Getting a GRIP on cross-border expertise

Networking is an essential aspect of most professions, helping to develop relationships and connections that provide opportunities for not only career advancement but also advice from peers with different specialist areas. And when advice is being sought in other countries and jurisdictions, belonging to a professional network becomes even more important.

Bradd Morelli, National Managing Partner, Jirsch Sutherland
Bradd Morelli, National Managing Partner, Jirsch Sutherland

GRIP (Global Restructuring and Insolvency Professionals) is a cross-border marketing and referral network for independent insolvency firms that are based around the world including in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Canada, and Central and South America. To date, the network provides access to insolvency practitioners in 24 countries who can help support members with their knowledge of local regulatory, legal and practical issues.

Jirsch Sutherland has been named Chair of GRIP in the Asia-Pacific region, and National Managing Partner Bradd Morelli says in the role, Jirsch Sutherland will be focusing on leading the establishment of the Asia-Pacific arm of the network.

“We connected with the GRIP network in 2020 and as a proudly independent insolvency organisation, we’re honoured to be Chair of such a fantastic resource,” he says. “GRIP means local insolvency practitioners are able to provide their clients with access to even greater capabilities and resources to handle cross-border matters. We know how important it is to draw on local expertise as our team has worked on a huge range of matters around the world. And with the ramifications of the pandemic becoming more apparent, it’s likely there will be a greater demand for international expertise and experience in the insolvency and restructuring sectors.”

Mutual support means mutual benefits

GRIP can provide resources or expertise for insolvency firms where a matter or opportunity occurs outside their jurisdiction. In turn, those firms can provide the same support when other member organisations need help in their jurisdictions.

According to trade credit insurance specialist Euler Hermes, a delayed wave of insolvencies is expected to significantly increase to 25 per cent year-on-year in 2021 and 13 per cent in 2022. Euler Hermes produces the Global Insolvency Index, which found North America will be most affected by the increase in insolvencies – citing they will be up by 57 per cent by the end of 2022 compared to 2019, while Western Europe insolvencies will be 23 per cent higher over the same time period and Asia will be 18 per cent higher.

“With GRIP, cross-border referrals are possible with overseas associates, even in a world impacted by COVID-19,” Morelli says.

Key GRIP member benefits include:

  • Additional business referred by fellow members
  • Being able to market your firm as offering global/regional connections
  • Receiving assistance from other members to assist your clients
  • Convenient and safer networking
  • Strong personal relationships with member firms

Asia-Pacific firms invited to join

Morelli says being part of the GRIP network enables firms to quickly and easily tap into multi-sector expertise. “Clients can benefit from members who have particular expertise and prior experience in complex and uncommon issues,” he says. “The size, positioning and experience of the GRIP network means it is able to handle multi-jurisdictional matters of every size across every industry around the world.”

Jirsch Sutherland will draw on its own international experience in its role as Chair. Some of the projects it’s worked on include arranging for the auction of diamonds in Antwerp; selling a camera lens technology business to a Singaporean venture capital firm; managing the liquidation of an international grain trading business with operations in India, Pakistan, Myanmar and China; working with the Bank of China on various matters; and working with a US-based tour operator/promoter to wind up the Elvis & Priscilla Presley Tours in Australia.

Morelli adds that as part of Jirsch Sutherland’s role as Chair, it will be inviting Asia-Pacific insolvency firms to join based on their professional and personal qualities. “This includes having a positive, professional reputation and a desire to connect with firms internationally,” he says. “GRIP welcomes passionate, well-connected independent owners who are not part of an international group, are culturally aligned to values of other members and have proficiency in the English language.”

Jirsch Sutherland’s growing Asia presence

Melissa Lau, Jirsch Sutherland Partner
Melissa Lau, Jirsch Sutherland Partner

Jirsch Sutherland also expanded its global network with the launch last year of its specialist Asia Desk, which provides insolvency services to Asia-Australian business owners, directors and their advisers.

“In addition to comprehensive knowledge of Asian business practices, culture and markets and Australian business regulations and requirements, each team member has fluency in Asian languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa, Sinhalese and Hindi,” says Jirsch Sutherland Partner Melissa Lau, who leads the Asia Desk. “We work with owners and directors of Australian Asian businesses, and their advisers, to help the businesses grow, change and prosper – whether it’s leveraging new opportunities, restructuring to improve performance, or winding up with the best possible outcome and to give them a strong start for the next venture.

“With our Asia Desk as well as our membership of GRIP, we can offer our clients support no matter where their matter or opportunity is based.”

WA Insolvency Solutions