The Second Annual NAFER Offshore Conference
The conference kicked off with an exceptional welcoming reception Thursday night. With a magnificent setting and pool side service, it was an experience that seemed almost surreal. Walking through the reception, one would hear multiple conversations ranging from introductions of new peers to the practice of law and insolvency in the BVI and Cayman Islands.
Our conference started off with Greg Hayes introducing NAFER to our new offshore friends. Bob Mosier then gave a brief talk about our annual conference and encouraged the group to attend. Chip Hoebeke then recognized our sponsors and introduced the first panel.
The first panel of the day discussed the role of federal equity receivers in the United States, contrasted receivership with bankruptcy, and talked about how foreign insolvency professionals could gain recognition to serve as or ask for a receiver. The moderator to this panel was the genuine article… Alex Moglia. Panelists included: Greg Hays, Sean Fitzgerald, David Hall and Warren Gluck. This panel provided the foundation from the US perspective for the day. The audience participated numerous times providing thought provoking questions and arguments.
The second session was presented by the honorable Gerard Farara of Collas Crill and Peter Ferrer from Harneys. Both being from the British Virgin Islands, they were the perfect fit to discussed Insolvency in the BVI’s. All matters in this topic were hit, including the powers of liquidators, cross-border insolvency matters and the distribution waterfall. As they talked, and the audience interacted, another solid foundation for the day was laid from the offshore perspective.
The third session, War Stories, was moderated by Robert Mosier and the panelists included Martin Trott of RHSW Caribbean and Malcom Arthurs from Martin Kenney & Co. Session 3 was the perfect session for right after lunch, as these three professionals talked about their war stories and the ins and outs of the BVI courts. Other discussions included joint and cross-border protocols. This session engaged the audience very well and we even had a couple of audience driven war stories.
After the three sessions were finished, the fourth and final session was about to take place. With it being 3 pm on a Friday, the closing cocktail event being set up just the other side of the window and sitting about 30 steps away from the beach, something drastic and innovative was required to finish the day and keep attention strong. Chip Hoebeke of Rehmann and Stephen Leontsinis of Collas Crill had the answer.
The premise was…. It’s Friday at 3pm. After a long week of exhaustive but incredibly successful NAFER related international insolvency business, you are packing up to go home. Just as you are about to leave, the phone rings and a large, complicated, and hopefully lucrative new case involving Cayman Topco Fund Company with incredibly urgent deadlines lands on your desk. You have roughly 20 minutes to determine a course of action. At the end of that 20 minutes, the company defaulted on a bond payment and the game was afoot.
The room was divided into nine groups. Each played a different role in a hypothetical multi-jurisdictional insolvency case. There was a bank, bond holders, Cayman Topco fund, a Brazilian music studio, a Brazilian crypto-mining outfit, a Hong Kong shipping company, a US manufacturing organization and more.
With each PowerPoint slide that went by discussing the case, the attention and focus started to rise. There were 20 minutes of gathering between groups, making deals and strategizing what each group was going to do. Then the room came back together to hear from each group leader and discuss what they would do if they were in this position.
Things escalated quickly as Mark Goodman from Campbells claimed that he would “Burn this thing to the ground,” if he didn’t get his way. Alex Moglia pleaded for funds to save the soul of Brazilian music… and his crumbling music studio, or he was going to file administration papers in Brazil that would interfere with a global resolution. There was even a subpoena served during the middle of Mitch Hall’s group presentation. It was competitive, it was entertaining, and it was educational.
No stones were left unturned by our intrepid group of insolvency professionals. By the end of the session, plans had been proposed, strategies had been rebutted, but most importantly everyone in the case committed to getting all the professionals paid!
To end the day, a farewell reception followed right outside the conference room with another beautiful Cayman sunset in the background. We hope to see everyone in Chicago for more high-level content, great camaraderie, and more spectacular sunsets!
One more special thank you to our sponsors for this superb experience!