The BVI Commercial Court has for the first time appointed what are colloquially referred to as "soft touch" provisional liquidators for the purpose of a restructuring in respect of 6 BVI companies ("Companies). The Companies were members of a group of companies ("Group") headquartered in Brazil, which together form one of the world's leading offshore drilling companies for the oil and gas industry. The Group, including the individual Companies, had sought and obtained the protection of a court supervised judicial reorganisation from the Brazilian Courts ("the RJ"), and had obtained Chapter 15 recognition of the RJ in the US.

The Companies themselves were the applicants, and the Court was satisfied both that it had jurisdiction to make an appointment and a wide discretion under s.170 of the BVI Insolvency Act 2003. It was satisfied that there was a real prospect of a successful restructuring, that a majority of creditors were supportive of the application, and that the outcome as a going concern was significantly better than the prospects in a liquidation.

In the circumstances, the BVI Court appointed the Provisional Liquidators on terms which limited their powers to those necessary to preserve and protect the Companies' assets and to preserve the value of their businesses and to participate in the restructuring without displacing management.

Walkers (Rosalind Nicholson (Partner) and Rhonda Brown (Associate)) appeared for the largest unsecured creditor of the Group.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.