Bermuda, Isle of Man and Guernsey all showed levels of activity in 2018 in line with previous years. Cayman petition filings in 2018 rose 50% relative to the previous year. After an uptick in activity in 2017, Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) filings returned to previous levels in 2018. Petitions against Asian companies incorporated offshore have declined somewhat, although there are still a number of high-profile individual cases making their way through the offshore courts.
The early signs are that 2019 is going to continue this easing of offshore petition filings, despite widespread anticipation of a global slowdown during the period. Given 2019 filings to date, barring a late surge, 2019 filings are unlikely to overtake 2018 totals come year end. However, spikes in numbers are possible as the complex organisation of some corporate structures can mean that a cascade of insolvencies can result from a single troubled group. In Guernsey for example, the court recently issued orders against a group of nine funds and sub-funds belonging to beleaguered investment firm Belvedere Management Group.
No one sector stands out, unlike previous years in which oil and gas service providers or Chinese enterprises structured offshore were heavily represented in insolvency and restructuring petition filings.
Click here to read more of the findings in the latest Appleby Snapshot Petitions Report.