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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


Availability of bankruptcy and insolvency relief in the case of exclusive jurisdiction clauses and disputed debts

2 October 2023

In the judgment of Re Guy Kwok-Hung Lam [2023] HKCFA 9 handed down on 4 May 2023, the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong unanimously upheld the majority decision of the Court of Appeal that in an ordinary case where the underlying dispute over the petition debt is subject to an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of a foreign court, the Hong Kong court should decline bankruptcy or insolvency jurisdiction unless there are strong reasons to the contrary.

This has important implications for parties who wish to invoke the Hong Kong court's bankruptcy or insolvency jurisdiction and parties will need to carefully consider their jurisdiction and dispute resolution clauses and think through the forum(s) for enforcement before entering into their contracts.

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