What is the outcome of the continued General Review Hearing before the Princely Court of Justice on 30 September 2020?
The second court hearing (continuation of the General Review Hearing of 12 December 2018) in the bankruptcy proceedings of Gable Insurance AG in liquidation (Gable) took place before the Princely Court of Justice (Landgericht) in Vaduz on 30 September 2020. The liquidator was able to declare to the Court the correctness and order of precedence of a total of 11,588 registered claims (damage and premium refund claims). Together, these claims amount to CHF 120.6 million, of which CHF 86.2 million apply to (privileged) insurance claims and CHF 34.4 million apply to (non-privileged) bankruptcy claims.
The liquidator was able to fully acknowledge 10,319 claims totalling CHF 51.5 million, but had to fully or partially contest 1,269 claims totalling CHF 69.1 million. Of the acknowledged claim amount, CHF 24.5 million apply to (privileged) insurance claims and CHF 27.0 million apply to (non-privileged) bankruptcy claims (class 4).
The Princely Court of Justice has recorded the outcome of the review hearing in the register of claims. The creditors can obtain the register of claims from the liquidator.
The liquidator was able to report to the Princely Court of Justice and the representatives of creditors present with regard to the assets, that at present, there are liquid funds and assets to the value of around CHF 89.5 million. The liquidator expects regular and, in part, larger receipts from reinsured damage claims. These reinsurance benefits constitute the most valuable asset value which has not yet been realised.
For reasons of completeness, the liquidator refers to newsletter no. 6 which provided information regarding the outcome of the General Review Hearing of 12 December 2018. This outcome is not included in the figures mentioned above. At that time, 165 (non-privileged) bankruptcy claims totalling CHF 24.2 million were dealt with, of which claims totalling CHF 13.3 million were acknowledged and claims totalling CHF 10.9 million were contested.
The liquidator has not yet been able to examine or completely examine the remaining 1,598 registered claims. The creditors of these claims are asserting CHF 256.4 million.
In total, up until now, 13,351 claims totalling CHF 401.2 million have been registered in the bankruptcy proceedings. It is worth mentioning that these include individual claims from guarantee schemes which in turn comprise hundreds or thousands of individual claims.
What happens next in the bankruptcy proceedings?
The General Review Hearing has again been extended indefinitely for the time being.
In the meantime, the liquidator is continuing the review process with regard to the approximately 1,600 claims which have not yet been examined or completely examined. The examination of one part of these claims could not be completed before now, because a new request for an advisory opinion is pending at the EFTA Court under case number E-5/20 (information can be found at www.eftacourt.int). The request for an advisory opinion is based on legal action of two French creditors against the Liechtenstein supervision authority (FMA). As part of these national proceedings, the Princely Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof) directed questions to the EFTA Court with regard to the interpretation of European Directive 2009/138/EC. The liquidator is involved in neither the national main proceedings nor in the preliminary ruling proceedings before the EFTA Court. However, the outcome of the proceedings could possibly have an effect on the correct classification of registered claims, after the fundamental question was raised, whether the claims from aggrieved third parties constitute (privileged) insurance claims or (non-privileged) bankruptcy claims. The ruling of the EFTA Court is expected in 2021.
Apart from this, approximately 4,000 registered damage cases are still being processed. We can therefore expect a larger number of additional claims to be registered.
How will creditors be informed of the outcome of the General Review Hearing of 30 September 2020?
The Princely Court of Justice shall notify in writing those creditors whose claims were partially or fully contested on 30 September 2020. They may bring legal action against the estate of Gable within 14 days of receipt if they do not agree with the contest. If they do not bring legal action on time, they shall be excluded as a creditor from the bankruptcy proceedings completely or, for a partial contest, with regard to the proportion of the claim disputed.
Creditors whose claims were acknowledged on 30 September 2020 shall not be notified. However, all creditors have the option of accessing the liquidator’s reports and the register of claims by inspecting the files at the Princely Court of Justice, or of contacting the liquidator directly.
The liquidator will submit the next detailed report for the attention of the Princely Court of Justice at the beginning of 2021. A summary of this report will be published on the website.
What bankruptcy dividend can the creditors expect and when will this be paid out?
The amount of the dividend (bankruptcy rate) cannot be estimated at the present time. Of the total registered claims in the amount of CHF 401.2 million, claims totalling CHF 256.4 million have not yet been examined or completely examined. Both the decision about acknowledging or contesting these claims and the classification as (privileged) insurance claims or (non-privileged) bankruptcy claims have a significant influence on the ratio of available assets and acknowledged liabilities.
The creditors cannot expect a (partial) pay-out until further notice. This is only conceivable once the General Review Hearing is complete.