The Year In Review 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, ABLI takes stock of some of its highlights in the second pandemic year that has been full of twists and turns.

Cooperation and outreach have emerged as the theme for ABLI this year. In June, we partnered the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference of Private International Law (HCCH) in a joint webinar to commemorate the golden jubilee of the HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention. Two months later, we announced collaboration with the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), the leading privacy think-tank in the United States, to drive understanding of data privacy protection and practices in Asia. Throughout the year, we have also reached out to many regional and international bodies, including UNCITRAL and the World Bank, to join consultation of policy recommendations we are drafting under our joint project with the International Insolvency Institute (III).

ABLI is also grateful to have been approached by an increasing number of organisations overseas to explore opportunities to work with us on regional and global issues or to be given platforms to present our work to high-level stakeholders. We look forward to many more such conversations in the new year.

Foreign Judgments Project

In March, we took delivery of the print copies of the Asian Principles for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, the first set of principles ABLI has issued, following feedback from many readers that they still prefer to hold a physical copy in their hands. Three months later, we co-hosted a webinar on the HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention and remote taking of evidence by video-link with the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH, drawing attendees from 30 different jurisdictions, including representatives of Central Authorities, HCCH Members, private practitioners, international public service officers and business professionals. Throughout the year, we published 17 updates on LinkedIn that are related to developments in the field of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, achieving over 25,000 impressions and 10%+ engagement rate. Our posts on judgments out of ASEAN jurisdictions have been particularly well received.

Restructuring Project

Our Restructuring Project with the III entered a new chapter, i.e., phase 2, in 2021, where we are working to produce the Asian Principles of Business Restructuring. While drafting is still under way, we have already approached a number of regional and international organisations who have since accepted our invitation to participate in consultation. Many have already provided valuable comments and feedback which we are carefully studying. Work relating to consultation will gain further momentum in 2022 as we look forward to the release of guides that will collectively form the Asian Principles of Business Restructuring.

In line with our mission of providing practical guidance, we held four webinars on insolvency and restructuring in 2021, covering hot topics such as the insolvency of small and micro businesses and pre-package restructuring as well as jurisdictions such as China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States and many others. We are particularly thrilled that our webinars had managed to appeal to attendees worldwide and those who are not lawyers.

We are also most delighted that Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency in Asia, published in April 2020, has received overwhelming responses. It is currently being translated into Simplified Chinese for distribution in Mainland China. In May, the book was also cited as two of the notable sources in an APEC consultation paper.

Data Privacy Project

ABLI’s Data Privacy Project got off to a flying start in 2021, with our Comparative Review Transferring Personal Data in Asia: A Path to Legal Certainty and Regional Convergence selected one of the six winners of the 11th Privacy Papers for Policymakers award by FPF, being papers that the FPF “recommends to policymakers as the ‘must-read’ privacy scholarship of the year”. This is the first time that a paper exclusively focused on Asian laws has been selected among dozens of applications.

In August, we inked a collaboration agreement with FPF to build on the substantial work already done by the two think tanks in this area. In the first project under this collaboration, we will jointly release a publication that discusses requirements for “consent” in Asia-Pacific data privacy in early 2022.

To close off a strong year, in November, ABLI was invited to a private exchange with a number of parliamentarians where we presented the Project and explained its increasing relevance for today’s digital world and data economy.

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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