First Cayman Restructuring Officers Appointed

Walkers successfully represented Oriente Group Limited (the "Company") in the very first petition in the Cayman Islands seeking the appointment of restructuring officers (the "RO Petition") pursuant to Section 91B of the Companies Act (2022 Revision) (as amended) (such restructuring officer regime having only recently been introduced into the Cayman Islands on 31 August 2022).

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (the "Grand Court") appointed Andrew Morrison, David Griffin (both of FTI Consulting (Cayman) Ltd.) and Kenneth Fung of FTI Consulting (Hong Kong) Limited as restructuring officers of the Company (the "Restructuring Officers") for the purposes of presenting a compromise or arrangement to creditors (or classes thereof) by way of Cayman Islands law, foreign law and/or by way of a consensual restructuring.

Notably, the RO Petition was opposed by two creditors (the "Opposing Creditors") who had presented a winding up petition in respect of the Company to the Grand Court (the "Winding Up Petition"), prior to the presentation of the Company's RO Petition. At the hearing of the RO Petition on 11 November 2022, the Opposing Creditors, amongst other things, asserted that the automatic moratorium did not operate to stay the Winding Up Petition, on the basis that it had been presented prior to the RO Petition. However, it was held by the Honourable Mr Justice Kawaley that Section 91G of the Companies Act operated to stay any and all "… court supervised insolvency or restructuring proceedings against the company…" from being commenced and/or proceeded with from the date of presentation of the RO Petition (regardless as to when such other proceeding had commenced), except with the leave of the Grand Court. This is helpful judicial confirmation that the moratorium on unsecured creditor action automatically arises upon the filing of a petition seeking the appointment of restructuring officers.

Given the novel nature of the RO Petition, being the first restructuring officer proceeding before the Grand Court, Kawaley J indicated that he would provide written reasons for his decision in due course and a more detailed update will follow.

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