UK Supreme Court: Case Preview: Securitisation and the Balance Sheet Test

23 02 2013

BNY Corporate Trustee Services Limited and others (Respondents) v Neuberger Berman Europe Ltd (on behalf of Sealink Funding Ltd) and others (Appellants) UKSC 2011/0086 and BNY Corporate Trustee Services Limited and others (Respondents) v Eurosail-UK 2007-3BL PLC (Appellant) UKSC 2011/0199 shall be heard by the UK Supreme Court on 25 and 26 February 2013. Lord Hope of Craighead DPSC and Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Mance of Frognal, Lord Sumption and Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill JJSC will hear these appeals. This hearing can be viewed online during Court hours here.

Facts

Interest-bearing Notes were issued by a special purpose vehicle, Eurosail-UK 2007-3BL PLC (“the Issuer”), formed to hold income-producing assets, namely mortgage loans. Due to the insolvency of Lehman Brothers (see the earlier case decided by the UK Supreme Court involving Lehman Brothers here), with whom the Issuer had entered into swap agreements, the Issuer suffered a significant deficiency in its net asset position. The terms governing the issue of the notes provided that on specified Events of Default an enforcement notice could be served, the effects of which included altering the respective priorities of the Noteholders for repayment of capital and interest. One such Event of Default involved the issuer being unable to pay its debts within the meaning of section 123(2) – definition of inability to pay debts; “a company is also deemed unable to pay its debts if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the value of the company’s assets is less than the amount of its liabilities, taking into account its contingent and prospective liabilities” – of the Insolvency Act 1986. The trustee of the Noteholders’ rights, BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd, commenced the current proceedings seeking a determination of whether that event of default had occurred. Read the rest of this entry »