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International Committee Meeting Minutes

2006 Annual Spring Meeting

During the Spring Meeting, the International Committee jointly presented an educational program on Chapter 15 with the Young and New Members and Litigation Committees. With the assistance of many program participants (including International Committee Co-Chairs Ron Silverman and Josefina Fernandez McEvoy), the program provided a birds-eye view of how lawyers, clients and judges would conduct a joint multi-jurisdictional hearing before two leading jurists.

The program's stage was divided into two sides, with Judge Barry Russell on one side (in Los Angeles) and Justice James Farley on the other (in Toronto). Both faced the bankruptcy filings (a Chapter 15 in the United States and a CCAA in Canada) of a fictitious company named FuelTech. Most of the participants served as counsel to an interested party in the proceedings, and each clearly had different interests in the outcome. Should a DIP be granted by Judge Russell in the United States despite the fact that FuelTech had first filed for CCAA relief in Canada before Justice Farley? This tough question, along with many others, was clearly argued before both Judge Russell and Justice Farley, allowing all to see the power and limitations of Chapter 15 and the need for the two courts to deal with country based interests and biases fairly. Happily, the disputes were educational and the program was lively, despite the fact that it began at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. Overall, all seemed to agree that the program was a great success.

2004 Winter Leadership Conference

The committee will be teaming up with Financial Advisors to present a joint program on The Outlook for Global Insolvencies and Distressed M & A in 2005 and Beyond, which will attempt to provide the audience with a quick global tour of what we have to look forward to in the coming year. Paul W. Kirk, Managing Director of PWC’s Global Restructuring Services Group, will be the keynote presenter. Rebecca A. Roof, AlixPartners LLC, and George M. Kelakos, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP, will serve as co-moderators of the program.

2004 Winter Leadership Conference

The committee will be teaming up with Financial Advisors to present a joint program on The Outlook for Global Insolvencies and Distressed M & A in 2005 and Beyond, which will attempt to provide the audience with a quick global tour of what we have to look forward to in the coming year. Paul W. Kirk, Managing Director of PWC’s Global Restructuring Services Group, will be the keynote presenter. Rebecca A. Roof, AlixPartners LLC, and George M. Kelakos, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP, will serve as co-moderators of the program.

2003 Annual Spring Meeting

The International Committee was honored to hear presentations from two well-known luminaries in the cross-border insolvency field: Mr. Justice James M. Farley of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Mr. Terry Bond from the United Kingdom. In keeping with tradition, Co-chair George M. Kelakos opened the meeting by leading the attendees through a series of brief Qiqong breathing and movement exercises. Thereafter, Co-chair Ian G. Williams provided a brief European update; Ian's comments were followed by a brief update on Latin American developments by Co-Chair Josefina Fernandez McEvoy.

Josefina reported that the NCBJ and the ABI will host a group of federal Mexican judges at the NCBJ Annual Conference on October 15-19, 2003. Two of the judges will participate in a plenary panel that will focus on (a) the judicial and legal framework (b) decision-making and considerations of jurisdiction and int'l insolvency law applications, and (c) how to coordinate/cooperate cross border bankruptcy proceedings between two different courts with a focus on the Mexican-U.S. connection. The program at the NCBJ will be preceded by a two day parallel program in Los Angeles that will include the Mexican judge as well as representatives of IFECOM and other Mexican bankruptcy specialists. INSOL will also host a cross-border program during the NCBJ, which will focus on (a) the attorney's point of view, (b) analyzing a client's situation, (c) discussing the strategy and tactics employed in designing a reorganization and the process of reorganizing, and (d) putting primary—but not exclusive—attention on the Canadian-U.S. business connections.

Thereafter, ABI Vice President-International Affairs Steve Golick provided a brief recap of the Fourth Symposium on American /Canadian Insolvency Law.

Co-chair Ian introduced the speakers for the committee program: Mr. Justice James M. Farley of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Ian's fellow Briton Mr. Terry Bond, banker par extraordinaire. The program commenced with a presentation by Justice Farley on the development and chronology of the evolution of cross border cooperation in cross-border cases. As Justice Farley, one of the most senior bankruptcy judges in Canada, has been involved in many major national and international insolvency cases over the years, his comments and insights enthralled the audience and his conclusions will give rise to considerable debate in the future.

Terry Bond followed Justice Farley's presentation with a presentation highlighting the current issues-from the lender's perspective in cross-border and complex domestic out-of-court restructurings. Terry Bond, a legend in British Banking, recently retired as head of lender services at Barclay's Bank where he gleaned vast experience in many high-profile refinancings and restructurings. Prior to his retirement from Barclays, Terry was seconded to INSOL to serve as the worldwide "ambassador" for the INSOL Statement of Principles for a Global Approach to Multi-Creditor Workouts (the principles may be viewed on INSOL's website at and is currently Vice-Chairman of the INSOL Lenders Group. In his brief presentation, Terry highlighted some of the key logistical obstacles to effective out-of-court workouts/restructurings, most notably the impact of credit default insurance on the ability to create consensus for a successful out-or-court restructuring workout.

Both Justice Farley's and Terry Bond's presentation raised a number of interesting issues for debate. However, there was insufficient time at the committee meeting to properly explore these issues in an open forum. The Co-chairs hope that these dynamic speakers will be given the opportunity to address these issues to a wider audience at a plenary or concurrent session at a future conference.

Any comments, suggestions or recommendations for future programs, articles or projects (including articles or materials for the committee newsletter) should be directed to the committee co-chairs. George M. Kelakos may be reached at, Josefina Fernandez McEvoy may be reached at and Ian G. Williams may be reached at

2002 Winter Leadership Conference

The International Committee enjoyed a well-attended and vibrant session at this conference. It was hosted by Committee Co-chairs George M. Kelakos of Heller Ehrman (Los Angeles) and Ian G. Williams of Edwards Geldard (Nottingham, U.K.). The two guest speakers were Eduardo Martinez Rodriguez of Martinez, Rodriguez y Asociados (Mexico City) and Shyam Gidumal of Alix Partners LLC (New York City).

Ian Willians commenced the meeting with a brief update of the general situation on bankruptcies in Europe, highlighting the considerable numbers of high-profile failures in Germany. Ian also briefly discussed the impact of the EU regulation on cross-border insolvency and highlighted its use in the Enron cases where a Spanish affiliate was placed into an administration proceeding in the United Kingdom. Following Ian's presentation, ABI Vice President-International Affairs Steven G. Golick of Hosler, Hoskin & Harcour LLP (Toronto) provided a brief summary of the program and events at the upcoming Fourth Symposium on American/Canadian Insolvency Law (Feb. 24, 2003, in New York City).

Shyam Gidumal commenced the CLE component of the meeting with his presentation on some of the cross-border issues that have arisen in the "mega" telecom cases from a "businessman's" perspective and from his involvement as an advisor in the WorldCom cases. Mr Gidumal, an experienced cross-border practitioner, gave an extremely interesting overview of his experiences in the WorldCom cases, with particular emphasis on the cultural differences and issues that he has had to address in Asia in connection with these cases. Mr Gidumal highlighted the need to be sensitive to cultural issues in order to effectively to make progress with complex negotiations. Mr. Gidumal's presentation also provided a fascinating insight into the costs structures and economics of the telecom business as a whole.

Eduardo Martinez Rodriguez followed Mr. Gidumal's presentation with a presentation on the New Mexican Commercial Insolvency Law which came into force on 15 May 2000. Mr. Rodriguez¹s presentation highlighted Mexico's adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law and discussed upcoming initiatives for further reform. The presentation highlighted the forward thinking approach of the Mexican Government to insolvency proceedings which is generally to be welcomed by the international insolvency community as a whole.

Any comments, suggestions or recommendations for future programs, articles or projects should be directed to the committee co-chairs. George M. Kelakos may be reached at; Josefina Fernandez McEvoy may be reached at and Ian G. Williams may be reached at

2002 Annual Spring Meeting

Co-chair George M. Kelakos opened the joint program with the Finance and Banking Committee by leading the attendees through a series of Qigong breathing and movement exercises. Thereafter, Finance and Banking Co-chair Mark D. Collins made a few introductory remarks and then passed the gavel back to International Committee Co-chair, Josefina Fernandez McEvoy. Josefina brought the attendees up to date on the Ecuadorian insolvency law project that she is spearheading with financial assistance from the World Bank and reminded the International Committee members present that the Committee is actively soliciting authors and content for both the ABI website and the ABI Journal. Thereafter, Co-Chair George M. Kelakos reported on the status of various ABI technical assistance projects being undertaken in Thailand (Mediation Training, Bankruptcy Court Reform and Bankruptcy Law Reform) and briefly commented on an upcoming educational project that will likely be conducted this Summer in Beijing that is being spearheaded by Co-Chair James H.M. Sprayregen. The general committee business portion of the meeting concluded with a brief mention of an upcoming visit to the U.S. by Central European judges which is being organized by Judge Samuel Bufford; the speakers for the CLE program, Ronald L. Silverman (Bingham Dana LLP, New York ) and Mark F. Liscio (Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells, New York) confirmed that they would be assisting the visiting judges during their visit to NYC.

Following these introductory comments, the attendees were treated to the timely and thought-provoking CLE program led by Ronald L. Silverman and Mark Liscio entitled "Insolvency Risks Involved in Multinational Lending: Should Lenders to Multinational Borrowers Beware?". Using a hypothetical case modeled after a complex cross-border case that the speakers had been involved in, Ron and Mark quickly focused the audience on the hot issues faced by parties in complex cross-border workouts and restructurings. The presentation elicited many comments and questions from the audience, which included conference attendees from Europe, professionals with extensive cross-border experience and ABI members from Europe, Canada and Mexico. The Committee Co-chairs would like to thank Ron and Mark for both their choice of topic and for the spirited discussions that they sparked both during and after their presentation.

On behalf of the Committee membership, the Co-Chairs wish to express their deepest thanks and gratitude to outgoing Co-Chair Jamie Sprayregen for his extensive efforts on behalf of the Committee and to welcome the new Co-Chair of the Committee, Ian Williams of Edwards Geldard Solicitors, Nottingham, U.K.

Any comments, suggestions , or recommendations for future programs , articles or projects should be directed to the Committee co-chairs. George M. Kelakos may be reached at; Josefina Fernandez McEvoy may be reached at and Ian G. Williams may be reached at

2001 Annual Spring Meeting

In keeping with the tradition that was started at the last Winter Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Committee Co-chair George M. Kelakos commenced the meeting by leading the attendees through a series of short breathing and moving exercises. Once the attendees were revitalized, the committee turned to general committee business. Incoming Vice President of International Affairs, Stephen Golick, reminded the audience about the upcoming Third Symposium on American/Canadian Insolvency Law which will be held in Toronto on May 25, 2001. Stephen Taylor, of PricewaterhouseCoopers (London) encouraged the attendees to travel to London for the upcoming INSOL conference. Finally, Bruce Leonard made a pitch for the International Insolvency Institute Conference, which is to be held in New York City in June of this year.

Following a brief discussions concerning general committee business, the committee launched into the first of the two programs that were slated for this meeting. The first program involved a report on the International Insolvency Colloquium from Daniel M. Glosband, Goodwin, Procter LLP (Boston) and Selinda A. Melnik, Smith, Katzenstein & Furlow LLP (Wilmington). Dan and Selinda provided their unique perspectives on the background, proceedings and results of the Insolvency Colloquium held in Vienna, Austria, which was conducted under the Joint Sponsorship of UNCITRAL, INSOL and the IBA. Daniel Glosband also advised the attendees that he had on hand the latest draft of the UNCITRAL's legislative guide and offered to provide a copy of the draft to anyone wishing a copy. Dan may be reached by e-mail at

Committee co-chair James Sprayragen then introduced the visiting delegation from the Peoples Republic of China. As readers may recall, a delegation from the PRC attended the 18th Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. in April 2000. Some of the attendees at this year's conference were part of the original delegation. This year's delegation included: Mr. Cheng Ziu Qi, Senior Counsel, Beijing Foreign Investment Service Center; Ms. Jin Yi Yan, Director, Beijing Tianzhong Law Firm; Mr. Liu Xiao Jun, Judge, Beijing Higher People's Court in Beijing; Ms. Xing Li Xin, Judge, Beijing Higher People's Court in Beijing, China; Mr. Cui Xue Feng, Judge, Beijing First Intermediate People's Court in Beijing; Mr. Wu Bao Sheng, Judge, Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court, Beijing, China; Ms. Liu Xiao Ming, Senior Associate, Beijing Tianzhong Law Firm in Beijing, China and finally, Ms. Katie Pan, Chief Financial Officer, Turbocomm Inc.—who served as liaison for the group and translator. Following Jamie's introduction, Mr. Cheng Ziu with the assistance of Ms. Liu Xiao Ming who translated Mr. Cheng's comments, delivered a report on the current status of bankruptcy reform in China. An English translation of the report will be published in the ABI Journal in the near future.

Any comments, suggestions, or recommendations for future programs, articles or projects should be directed to the Committee Co-Chairs. George M. Kelakos may be reached at, while Jamie Sprayragen may be reached at

2000 Winter Leadership Conference

George Kelakos, Co-Chair of the Committee, opened up the program with a brief breathing exercise based on the ancient Chinese arts of Ch'i Kung and briefly introduced the program speakers.

The first item on the agenda was a presentation from one of Germany's most prominent insolvency practitioners, Dr. Eberhard Braun of Schultze & Braun, (Achern, Germany) and from his U.K. counsel, Ian Williams of Edwards Geldard (Nottingham, UK) on the FlowTex Technologie Gmbh & Co. KG case-one of Western Europe's largest insolvency cases and Germany's largest commercial fraud case. In spite of the short period of time allotted to the topic, Dr. Braun managed to provide the audience with a colorful backdrop and outline of the case, with the assistance of a Power Point presentation.

The main Committee program was on the status of insolvency and restructuring reform and practice in Hong Kong, with a comparative overview of the current practices and procedures in Singapore and China which was presented by three partners of the international law firm of Lovells. The three presenters were Richard Shean, head of Lovells' Southeast Asia practice, who is based in Singapore, Joe Bannister, head of Lovell's Hong Kong practice and Gary S. Lee, of the firm's New York office. The Lovells team began with a discussion of legal developments in Hong Kong followed by a comparative analysis of Singaporean and Chinese law and practice. The Lovells team also focused the audience on the cultural and social issues faced by lawmakers and practitioners in the region in connection with debt restructuring and business reorganization cases in these countries.

George M. Kelakos then provided a brief report on recent and future ABI educational projects and initiatives in Thailand with the Thai Central Bankruptcy Court and the Thai Business Reorganization office and reported on the upcoming program in Beijing in January 2001 in which he, James Sprayregen, Co-Chair of the Committee, Chief Judge Susan Pierson Sonderby and William Brandt, Jr. would be participating as panelists. The meeting concluded with a brief presentation from Josefina Fernandez McEvoy who reported on her recent attendance at a four-day seminar sponsored by the World Bank and the IDB. Josefina noted that the World Bank was interested in obtaining comments to its Global Insolvency Policy Paper and it was concluded that George Kelakos and James Sprayregan would coordinate the Committee members' responses and comments to the World Bank paper. Josefina invited members to contact her if they were interested in obtaining a copy of the World Bank paper. She may be reached at

2000 Annual Spring Meeting

Following brief presentations by the Committee co-chairs, George M. Kelakos and Bruce Leonard, the Committee heard a brief report from Selinda A. Melnick (Smith Katzenstein Furlough LLP, Delaware), the incoming Chair of the International Bar Association's Committee J, as to some of the topics that would be covered in the upcoming IBA meeting in Milan, Italy in June. Thereafter Judge James A. Goodman (District of Maine), Vice President of International Affairs and Chair of the newly-formed International Law Library Committee, reported on the current status of that Committee's efforts to create an on-line library of the insolvency and commercial laws of the world.

The attendees at the Committee meeting were treated to a presentation from a visiting five-member delegation from Beijing. James Sprayregen, (Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago) introduced the delegation and Mr. Cheng Xiu Qi, Vice Director and Committee member of the Beijing Municipal Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission, assisted by Ms. Liu Xiao Ming (Associate, Beijing Tianzhong Law Firm), provided a brief presentation on the status of insolvency laws in China and responded to a number of questions from the attendees. The other members of the visiting delegation from Beijing were Mr. Dong Xuening, Vice Director of Beijing Foreign Investment Service Center, Mr. Wu Wei Hua, from the Beijing Foreign Economic and Trade Commission and Ms. Jin Yi Yan, managing director of the Beijing Tianzhong Law Firm).

Alex Moglia (Alex D. Moglia & Associates, Shaumburg) and Josefina Fernandez McEvoy (Markowitz & Fernandes, Los Angeles) provided a tantalizing summary of some of the issues that would be covered at the afternoon session on doing business in Latin America and discussed recent developments concerning the new Mexican bankruptcy law. For the main presentation, Daniel Glosband (Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, Boston) one of the principal drafters of UNCITRAL and proposed Chapter 15 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code, summarized the proposed model law and provided the attendees with his unique insights on the status of the proposed law and the likelihood of its passage this year.

Committee Co-chair George M. Kelakos provided a brief update on ongoing ABI projects in Thailand which are being funded through the support of KIAsia, a non-profit organization charged with administering joint Thai/U.S. educational projects, including a court administrators training program, which will involve training of Thai court administrators in the U.S. and a trip to Thailand in August by a U.S. delegation led by Frank Szczebak, Chief Administrator of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. The meeting concluded with a brief update by Francis Conrad (PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York) on recent developments relating to the passage of the new Ukrainian bankruptcy law. For further details of ABI's and international initiatives, please refer to upcoming notices that will be published in the ABI Journal.

1999 Winter Leadership Conference

Following introductory comments by committee co-chairs George Kelakos and Bruce Leonard, the International Committee members briefly discussed several topics, such as the formation of ABI's new International Law Library Committee, to be chaired by ABI's Vice President of International Affairs, Hon. James A. Goodman (District of Maine), and the possibility of a reduced fee structure (in certain instances) to encourage foreign jurists, professionals and academics to join ABI. The committee also welcomed new members, including a new international member, Ian Williams of Eking Manning Solicitors, who hails from Nottingham, U.K.

Robin E. Phelan (Haynes & Boone LLP, Dallas) gave a brief presentation on some of the background and issues in Inverworld, a case pending in Texas that presents interesting cross-border protocol issues. Thereafter, Hon. Leif M. Clark (Western District of Texas) provided his comments and insights on the Inverworld issues. John W. Butler (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Chicago) briefly reported on developments in the Singer case, particularly on the order appointing foreign representatives in that case as well as some of the background surrounding the issuance of the order and its favorable reception by the many foreign courts involved in this multi-jurisdictional insolvency proceeding. Mr. Butler also distributed materials at the meeting; additional copies may be obtained by e-mailing him at

Mr. Kelakos moderated the continuing legal education program entitled "Asia for Sale: Update on the Distressed Debt Market in Asia," which focused on recent developments in Japan and Thailand. Christopher F. Graham (Thacher, Proffitt & Wood, New York) provided up-to-date insights on the distressed debt market in Japan based on his extensive experience on the subject with Japanese clients. He also provided written materials to the attendees. Additional materials may be obtained from Mr. Graham by contacting him at M. Freddie Reiss (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Los Angeles) provided his insight on the distressed debt market and the reorganization efforts of distressed companies in Thailand, both out of court and under the new Bankruptcy Act. Given his firm's leading presence in the Thai market in this field, Mr. Reiss was able to provide up-to-date commentary on Thailand's state of affairs. Mr. Kelakos also provided his insights in Thailand based on his recent experiences over the last two years in public and private projects in Thailand. He also reported on the developments concerning the establishment of the independent bankruptcy court in Thailand and their recent experiences with reorganization cases. Supplemental materials were disseminated on Thailand; additional copies of these materials may be obtained from Mr. Kelakos via his e-mail address listed above.

Due to the press of time, the committee was unable to hear presentations on ABI's Dominican Republic Joint Cross-border Program on Commercial Law, Credit and Insolvency from program coordinator Josefina Fernandez McEvoy (Markowitz & Fernandez, Los Angeles) and the Joint ABI and Thai Ministry of Justice Educational Program in Bangkok (chaired by Mr. Kelakos). For information on these programs, please refer to recent and upcoming articles in the ABI Journal.

1999 Annual Spring Meeting

Guest speaker Hon. Knut Roennig of Norway gave a presentation on the bankruptcy law of Norway and took questions. He can be reached at

Trade and Finance Subcommittee Chair E. Bruce Leonard reported on the latest status of the UNCITRAL cross-border insolvency model law that is being considered by Congress and several other countries. It appears that a new chapter substantially reflecting the UNCITRAL proposal will be incorporated into the bills pending before Congress, which are expected to be enacted by the end of this year.

Steve Golick, who earlier in the week co-chaired with Bob Feidler the Second Annual Canadian-American Bankruptcy Conference, reported on that conference, which was held at the Federal Judicial Center. A transcript and related documents of the conference will be available in the fall. Golick reported that (1) there was interest in joint judicial training on cross-border insolvency with U.S. and Canadian judges, (2) that a pamphlet highlighting cross-border issues between the U.S. and Canada similar to the Creditors' Committee Manual may be prepared by conference attendees and distributed later in the year, and (3) that plans for a third annual Can-Am conference are being developed.

Judge Charles Case reported on several educational programs he has delivered in Macedonia and Kyrgyzstan. He indicated they had comprehensive, progressive bankruptcy codes, but that business knowledge and experience with insolvency issues of the bench and bar were still developing. Judge Case did a program in Macedonia in May and, on behalf of ABI, presented the newly formed Macedonian Bankruptcy Institute a check for $500 as a gesture of support for this nascent organization.

Hon. Leif Clark reviewed his experience in the Ukraine, where he has traveled and lectured on several occasions. That country is currently amending its bankruptcy laws, and Judge Clark has played a major role in that effort. He indicated his hope that the committee might undertake to develop some "universal" training materials that might be used by faculties in developing countries.

The Dominican Republic will host a conference in November with several organizations devoted toinsolvency. Josephina Fernandez McEvoy reported on her efforts in coordinating this conference and welcomed ABI participation in developing the program.

Several members reported on developments in other countries, including Indonesia (Ron Silverman), China (Bob Ogle) and France (Paul De Dree). Jerry Shulkin and Youssef A. Sneifer reported on their development of a database of insolvency and secured credit laws from around the world.

1998 Winter Leadership Conference

Vice President-International Affairs Hon. James Goodman (D-Maine) reviewed a program for officials from Thailand who had visited the United States in October to observe and be briefed on insolvency-related issues. They visited several cities and attended the NCBJ conference. The committee praised Tom Salerno (Squire, Sanders & Dempsey; Phoenix) for his role in fundraising for this effort.

E. Bruce Leonard (Cassels, Brock & Blackwell; Toronto) chair of the Subcommittee on Credit and Finance, gave an extensive report on cross-border issues and the status of the UNCITRAL Protocol. He reported that the essence of the protocol had been embraced in a proposed chapter 15 to the Code that had been included in the final Conference Report of the Congress, but died when the underlying bill failed.

The committee hosted a delegation of 10 Macedonian jurists and trustees. A representative of the judges and trustees gave short reports on the Macedonian insolvency law.

The upcoming trip to Israel, sponsored by the committee and led by project director Ron Silverman (Hebb & Gitlin; Hartford, Conn.), was discussed. The Feb. 8-12 trip includes presentations by the leaders of the Israeli bench and bar together with time for recreational activities.

The committee agreed to conduct the Second Canadian/American Insolvency Symposium in conjunction with the ABI Annual Spring Meeting in Washington in April. This program will be limited to leaders from the Canadian insolvency groups and key people from the ABI involved in international issues. They will discuss key issues and determine if a larger conference conducted periodically on Canadian/American issues would be useful.

Members also discussed recent cases with international ramifications and the need for a resource center relating to bankruptcy issues, and several suggestions were made. The committee plans to work closely with other leadership committees to determine if a separate dues structure for foreign members from emerging nations might be appropriate.


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