Jersey's Viscount is seeking the assistance of the English
High Court for the first time in 36 years in a £1.3 billion
cross-border insolvency case.
Jersey's Royal Court has granted the Viscount's
application and issued two letters of request to the English High
Court seeking judicial cooperation and recognition of the Viscount
and her appointment as administrator of the désastres of a
Jersey doctor and a Jersey-registered company declared en
désastre late last year.
The Royal Court has also requested the High Court to authorise
the Viscount to exercise such of her powers and functions as maybe
necessary, including allowing her to intervene in and prosecute or
defend or apply for a stay in various sets of proceedings currently
before the English courts.
If the request is accepted by the English Court, it will be the
first time that Jersey's Viscount has been recognised by the
High Court since 1981 – it will also mean that creditors
should not assume in the future that Jersey's Royal Court will
always concede to a request to put a Jersey insolvent company into
Advocate Nicola Roberts, Counsel in Ogier's Jersey Dispute
Resolution team, acted for the Viscount in the successful
application to the Royal Court for the request to the English court
for recognition in respect of the local GP and Orb a.r.l., the
Jersey company, both of which were declared en désastre on
24 November 2016. Since that date creditors have submitted claims
against them in the combined sum of £1.3 billion.
Nicola, who specialises in contentious insolvency matters, said:
"In the past, the Royal Court has often agreed to allow Jersey
insolvent companies to go into administration in the UK – for
the first time in decades, the court has instead sought the
assistance of the English High Court to recognise Jersey's
Viscount and allow her to administer and exercise her powers in its
"In light of the judgment, creditors of Jersey companies
should no longer assume that the door to UK administration is
always going to be open, it is very much based on the facts of each
particular case and what is in the best interests of creditors as a
"In this instance the Court felt it was important that the
Island, as a well-respected financial centre, discharge its
responsibilities for dealing with the affairs of this Jersey
registered company and Jersey resident."
Nicola, who is qualified in England, Jersey and the BVI, was
appointed to Counsel at the start of the month. As well as working
on restructuring and insolvency matters, Nicola has considerable
experience of complex, high value multi-jurisdictional commercial
litigation with a particular focus on commercial fraud, trusts,
regulatory issues including sanctions, and shareholder
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