General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3023
Course name: Insolvency Law
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: Second
Designated research course: Not applicable
Specialization: Commercial, corporate and financial law
Co-requisite: Business Associations
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 30 [the course does NOT OFFER to exchange students]

1.2 Course description

The course is designed to provide students with a clear and basic understanding of the issues confronting financially distressed companies. To that end, the options available to insolvent companies, the intricacies of corporate restructuring and insolvency, and the various elemental aspects of the reorganisation and insolvency procedures will be explored and examined. Relevant and highly practical issues such as forensic accounting, cross‐border and transnational insolvencies will also be introduced to students who are interested in choosing a professional career as private insolvency practitioners.

To keep students abreast with the latest legal and regulatory developments in the areas of insolvency and cross-border insolvency, the course will have two special focuses this year. The first focus concerns Hong Kong-China cross-border insolvencies, which are theoretically characterised as matters of regional conflicts of law. Hong Kong and China differ in both their legal systems and insolvency laws. On 14 May 2021, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) introduced “The Supreme People’s Court’s Opinion on Taking Forward a Pilot Measure in Relation to the Recognition and Assistance to Insolvency Proceedings in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (hereinafter the “SPC Opinion”), in which three pilot areas—

Shanghai, Xiamen and Shenzhen—were designated for the pilot measure. One of the key purposes of the SPC Opinion is to thoroughly implement Article 95 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, the legal basis for cross-border cooperation between Hong Kong and the Chinese courts.

The second focus is COVID-related insolvency issues. From a health emergency to an economic disaster, the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy is being closely monitored, given that the pandemic is likely to cause another financial crisis. The pandemic has also greatly impacted local small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), with many of them having become insolvent. Since the government’s lending support is by no means nor by design a long-term resolution for SMEs bearing the brunt of dwindling cash flow amid the COVID-19 crisis, new opportunity is emerging to learn about Hong Kong’s insolvency law and practice. In this regard, the course will examine the proposed corporate rescue regime in Hong Kong. Taking a comparative law approach, the course will further delve into COVID-related insolvency issues in comparable jurisdictions such as the US, the UK and Singapore. Doing so will adequately equip students with the knowledge and skills required for careers in these specialised areas (i.e. insolvency and cross-border insolvency), as there are few talents and ample opportunity in the job market. Feedback from students in previous years suggests that successful completion of this course has put them in a strong position to acquire trainee contracts, as this course is deemed highly relevant by their employers and has proven invaluable.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Emily Lee eleelawhku.hk CCT 613 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

Students who successfully complete Cross-border Insolvency Law should have achieved the following learning outcomes:

CLO 1 Be familiar with and be able to apply the basic knowledge and common law principles for

(a) moratorium;
(b) set-offs;
(c) priority claims
(d) pari passu

CLO 2 Be able to apply domestic and international law/rules for identifying and settling issues regarding

(e) transnational and cross-border insolvencies

CLO 3 Be able to understand

(f) the differences between the US and UK models for bankruptcy reorganisation;
the former being debtor in possession (DIP) and the latter, administration replacement

CLO 4 Be able to appreciate the significant use of

(g) forensic accounting in finding out whether the company’s insolvency was caused by fraud

CLO 5 Be able to understand and comment on the key issues set out in the legislative proposal for corporate rescue in Hong Kong

CLO 6 Be able to identify the key issues in China’s Enterprise Bankruptcy Law as well as its (lack of) full implementation

CLO 7 Be familiar with the Official Receiver’s Contracting-out Schemes

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation N/A 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Research paper TBC 80% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/