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Singapore – Banking: Cheo Sharon Andriesz v Official Assignee Of The Estate Of Andriesz Paul Matthew, A Bankrupt [2013] 2 SLR 297

12 March, 2014

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Dispute Resolution

 

Court of Appeal holds that avoidance rules in bankruptcy context apply even where the transfer of property is made pursuant to a court order.

 
During bankruptcy proceedings, much like in corporate insolvency, there is always the concern that the debtor will dispose of or transfer away his property so as to keep it out of reach of his creditors. For this reason, transfers of property made by the bankrupt after the bankruptcy application is filed are by default void in law. In this case, the Court of Appeal had to determine whether this principle holds true even where the transfer of property was made pursuant to an order of court.

 
The bankrupt in this case had transferred his interest in his matrimonial home and a property in Malaysia to his ex-wife pursuant to an interim consent judgment in a divorce. However, the disposition was made during the relevant period of bankruptcy proceedings – i.e. after the date of the bankruptcy application and before the date of the bankruptcy order made against him – and was thus found to be void in the High Court.

 
The Court of Appeal affirmed the High Court’s decision. The fact that the disposition came about as a result of a court order did not remove it from the scope of the principle regarding transfers of property during bankruptcy proceedings.

 
This decision clarifies the validity of dispositions during bankruptcy proceedings, and also highlights the importance of conducting bankruptcy searches before litigation proceedings.

 

Rajah & Tann

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Francis Xavier SC, Partner, Rajah & Tann
francis.xavier@rajahtann.com


Lai Yew Fei, Partner, Rajah & Tann

yew.fei.lai@rajahtann.com

 

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