In total, across the six offshore jurisdictions reviewed, there were 296 compulsory winding up petitions filed during 2017, and 135 winding up orders were made.
Numerous complex restructuring negotiations were also underway during the year with major cross-border restructurings of oil and gas service providers in Cayman, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Bermuda.
Bermuda and Guernsey showed steady levels of activity in line with previous years while numbers fell in Cayman and the Isle of Man. However, Mauritius and the BVI saw a notable increase in filings. This is despite the fact that in September 2017, the BVI was hit by category four and five hurricanes Irma and Maria which caused considerable devastation. The BVI Commercial Court temporarily relocated to St Lucia and impressively got back on its feet quickly in order to support the international financial services business of the BVI.
Rates of Conversion
In 2017, two out of every three company petitions were approved by the courts. Bermuda, BVI and Cayman have all seen a sharp rise, with only about half of all their petitions converting in 2016.
Speed of Conversion
Once a petition has been filed, there is usually a legal requirement to advertise in the local press, followed by one or more court hearings before an order may be forthcoming. During 2017, the lag was eight weeks on average. This was a week longer than the previous year, and perhaps a reflection of the increased levels of activity seen in the courts.