Bankruptcy tourism - myth or reality?

Tribe, John (2013) Bankruptcy tourism - myth or reality? In: DWF Solicitors National Personal Insolvency Conference 2013; 28 Feb 2013, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Does bankruptcy tourism exist in personal insolvency? If so, is bankruptcy tourism actually a problematic issue in the English and Welsh courts? This article sets out to examine these questions through an examination of current case law developments in the field of personal insolvency. The investigation also includes an examination of some of the issues that a Trustee in Bankruptcy may face if she is appointed in such a case. It is argued that the English and Welsh court’s reputation as a ‘Bankruptcy Brothel’ is one that should be embraced. Viewing the attractiveness of our bankruptcy system as a positive attribute helps focus attention on the increased professional fees and business that increased use of our system brings (“insolvency madame thesis”). Furthermore, it is argued that what we are seeing is not a bankruptcy tourism phenomenon but rather a small and sophisticated group of miscreant debtors taking advantage of ANY opportunity to protect assets from creditors. Bankruptcy tourism, or forum shopping, is just the latest example in a long line of creditor liability avoidance techniques (“dodgy debtor thesis”).

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