chosen committee and free membership in the Scholarship Alumni Group.

"This is not a paper that will gather dust, Matti chose a real problem in insolvency today so it will be valuable for anyone who has to deal with environmental issues in insolvency or who has to plan in the event that there may be an insolvency due to an environmental issue," said Josef Krüger, partner, Commercial Litigation Group, BLG. "Matti has analyzed how the liability is dealt with internationally and the potential pitfalls."

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