Practice Direction No. 5 of 2015, issued on 24 November 2015,
stipulates that the existing Ordinary Court sittings at which
company and insolvency matters are usually heard will be now be
held twice in every calendar month as a dedicated Commercial Court
for the hearing of applications relating to: "corporate
entities, such as insolvency matters and other applications under
The Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 which require a hearing before
Corporate and insolvency matters will consequently be separated
from the other business conducted in the Ordinary Court, with
supplementary Court time being set aside to deal with the more
traditional business of the Ordinary Court, such as liquor
licensing and guardianship matters.
The creation of the Commercial Court is likely to be very well
received by practitioners involved in restructuring and insolvency
and wider commercial transactional matters, such as schemes of
arrangement. The increasing complexity of these types of
transaction justify this move. Under the pre-existing system, it
was common for significant time and cost to be incurred waiting for
the Court to hear a lengthy list of traditional Ordinary Court
business prior to dealing with company matters. For example, many
office holders and their staff, often having travelled from other
jurisdictions, will have first-hand experience of hours spent on
uncomfortable benches waiting for substantive and often urgent and
complex insolvency appointments to be made. Company matters are now
afforded priority at least twice every calendar month.
Carey Olsen has been a supporter of and has campaigned in favour
of a dedicated Commercial Court for some time through Advocate
David Jones's involvement with ARIES (the Association of
Recovery and Insolvency Experts) in Guernsey and his place on the
working group established to assist the States of Guernsey in a
wider review of the Island's insolvency laws. Advocate Jones
"This is a very positive step by the Royal Court in
assisting practitioners dealing with company matters before the
Court. The changes will have immediate benefits but may also lead
to further improvements to the Royal Court's existing ability
to handle complex matters, by increasing judicial expertise and
perhaps leading to a dedicated commercial judge and/or jurats to
hear these matters."
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A guide which outlines the procedures to wind up Jersey registered companies, the circumstances in which transactions entered into by an insolvent company may be set aside, and the circumstances in which a company’s officers and managers may incur civil or criminal liability.
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