Stricter and personal liability for executives under Slovak insolvency law

Slovakia LawAs of 1 January 2018, those who are obliged to file a petition for declaration of bankruptcy of a company will face stricter liability in Slovakia. This could result in them being required to pay a fine/damages and can even result in their disqualification from sitting on boards of Slovak companies.

In addition to an obligation to pay a contractual penalty in the amount of 12,500 EUR, an executive or board member who fails to file a bankruptcy petition will be liable for damages incurred by creditors as a result of breach of such filing obligation. Executives and directors are the most frequent “persons obliged to file for bankruptcy” but note that the obligation extends to a liquidator and a legal representative of an individual debtor.

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Contracts via email – potential pitfalls

Laptop with Envelope HandshakeA recent decision of the High Court (Goel and another v Grant and another [2017] EWHC 2688 (Ch)) has provided a useful reminder that care must be taken when administrators enter into pre-contract negotiations and the risk of inadvertently entering into a binding contract before terms are finalised. It also deals with the risks of disposing of assets, even those that are difficult to value, without due process. Continue Reading

The Business of Cannabis – Getting into the Weeds

In a prior post, we examined whether state-licensed marijuana businesses, and those doing business with marijuana businesses, can seek relief under the Bankruptcy Code.  As we noted, the Office of the United States Trustee (the “UST”) has taken the position, most recently in Congressional testimony given in June 2017, that a marijuana business cannot seek bankruptcy relief because the business itself violates the Controlled Substances Act 21, U.S.C. §§ 801, et seq. (the “CSA”), notwithstanding their state licenses. The UST has also taken the position that those leasing commercial space to a state-licensed marijuana business are themselves precluded from accessing bankruptcy courts because the CSA makes no distinction between a seller or grower of marijuana and those renting space to the seller or grower.  Continue Reading

Happy new year – or economic meltdown?

Economic MeltdownAt the turn of the new year, economists provide their financial predictions akin to the great Nostradamus. They predict a bleak outlook for the UK economy in 2018, but such forecasts are not always accurate.

The continuing uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations is likely greatly to affect the prospects of any improvement in the UK economy in 2018. Respondents to the Financial Times annual survey of economists (“FT Survey”) also cited as concerns for the UK economy high levels of debt amongst consumers and fears of a downturn in UK trade productivity in comparison to the upturn in the rest of the world.

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Happy Holidays!

iStock_000076433773_SmalleSquire Global Crossings will be on holiday until the New Year.  We look forward in 2018 to continuing to bring our readers observations and insights on significant restructuring and insolvency issues, cases and developments from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and around the world.  We wish everyone a happy holiday and a great New Year!

The woes of Toys R Us – will the “magical place” have its Christmas dreams come true?

“There’s a magical place, we’re on our way there, with toys in their millions, all under one roof – it’s called… Toys R Us!”

The lyrics resonate with millions worldwide. The advert is as iconic as Coca Cola’s “Holidays Are Coming” commercial or the Sainsbury’s “Christmas is for sharing” World War 1 cinematic ad. Sadly, there is no longer a magical place aura emanating from the retail giant, but a sobering reality that its financial disarray may lead to the company’s demise. Continue Reading

Marijuana Businesses Barred from the Bankruptcy Courts: But How Far Will the Bar Extend?

As more and more states pass laws allowing the sale of marijuana, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes, investors will try to claim their share of what is certainly going to be a lucrative market. However, even in a growing market, private enterprises fail or need restructuring. This raises the question of whether distressed marijuana businesses, and those doing business with marijuana businesses, can seek relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Since the George W. Bush Administration, the Office of the United States Trustee (the “UST”) has taken the position that marijuana businesses cannot seek bankruptcy relief. This position was reaffirmed in Congressional testimony given in June 2017 by Clifford White, the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, and more recently in an article written by Mr. White and John Sheahan, a trial attorney for the UST, which was published in the December 2017 edition of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. Continue Reading

We wish you a profitable Christmas

Introduction

Cute puppy english bulldog

With Christmas fast approaching and black Friday/Cyber Monday having passed, retailers will be hoping for a big spike in sales this December to add some sparkle to another challenging year. The uncertain political environment both domestic and abroad has had a visible impact on consumer confidence and, coupled with rising prices and a weak pound, is adding to the costs of doing business for many UK retailers. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to this continued strain on the retail trading environment. Many retailers increasingly rely on a seasonal increase in sales, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, as vital to balancing their books for the rest of the year. However, even increased Christmas sales may not be enough to save some retailers who are increasingly being met with flat or declining sales and higher costs, forcing some to plan or implement strategies to reduce their costly store networks. Traditional retailers who are trying to increase their omnichannel offering whilst simultaneously maintaining brick and mortar stores will continue to be hit hardest when competing against purely online retail giants.

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A Fight over the Runway II – Monarch Successful on Appeal

Paper AeroplaneFollowing on from our previous blog A Fight Over the Runway – Monarch Administrators Lose High Court Battle, the latest development in the saga is the recent Court of Appeal decision in Monarch Airlines Ltd v Airport Coordination Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1892. Overturning the decision of the High Court, the Court of Appeal held that Monarch was entitled to be allocated take-off and landing slots (the “Slots”) at Luton and Gatwick airports for the summer of 2018. As a result of this, the administrators have been able to press on with the sale of the Slots, to Wizz Air and British Airways respectively, and realise further value for creditors. Continue Reading

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