The Year In Review

ABLI made great strides in 2019. In the beginning of the year, we published the Questionnaire that forms the basis of ABLI's Restructuring Project jointly undertaken with the International Insolvency Institute. The Questionnaire has over 200 questions, dealing with issues ranging from the role of insolvency office-holders, ranking and priority to stay/moratoria and the management of cross-border insolvencies and restructurings. Our publication work ends the year with a bang with the publication of the Chinese translation of the Data Privacy Compendium - Regulation of Cross-border Transfers of Personal Data in Asia, which we hope will further expand the reach of ABLI's work in the world's most populous nation.

As to events, we held joint committee meetings in April for the Restructuring Project on the sidelines of INSOL Singapore. The following month, we organized workshops on cross-border data transfers jointly with Singapore's Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) as part of the Privacy Awareness Week. The highlight of the year's event calendar is undoubtedly the "Big Deal" panel discussion we organized in August in support of the signing of the Singapore Mediation Convention. The panel discussion was aired on regional TV and a clip is available to view at here.

Foreign Judgments Project

With the publication of our first text Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia, the Foreign Judgments Project has garnered more attention and interest. It has been discussed by industry associations, made its TV debut in August, and been relied upon by counsel in submission to the High Court of Singapore in Merck KGaA and another v Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp and others [2019] SGHC 231. The Project Lead, Dr Adeline Chong, presented the findings of the first phase of the project at a seminar organized by the Law Society of Singapore in April. We are also extremely heartened to learn that the Supreme People's Court of China has expressed the desire to leverage the project to promote the signing of memoranda of understanding to coordinate a system for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, a system which is "urgently" required in the region.

Restructuring Project

The Restructuring Project has achieved several milestones this year. The Questionnaire, which guides the drafting of jurisdictional reports, was launched in February, and the manuscripts of all 16 jurisdictional reports, which will comprise the first phase of this project, were finalized and submitted for editorial work in October. In April, we held joint committee meetings on the sidelines of INSOL Singapore which were attended by more than a dozen committee members and jurisdictional reporters. We are also grateful for the support from the industry and members of the judiciary in Australia and Singapore for this project. We look forward to the publication of the phase-1 compendium in the first half of next year. 

Data Privacy Project

In the complex and constantly moving area of data protection and privacy laws, convergence will not happen overnight and requires active engagement simultaneously at different levels. To this end, ABLI's own Dr Clarisse Girot has been actively carrying the message of convergence in this area, both in the region and beyond, in accordance with the aims of the Data Privacy Project. ABLI has thus actively contributed to regional discussions on data protection and privacy regulatory developments in Singapore, ASEAN and the wider Asia region. Our workshops jointly organized with PDPC in May in Singapore were attended by governments, regulators, law practitioners and industry representatives from 15 jurisdictions. Dr Girot has also been feeding into the reflections of jurisdictions working on their data protection laws, building dialogue with all stakeholders, including those from non-Asian jurisdictions whose work may have an impact in the region. She has promoted greater awareness at key annual global events on the existence and substance of the evolving discussions on data protection, privacy and data flows in Asia. We are also delighted to see the Chinese translation of the Data Privacy Compendium published in December, providing an informative read for the Mandarin-speaking world as China has officially embarked on the journey of adopting a data protection law. We cannot thank the Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners of the region enough for their support and trust, and are very grateful for the many informal discussions with all stakeholders that have fed into our work, and reciprocally.

Thank you

At ABLI, we sincerely thank all the people, of which there are too many, who generously volunteered their expertise, time and effort to assist us in making the above achievements possible. We could not have done it without each and every one of you.

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