The Honourable Mr Justice Harris, the incumbent Companies Judge,
has continued the recent development of cross-border assistance in
insolvency matters. An example is his Lordship's decision in
Re Centaur Litigation SPC (In Liquidation) (HCMP
3389/2015, 10 March 2016), which relates to an application by the
liquidators of three companies incorporated and being wound up in
the Cayman Islands. Appended to that decision were the terms of the
order made by his Lordship for recognition of and assistance to the
foreign liquidators. That order has since been regarded by
practitioners as the standard form in subsequent applications.
In a recent decision concerning an Australian company in
liquidation there called Rennie Produce (Aust) Pty Ltd (HCMP
1640/2016, 26 August 2016), the learned Judge confirmed his
intention that the order made in Centaur should become
"the standard order", although
"practitioners should not feel bound to use precisely the
same language if they consider that amendments to it are
appropriate". This accords with our experience in a
recognition application granted before the decision in Rennie
Produce was made publicly available.
The reason for publishing the new decision is explicitly noted
in paragraph 5:
"I will also make orders for the production of
documents by the two banks concerned. Also for the benefit of
practitioners there is, appended to this short decision, the
substantive terms of the production orders that have been made in
order that they can see the type of order that the court is willing
to make pursuant to a letter of request for assistance by way of
production by the court of a jurisdiction whose own insolvency
regime contains provisions substantially similar to our section 221
of the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions)
Ordinance (Cap 32)."
Whilst the order in Centaur already covers the foreign
liquidator's potential applications "for orders for
disclosure, the production of documents and/or examination of third
parties" (paragraph 2.4), the order in Rennie
Produce is more comprehensive and specific. However much
foreign liquidators would hope that they need not always obtain
orders for recognition and assistance in requesting documents and
information from persons and entities in Hong Kong, there will no
doubt be occasions where an order in the Rennie Produce
form can facilitate their work.
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