Insolvency seminar, Helsinki - Summary

14 May 2010

On Tuesday 16 March 2010 Hannes Snellman organised an insolvency related seminar ”Who pockets the cash? – Challenges in finance and insolvency” (in Finnish ”Kenen taskuun rahat päätyvät? – rahoituksen ja insolvenssin haasteita). The speakers were Markus Bremer, partner, Fredrik Madani, partner, Jan Lilius, senior associate and Panu Siitonen, senior associate. The seminar was held partly in Finnish and partly in English. Below is the short summary on the discussed topics.

Insolvency and Contract between Creditors

The topic of the seminar, Insolvency and Contract between Creditors, was approached from two different viewpoints. Markus Bremer from the Finance Group introduced the listeners to the topic from the viewpoint of contractual commitment and Jan Lilius from the Dispute Resolution Group continued with the topic from the estate administrator’s perspective.

The regulatory framework was presented as an introduction to the topic. Further, the financial market’s need to respond to the planning of financing by the means of structuring and contract law was also discussed. At the core of Bremer’s presentation were the contracts between the debtor company and one or more of the creditors, in specific. Bremer described the mechanics and crucial terms of a typical contract, especially in a situation where the other party is in breach of the contract. Lilius discussed the functional mechanics of contracts in insolvency situations, where the nature of a contract between creditors changes from a guiding document to an instruction or guidance to the distribution of assets. As a conclusion, practical views on the effects of corporate restructuring and bankruptcy to the validity of contracts between creditors were heard.

Out of Court Debt Restructuring – A Swedish Perspective

Fredrik Madani’s topic was Out of Court Debt Restructuring – A Swedish Perspective. During the presentation Madani briefly went through the two last years restructuring market, what kind of restructurings we saw during 2008 and 2009, and contemplated on what will happen during 2010, if a second wave of restructurings will happen. He also discussed the timing of a restructuring process – describing the theoretical time schedule as well as a real life time line.

Immaterial property rights in bankruptcy – is it possible to grasp intangible rights?

The last speech in the seminar was given by Panu Siitonen from Hannes Snellman’s Technology team. The subject of the speech was intangible rights in bankruptcy – how it is possible to grasp them. The basic problems of immaterial property rights in the situation of bankruptcy were run through; how immaterial property rights are allocated, maintained, or liquidated as well as their legal validity. In addition, tips regarding the possession of immaterial property rights and how immaterial property rights can be transferred or licensed were given during the presentation. At the end of the presentation, it was considered in light of practical examples, whether bankruptcy is a good option when immaterial property rights are at stake or whether alternative solutions are more viable.