The number of insolvency petition filings fell in the majority of offshore jurisdictions in 2015 when compared to the previous year, while a rise in Cayman Islands filings led to an overall increase of 4% for the offshore markets, according to Appleby.
These were among the findings of our Snapshot: 2015 Offshore Company Petition Filings & Court Orders report, which examines petition filings and the resulting court orders in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Mauritius. Total filings fell in all of the jurisdictions surveyed in 2015, with the exception of Cayman, where there was a 22% increase, and Mauritius, which saw a 5% increase.
When looking at the offshore jurisdictions as a whole, the broadly flat figures recorded for 2015 reflect a continuing levelling off in the number of filings since the high point of 2013. Prior to that year, the highest point of filings recorded was in the years immediately following the 2008 global financial crisis, the report found.
“In the wider context, to some degree the figures reflect positive changes in global macroeconomic conditions over the course of 2015,” said Tony Heaver-Wren, Dispute Resolution Partner in Appleby’s Cayman office. “However, as the insolvency petition filing statistics in the Cayman Islands, and early indications of 2016 filings suggest, this overall trend of dwindling petition fillings is not anticipated to continue.
“This last year saw some of the first casualties in the energy sectors, which is likely to continue into 2016 and beyond, as well as significantly more winding up petitions in respect of Chinese enterprises,” Heaver-Wren added. “In Cayman, there was a 92% increase in the number of petitions to convert a voluntary liquidation into a Court supervised liquidation, reflecting the market’s take-up of the time and cost efficient alternative for initiating a liquidation within the auspices of the Cayman Court.”
In total, there were 247 petitions filed across four categories of petitions measured in the report: winding up petitions, conversion of voluntary liquidation to court supervised liquidation, schemes of arrangement and capital reduction. As a result of those petitions, 131 court orders were made.
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