Florida Bankruptcy Court Adopts JIN Guidelines

By Dominic Lawson

The Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida has ordered the adoption of the Judicial Insolvency Network’s (JIN) Guidelines on court-to-court communication and cooperation – making Florida the third US state to sign up to them.

Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff made the administrative order on 1 February. Effective immediately, the order adopts 14 guidelines on communication and cooperation between courts in cross-border insolvency matters drafted by the JIN, a group of international judges who met for the first time in Singapore in October 2016.

The guidelines are designed to improve coordination and cooperation between courts presiding over international insolvency cases in a bid to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Gregory Grossman, a founding shareholder at Miami-based firm Sequor Law, which has filed more than two dozen Chapter 15 cases, tells GRR that the Southern District of Florida has the third most Chapter 15 filings in the United States, which “makes sense given Miami’s status as a gateway to Latin America and its significant ties to the Caribbean.”

“These guidelines should foster the continued cooperation between US Bankruptcy Courts and the insolvency courts of the rest of the world by adding a framework for even more direct communications,” Grossman says, adding that his firm welcomes their adoption.

The guidelines allow courts to communicate directly with each other and to give notice of proceedings to parties in other jurisdictions. They also state that courts should encourage cooperation between administrators of parallel proceedings on all aspects of a case.

The JIN Guidelines received the “most important overall development” award at the GRR Charity Awards in June.

On 1 February 2017, Singapore and the District of Delaware became the first jurisdictions to adopt the JIN guidelines. The Southern District of New York adopted the guidelines on 17 February and was followed by Bermuda in March. England and Wales adopted the guidelines in May, as did the BVI. New South Wales followed suit in September.

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