The Fifth Workshop on the Holding of Securities through an Intermediary

The fifth workshop on the holding of securities through an intermediary was held at Harris Manchester College on 23rd February 2018

This workshop was an opportunity for participants in the project to present early versions of the chapters they are writing for the book, ‘Intermediation and beyond’ which is the primary output of the project.   All sessions were chaired by Mr Guy Morton, and all papers engendered lively and wide-ranging discussion.

The first four sessions addressed specific problems and issues raised under English law by the holding of securities, particularly debt securities, through intermediaries.    Mr Richard Salter QC spoke on the difficulties investors faced with enforcing debt securities, especially when there was no trustee of the issue.    Mr Raymond Cox QC then led a session on the rights of investors in light of the recent Court of Appeal decision in Secure Capital v Credit Suisse.   Professor Louise Gullifer presented her paper on two specific consequences of the intermediated holding of debt securities: insolvency set-off and whether the purchase of intermediated debt securities by the issuer discharged part of the debt represented by the issue.  Professor Jennifer Payne spoke on the effect of intermediation on bondholder schemes of arrangement.

The focus then widened to a more international setting, as Dr Philipp Paech spoke on conflict of laws and relational rights, and Dr Matthias Haentjens spoke on the use of intermediated securities as collateral in the European capital markets.   Dr Thomas Keijser and Professor Charles Mooney then presented their views on intermediation considered through the prism of transparency and, finally, Professor Sarah Green and Ms Ferdisha Snagg looked forward to the prospect of the holding of securities through blockchain.

The discussions between the participants in this and all the previous workshops will inform the book chapters which are now being written.  The book will therefore represent the most considered reflections on the benefits and the disadvantages of the holding of securities in intermediated form to date, particularly, though not exclusively, in relation to English law and will propose responses and solutions to the issues discussed.