By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
BAHA MAR’s attorneys yesterday argued that the Supreme Court has common law jurisdiction to assist the company’s Delaware Chapter 11 proceedings and allow for a single insolvency case, describing the bankruptcy protection filing as “the best of a bad range of options”.
Roy Sweeting, partnerin the Glinton, Sweeting and O’Brien law firm, argued before Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder that Baha Mar had looked at all remedies to avoid its collapse and determined that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was the best option.
“They couldn’t sit on their hands and wait on the creditors to act,” said Mr Sweeting in support of Baha Mar’s bid to have the Supreme Court approve orders by a judge in Delaware.
Mr Sweeting argued that the Supreme Court has the common law jurisdiction to recognise and assist in the Chapter 11 proceedings underway in Delaware, asserting that this in no way undermines the Bahamas’ sovereignty.
“There are many good reasons to assist and fewer reasons not to,” said Mr Sweeting. “There is no obstacle in Bahamian law to the recognition of the Delaware proceedings.”
Mr Sweeting argued that the doctrine of universalism allows for one single insolvency proceeding as opposed to multiple proceedings. He added that the Supreme Court should approve the stay arising out of the US bankruptcy filing, which would prevent anyone who may have a claim against Baha Mar from taking action.
Mr Sweeting explained that the reason Baha Mar had filed for bankruptcy in Delaware was because of the availability of Chapter 11 and the advantages it provides.
He argued that such a process in this jurisdiction is geared toward dissolution and distribution of a company and its assists. Mr Sweeting argued that it is unlikely that the 14 Bahamian creditors would get any relief under traditional liquidation in this jurisdiction.