January 2011

After several years of preparatory work conducted by various expert bodies and the competent Swiss authorities, on 8 September 2010 the Federal Council submitted the draft of a revision (“Draft”) to the Swiss Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Act (“DEBA”) together with the dispatch (Botschaft / message, “Dispatch”) to the Swiss parliament. The Draft is subject to approval by parliament before it can enter into force. The revision has been influenced to a considerable extent by the debate following the insolvency proceedings in relation to the SAirGroup after its grounding in October 2002. According to the Dispatch, the revision aims at improving selected areas of current Swiss insolvency law with a focus on restructuring, without revising it in its entirety. Whilst the amendment deals mainly with composition proceedings (Nachlassverfahren / concordat), there are a number of changes contemplated by the Draft that relate to Swiss insolvency and commercial law in general. This article briefly summarises some of the most important changes put forward in the Draft.