Loeb & Loeb is pleased to announce that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled in favor of its client, Kent Aviation, in connection with a Chapter 15 bankruptcy case brought by Andrew Paul Shimmin in his capacity as liquidator and foreign representative of Comfort Jet Aviation.
In 2020, Kent Aviation filed suit against Comfort Jet in state court in Oklahoma to recover monies paid for a Falcon 900 aircraft. The case was removed to Federal District Court.
In response, in January 2022, in his role as the liquidator and foreign representative of Comfort Jet Aviation, Andrew Paul Shimmin initiated a proceeding requesting that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma recognize the liquidation proceeding that is currently pending in the Isle of Man as a foreign main proceeding or, alternatively, a foreign nonmain proceeding, under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. The liquidator sought to stay the Federal Court proceedings and liquidate the Comfort Jet assets in the Isle of Mann.
Kent Aviation opposed their efforts and on October 14, 2022, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma denied Shimmin’s petition, finding that insolvency proceedings on the Isle of Man are not to be accorded recognition either as a main or nonmain proceeding under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. The ruling was significant for Kent Aviation as it prevented its claims from being adjudicated in a forum that did not recognize the concept of priority or avoidable transfers. Kent Aviation will now likely recover the jet or its funds in short order. This case was also one of the few known cases to deny Chapter 15 recognition.
The Loeb team representing Kent Aviation in the matter was led by Litigation partner Barney Given and Bankruptcy counsel Greg Schwed.