China Seminar | 13 December 2018

Hong Kong v Singapore: The Battle to Become Asia’s Regional Hub for Commercial Dispute Resolution and Restructuring

Charles D. Booth Charles D. Booth

For many years, Hong Kong has viewed itself as the best place in Asia for resolving commercial disputes and restructuring companies. However, the Hong Kong government has been slow to update its outdated legal framework and getting necessary reforms through the Hong Kong Legislative Council is proving increasingly difficult. Meanwhile, the Singapore government is keenly focused on making Singapore the regional hub for commercial dispute resolution and restructuring. In 2015, Singapore launched the Singapore International Commercial Court and appointed a Committee to Strengthen Singapore as an International Centre for Debt Restructuring. Since then, Singapore has enacted a major series of reforms to its insolvency and restructuring framework and has launched a full-fledged publicity campaign promoting such changes. Hong Kong now finds itself in catch-up mode. Prof. Booth will share his views on the subject. Professor Booth is the Michael J. Marks Distinguished Professor in Business Law and the Director of the Institute of Asian-Pacific Business Law at the UH Law School. He taught at the Law School from 1986-89 and in the Faculty of Law at the Univ. of Hong Kong from 1989 to 2005, before returning to the UH Law School in January 2006. He has co-authored A Global View of Business Insolvency Systems (2010), the Hong Kong Corporate Insolvency Manual (4th ed, 2018), and the Hong Kong Personal Insolvency Manual (2nd ed, 2010). He is a recognized expert in Asian comparative and cross-border insolvency and commercial law and has served as a consultant on many projects sponsored by the World Bank, the IMF, and the Asian Development Bank. He is currently engaged in insolvency law reform projects in Laos and Bhutan and in a project organized by the International Insolvency Institute and the Asian Business Law Institute.