Deals & Cases

Recognition of a foreign/Austrian bankruptcy decree (mini-bankruptcy)

17 October 2011 – Walder Wyss disputes team member, Michael Cartier, successfully obtained the recognition of an Austrian bankruptcy decree in Switzerland.

Pursuant to Art. 166 et seq. Swiss Private International Law Statute, the effects of a foreign bankruptcy decree can only be extended to Switzerland by means of a so-called "mini-bankruptcy" proceedings by which the foreign bankruptcy decree is recognized by a Swiss court and a Swiss liquidator is appointed. One prerequisite for the recognition of a foreign bankruptcy decree is reciprocity, i.e. the foreign country where the bankruptcy decree was issued, must for its part also recognize Swiss bankruptcy decrees. Austria previously required the existence of a bilateral treaty to recognize foreign bankruptcy proceedings – which did not exist with Switzerland – thus no reciprocity existed. However, a new Austrian bankruptcy law, which entered into force in 2010, waived this requirement thus allowing the Swiss courts to now recognize Austrian bankruptcy decrees.