The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) awarded the first Specialist Designations in Insolvency at a ceremony on 27 June 2011 at The JW Marriott Hotel. The event was attended by more than 100 members of the insolvency and corporate recovery profession in Hong Kong including solicitors, barristers, accountants, bankers and others in related practices.
Some 32 senior members of the insolvency and corporate recovery profession in Hong Kong were awarded the Specialist Designation which recognises their experience in the fields of insolvency and corporate recovery. At the moment, the award of the Specialist Designation is reviewed by a HKICPA vetting committee made up of Nick Etches, former senior insolvency partner of KPMG, David Kidd of Allen & Overy, Keith Ho of Wilkinson & Grist and Wayne Porritt of Standard Chartered Bank.
At present the Specialist Designation is only open to members of the HKICPA, but it is hoped that in due course it will become open to non-members, including solicitors and bankers.
Let’s be clear, the Specialist Designation is not a licensing regime for insolvency practitioners, although many in the profession would like to see some form of licensing. At the moment, it is still possible to apply for the award of the Specialist Designation based on experience. However, from 2012 onwards, one of the criteria for the award of the Specialist Designation will be the successful completion of the HKICPA Insolvency Diploma course.