The LC Year in Review

The Year in LC Activity

Every year since 1996, the Institute of International Banking Law & Practice (IIBLP) has produced the Annual Review of International Banking Law & Practice. The world's only complete record of LC and Guarantee court activity, as well as each year's significant writing, the Annual Review is the definitive yearbook in trade finance activity. The 2018 Annual Survey includes a year spanning Overview Article, a collection of important LC and Guarantee articles, summaries for relevant LC and Guarantee court cases, and much more. In this post we'll go over some highlights of the current Annual Review volume.

Overview Article

Written by DCW Executive Editor Christopher Byrnes and IIBLP Director, Professor James E. Byrne, the 2018 Annual Review Overview Article takes a broad view of the year 2017 in LCs, demand guarantees and standbys LCs. The pair note in the opening paragraph that 2017 was a big year for digisation, calling it "the gateway from the past to the future". The ICC deciding not to revise UCP600 in favor of digitisation and e-compatibility of existing rules, coupled with the fervor over Blockchain and other emerging technologies indicate a sea change in the industry toward the electronic. Byrnes and Byrne go on to cover major milestones from 2017 that will have impacts for years to come in guarantee and LC activity.

Case Summaries

Culling together the most pertinent LC and Guarantee court decisions each year has been the cornerstone of the Annual Survey since its inception 22 years ago. Each court case is summarized and commented on to highlight the most relevant aspects to LC and Guarantee law and practice. This year, there are 94 case summaries from decisions rendered in 2017. Some of the highlights include:

  • China Construction Bank v. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (Impact of LC fraud on a negotiating bank discounting accepted bills of exchange under LCs)
  • Deutsche Bank v. CIMB Bank (Confirming Bank and Issuing Bank’s differing interpretations of UCP600 Art 7(c))
  • Kolmar Group v. Jiangsu Textiles Industry (Enforcement of a Singapore judgment by a Chinese court)
  • So Sau v. DBS Bank (Issuing bank’s duty to counsel applicant regarding LC terms)
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries v. Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction (Link between independent undertaking and suretyship undertaking)
  • SNC-Lavalin v. BNP Paribas (Applicant of Counter Guarantee sues to enjoin payment to Local Bank)
  • ICBC v. China National Technical Imp. & Exp. Corp. (Fraud article of PRC Independent Guarantee Provisions)
  • In re Factory Sales & Engineering, Inc. (Commercial standbys and detailed drawing statements)

Trade Finance Articles

Another key component of the Annual Review are the collected articles representing the year's significant writing in trade finance, and more specifically commercial LCs, standby LCs, and demand guarantees. Articles are derived from a variety of sources, including Documentary Credit Worldthe ICC, the London Institute of Banking & Finance, Wolfsberg, and other trade finance news outlets. The 2018 Edition boasts 19 articles authored by key players from around the globe, including:

  • James G. Barnes: TT Reimbursement Misunderstood
  • Abhinayan Basu Bal: Can UNCITRAL Instruments Advance Supply Chain Finance to Benefit Small and Medium Enterprises?
  • Charl Hugo: Demand Guarantees: Insights From the People’s Republic of China
  • Michelle Kelly-Louw: Construing Whether a Guarantee is Accessory or Independent is Key
  • Thandiwe Legwaila: Trade Digitization: Developments and Legal Aspects
  • Jacob Manning: Non-Bank Issuance of LCs: Permitted, but Perilous in Some Instances
  • David Meynell: Digitalisation and Trade Finance: What’s Next?
  • David Morrish: The Beauty of Standby Letters of Credit: Not Just in the Eye of the Beholder
  • Bob Ronai: My Opinion About the Opinions and the Future of Rules for Documentary Credits
  • Kim Sindberg:  The Tipping Points of International Trade
  • Chang-Soon Thomas Song: Can a Letter of Credit be Issued Which Requires a Copy Bill of Lading?
  • Zhida Yan & Yong Chen: Clarification Needed for Critical Issues Regarding Bill of Lading Copies

More Information

Additional resources included in the 2018 Annual Review include 10 Practice Reports including Official ISP98 Interpretations, ICC documents, noteworthy trade finance meeting notes, and more.

The Annual Review is available this year as an e-book only, for the price of USD 129. For attendees of IIBLP Events, the price is USD 39.

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