Sunday, September 11, 2011

John Delaney - Attorney General says: ...proposed changes to The Bahamas' insolvency laws and procedures were "long overdue"...


Tribune Business Reporter

ATTORNEY General John Delaney told Tribune Business yesterday that proposed changes to the Bahamas' insolvency laws and procedures were "long overdue", acknowledging that this nation had fallen "a bit behind" on the issue.

Mr Delaney said the revised legislation was still a work in progress, and the Government was still getting feedback on the draft Insolvency Act.

"That's still a work in progress. Hopefully we finalise it over the next month. It will be clear and more reformed, and hopefully it goes to thes consideration of Cabinet," Mr Delaney told Tribune Business while not wanting to go in-depth on the specifics of the proposed legislation until it becomes finalised.

He added: "It's designed to provide modern provisions. Our insolvency regime is very old. We haven't touched ours for more than 50 years. It's long overdue.

"The proposed changes are meant to bring it current with what you would expect in a modern jurisdiction such as ours, which has companies that are used all over the world for all manner of things. People today expect to have a very modern insolvency regime with the kind of provisions that are more universal. Our laws have fallen a bit behind. Our laws go back many decades. It's still a work in progress. Right now its just being molded in certain regards."

Mr Delaney said the draft has been circulated among accountants, attorneys and the private sector since earlier in the year.

"It has been circulated industry-wide since the first part of this year," the Attorney General added.

"I have specifically asked for the accountants now to weigh in directly, even though they would have they would have gotten it through the industry.

"But because the accountants tend to play such an important role in relation to the administration of companies when they are being wound up, I had specifically asked them to meet with me and make sure that I am left with no doubt that they have considered it line by line.

"All the feedback has been positive. I've already had a meeting with the accountants and I am going to meet with them again next week."

The proposed laws and procedures may have a dramatic impact on insolvency procedures and who can participate in the field. Several insolvency practitioners contacted by Tribune Business decline to comment on the proposed Act as it is still in the drafting stages.

September 08, 2011