Restructuring & Insolvency In Ireland

Author:Ms Julie Murphy-O'Connor, Brendan Colgan and Tony O'Grady
Profession:Matheson
 
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Legal framework

Legislation

What is the primary legislation governing insolvency and restructuring proceedings in your jurisdiction?

Insolvency and restructuring proceedings in Ireland are primarily governed by:

the Companies Act 2014 (as amended); the Bankruptcy Act 1988 (as amended); and the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (as amended). These are supplemented by principles of common law.

The EU Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings (2015/848/EU) also applies in cross-border cases when a debtor has its centre of main interests in an EU member state.

Regulatory climate

On an international spectrum, is your jurisdiction more creditor or debtor friendly?

Ireland is generally regarded as having a creditor-friendly and flexible corporate recovery and insolvency framework. However, the courts are nevertheless cognisant of balancing the need for certainty – in terms of creditors having effective enforcement rights – with the requirement for the rights of debtors to be protected, particularly when dealing with vulnerable debtors.

Sector-specific regimes

Do any special regimes apply to corporate insolvencies in specific sectors (eg, insurance, pension funds)?

Modified insolvency regimes apply in certain sectors. For example, the Insurance (No 2) Act 1983 provides for the appointment of an administrator to non-life insurance insolvent companies at the request of the Central Bank in certain circumstances, with a view to ensuring the survival of the company and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Ireland took a series of exceptional steps to contain the crisis in the banking sector that emerged in 2008. Its strategy included transferring non-performing eligible assets to a government-backed entity called the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and providing capital and liquidity to weakened and distressed banks and building societies. NAMA has extensive powers under the NAMA Act 2009, in line with broader public interest concerns.

The European Communities (Reorganisation and Winding Up of Credit Institutions) Regulations 2011 (SI 48/2011) and the Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 apply to the winding up of credit institutions and banks and aim to provide an effective and expeditious regime for dealing with failing credit institutions.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013 was enacted in February 2013 and provided for the immediate liquidation of Irish Bank Corporation Limited (formerly Anglo Irish Bank...

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