Coronavirus (COVID-19)—A nucleus for significant reform

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—A nucleus for significant reform

On 1 September 2020, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched an insolvency assessment on formal business reorganisation procedures in partnership with the United Nations Commission On International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Law Development Organisation, INSOL Europe and INSOL International and in co-operation with the European Commission. Catherine Bridge Zoller, senior counsel at EBRD, provides further details of the project and how you can get involved.

What is the EBRD assessment?

The EBRD assessment is conducted by the Legal Transition Team, a small team of lawyers who are part of the Office of the General Counsel and work on legal reform and capacity building projects that support EBRD’s investments.

Assessments are at the centre of the EBRD’s efforts to foster investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environments. They are regularly carried out by the EBRD Legal Transition Team in commercially important legal fields to help highlight areas where a country’s legal or institutional framework needs improvement. While assessments are not transaction specific, they aim to identify the reforms that are needed to support the transactions managed by lawyers within the banking teams of the Office of the General Counsel.

In the current economic environment, the EBRD assessment is of utmost importance. Many businesses around the world have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While some businesses will be able to agree on a restructuring with their creditors, others will require formal legislative tools, including a moratorium on creditor action, to negotiate and agree a restructuring. Many will need further liquidity. There is general agreement that the crisis is particularly hard on small and medium sized enterprises, because of their small operating margins and lack of reserves to withstand the downturn in business activity without government support. The crisis is also especially challenging for emerging economies with limited resources and without a developed legal infrastructure that supports business.

Who can participate in the assessment?

The EBRD assessment will cover all economies where the EBRD invests and will

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About the author:

Anna joined the Restructuring and Insolvency team at Lexis®PSL in August 2013 from Berwin Leighton Paisner where she was a senior associate in the Restructuring Team.

Anna has worked on a number of large scale restructurings primarily in the UK market acting on behalf of lending institutions.

Recent transactions include the restructuring of a UK hotel chain and the administration sale of part of the Connaught group. Anna has also spent time on secondment at The Royal Bank of Scotland and trained at Clifford Chance qualifying in 2007.