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A Golden Thread on the Red Dot: Modified Universalism and the Law on Cross-border Insolvency in Singapore

Tan Kah Wai

(2023) 35 SAcLJ 364

“Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.” Mark Twain’s words are an apt description of the court’s powers in facilitating cross-border insolvency. However, that “golden thread” of modified universalism has lost its lustre in the UK ever since the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Rubin v Eurofinance SA [2013] 1 AC 236. In Singapore, the thread continues to flourish, and the potential for its development may well be limitless. This article surveys the existing case law in Singapore and considers the common law’s role in the brave new world of cross-border insolvencies.