International Bankruptcy

This seminar is a unique multi-school class taught by weekly live lecture from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia and simultaneously telecast to several other participating institutions nationwide, including Chicago-Kent. The seminar is offered under the auspices of the American College of Bankruptcy. The lectures are given by leading bankruptcy judges, practitioners and academics, and satellite classrooms will be equipped with live question-and-answer capability. Professor Walters will host the Chicago-Kent classroom, meaning he will contribute to the curriculum and be responsible for supervising and evaluating your seminar papers. He will be joined by the Honorable Judge Timothy A. Barnes of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Because of the need to synchronize with other participating law schools, the class will meet on Tuesdays from 5.30-7.30pm CT, commencing on the first Tuesday of Spring semester. There are no prerequisites for the class, and while familiarity with basic U.S. bankruptcy law is useful, there will be an opportunity to study or review U.S. business bankruptcy law at an introductory level. The seminar offers an introduction to some of the jurisdictional problems that arise when international corporations become insolvent. International corporations typically have assets and subsidiaries in multiple jurisdictions. When financial distress occurs, a troubled corporation and its subsidiaries may therefore file for bankruptcy in several different jurisdictions with significantly different bankruptcy procedures. It is therefore essential that modern bankruptcy lawyers have at least a basic understanding of the distinctive features of foreign bankruptcy regimes. Additionally, even if a corporation and its subsidiaries file for bankruptcy in a single jurisdiction, the courts in that jurisdiction will often need the assistance of courts in foreign jurisdictions in order to protect the corporation's assets and consummate a successful reorganization or liquidation. It is therefore important for modern bankruptcy lawyers to understand the scope for international cooperation between courts and practitioners and the international legal instruments that seek to foster such cooperation. The first half of this class identifies the basic contours of the world's major bankruptcy regimes, including the laws of the United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Canada, and of various Latin American and Western European countries. During the second half, we study the major legal frameworks for international assistance and cooperation in cross-border bankruptcies (Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the European Union’s Insolvency Regulation). We also discuss the opportunities for foreign nationals to use U.S. Bankruptcy Law (particularly Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code) to pursue a reorganization in the United States. Instructors: Each class will be taught by one or more visiting instructors. Technical Aspects: The course will originate at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and be telecast to the other participating schools. Students at the other schools will be able to see and hear the instructor and ask questions in real time. Students are evaluated and graded by professors at their home institutions. At Chicago-Kent, students will work on a substantial seminar paper and one or more short (2–3 page) analysis papers. 


(added 11/11; revised 11/12, 11/13, 12/15, 11/18)

Course Information
Course #: LAW 913
Program: JD
Course Type: JD Seminar
Area of Study: Business and Corporate Law, International and Comparative Law
Credit Hours: Two credit hours.