International Aspects of U.S. Bankruptcy Cases: Is a U.S. Bankruptcy Court the Proverbial Roaring Deaf Lion in the International Forest?
This panel explores the breadth and limitations of U.S. Bankruptcy Code and U.S. bankruptcy court reach in the international community. There is no discussion of chapter 15; rather, the panel covers such issues as whether it is possible for a debtor to create jurisdiction in the U.S., and if so, whether it can and should maintain that jurisdiction. The panel uses recent cases in the maritime industry, such as Excel Maritime, General Maritime and TMT Procurement, as well as in the hospitality industry, such as Baha Marand Scrub Island, to explore the reach of U.S. jurisdiction and the practical limitations imposed on a debtor and a court when a subset of the creditors do not care, and have little reason to be concerned about, what the Bankruptcy Code or a U.S. bankruptcy court order says. The panel also considers the practical limitations imposed by cross-border issues in cases where there is undeniably U.S. jurisdiction, including what “critical foreign vendor” relief might be available even in U.S. courts that reject the critical-vendor doctrine, whether it is possible for a chapter 7 trustee to realize value from offshore assets, and whether the automatic stay, avoidance powers and free-and-clear orders have any practical impact in the international arena.