The 1st Court of Bankruptcy and Judicial Reorganization of São Paulo was a pioneer in granting the request of the Odebrecht Group to hold a General Meeting of Creditors (GMC) through virtual means, to allow “the maintenance of the social isolation necessary to fight the pandemic (…)”.
Some creditors appealed the decision, arguing that “they would suffer damages” and “their rights would be restricted”, as “the (virtual) system has never been used by the parties or the Judicial Administrator” and “there is no certainty or guarantee of its full functioning”.
The Court of Appeals of São Paulo, however, decided on March 30, 2020 that there was in principle no irregularity in holding the General Meeting of Creditors in a virtual environment, as long as the system works throughout the meeting, allowing everyone to exercise their rights to speak and vote, with broad access to documents presented during the GMC. The full text of the decision can be accessed here.
The Court’s decision is aligned with the recommendation of the Nacional Council of Justice, approved on March 31, for presential GMCs to be suspended and that, when necessary, they should be held virtually.
For reasons other than its virtual format, the Grupo Odebrecht’s GMC, which took place on March 31, 2020, was suspended and it was therein deliberated a new call for the meeting to March 14 or 22, 2020, as the case may be.