Cross-Border Insolvency has become a regular labour of love for South Square barristers – first published in 1998, it’s now on its fourth edition.
It is, as Richard Sheldon QC notes in the preface, a ‘fast-changing area of law’, but in the introductory chapter he still takes time to set insolvency law in its historical context, ‘firmly rooted in history and the development of international trade’ in ways that precede any statutory basis. Courts in England and Wales have been central to that development, and remain hugely significant in an international context.
That context is helpful, as each chapter is written as a standalone piece – both a strength and an unavoidable weakness of the book’s structure. Most chapters tend against cross-referencing one another, but the comprehensive table of cases, statutory instruments and three appendices, are clearly laid out and helpful.
General editor: Richard Sheldon QC
Bloomsbury, 2014 (£195.00)
In a complex area, Cross-Border Insolvency also allows for some dissonance in the views expressed by South Square barristers – Sheldon even draws attention to some, such as the contrast between Tom Smith QC’s ‘liberal’ approach to ‘universalism’ with that of Lloyd Tamlyn.
The key complicating issues of fraud and enforcement of foreign orders are covered in several chapters. The UNCITRAL Model Law gets a chapter to itself (by Richard Fisher and Adam Al-Attar).
Cross-Border Insolvency was worth a fourth edition – since the third edition in 2011, the Supreme Court has delivered judgment in Rubin v Eurofinance SA (2012), and even as this book was being completed at the end of November 2014 the Privy Council delivered two key judgments – Singularis Holdings Ltd v PricewaterhouseCoopers and Stitching Shell v Krys.
Eduardo Reyes is Gazette features editor