find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Singapore setting an example for Aus

Singapore setting an example for Aus

Australia should follow in Singapore’s footsteps and push ahead with restructuring and insolvency law reforms, according to Herbert Smith Freehills experts.

The Singaporean government is moving ahead with changes to its restructuring and insolvency laws and has unveiled draft legislation that includes adopting a number of concepts from the United States’ Chapter 11 process.

Two Herbert Smith Freehills’ restructuring, turnaround and insolvency experts have said that Australia needs to do the same so that greater flexibility can be provided and viable businesses can be rescued.

“Singapore has introduced a forward-thinking collection of reforms to strengthen its restructuring laws. This is part of Singapore’s strategy to become a regional debt restructuring hub and the ‘go-to’ venue for complex cross-border restructurings,” Herbert Smith Freehills partner Paul Apáthy said.

“In contrast, Australia’s restructuring laws have not been substantially updated for more than 20 years. With a focus largely on the administration procedure, Australia’s restructuring laws frequently operate like an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ and all too often lack effective measures to save companies.”

Herbert Smith Freehills senior associate Emmanuel Chua said Singapore’s reforms include provisions to make schemes of arrangement a much more powerful debt restructuring and corporate rescue tool.

“The changes are timely because the current economic climate in Asia means that defaults are expected to rise over the coming year, particularly in the oil and gas and related service sectors,” Mr Chua said.

“The implications of these proposed amendments will be significant, and have the potential to fundamentally reshape restructuring and insolvency practice in Singapore. For example, the proposed amendments may encourage a market for American-style ‘debtor-in-possession’ rescue finance in Singapore restructurings.”

Mr Apáthy said that there has been a much more international approach to restructurings over the last decade, with companies choosing jurisdictions with laws and procedures that best promote a successful restructuring outcome.

“England and New York are the two most popular locations for restructurings, but these law reform proposals demonstrate Singapore is keen to compete for restructuring work in the regional Asia-Pacific market by offering an attractive set of procedures unavailable elsewhere,” Mr Apáthy said.

“The reforms will make it significantly easier for non-Singaporean companies, including, in the right circumstances, Australian companies, to utilise these new and improved Singaporean procedures to restructure, and achieve better outcomes than may be possible under existing Australian law,” he said.

Earlier this year Herbert Smith Freehills made a submission to the Australian government’s Improving Bankruptcy and Insolvency Laws proposals paper, welcoming moves to introduce legislation to reform Australia’s strict insolvent trading regime. The federal government is still considering submissions.

“Whilst the federal government’s proposed insolvency reforms were a welcome development, it is important that the scope of the reform agenda is now broadened to cover the creditor scheme of arrangement regime,” Herbert Smith Freehills partner Andrew Rich said.

“The Australian creditor scheme regime was introduced in the late 1800s and has not been materially amended since. This has inevitably resulted in it failing to meet the needs of modern-day corporate restructurings in a number of important respects.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Singapore setting an example for Aus
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...