[Interview] Another look at the Insolvency Law 2020 of Myanmar

About one month ago, ABLI published a conversation with Mr Mark Livingston who is based in Yangon where he manages his own firm, Livingstons Legal. Mark shared with us that the practical implementation of Myanmar’s new insolvency regime, of which the Insolvency Law 2020, is the pillar, seems to be still pending.

That update garnered much interest and discussion. We think it is timely to have another look at the issue and have therefore contacted Mark to learn more.

As discussed in the earlier update, one of the most prominent features of the Insolvency Law 2020 is the introduction of rescue processes to address the gap in the previous regime under the Companies Law. “However, the lack of familiarity with formal insolvency processes among regulators and practitioners alike creates challenges for the rapid practical roll-out of the new law”, commented Mark. His team obtained information that “in recognition of these challenges, the Myanmar Accountancy Council (MAC) – which will be one of the key stakeholders in the licensing and oversight of insolvency practitioners under the new law – and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which sponsored the preparation of the law, are now cooperating to deliver a series of insolvency law training programs to relevant government departments and professional bodies.”

Further steps in putting the Insolvency Law 2020 into actual operation – in particular the establishment of a licensing regime for insolvency practitioners (which we also mentioned in the last update) – are “currently on hold while these training programs are being introduced”. Although his team does not have any guidance at this stage on the expected timeframes for the completion of such training programs, Mark believes this support for capacity development prior to full implementation of new insolvency processes is a valuable initiative. As aptly put by Mark, “Writing new laws is of limited benefit if those laws cannot be effectively implemented. Unfortunately, the provision of adequate support for practical implementation is sometimes overlooked in regulatory reform processes. While we know there is considerable interest in the commencement of processes under the Insolvency Law, we are very pleased to see that the MAC and the ADB are taking timely steps to promote effective and workable implementation of the law prior to its full practical introduction.”

ABLI continues to watch the development of the insolvency scene in Myanmar, and welcomes inputs from all sectors.

To learn about the Myanmar Insolvency Law 2020 in detail, read the Myanmar chapter in Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency in Asia 2020 published by ABLI and the International Insolvency Institute.

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