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Byrne Presents Five Programs in the Far East

Professor James E. Byrne gave five one-day programs immediately before, after, and during the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Singapore. The presentations were sponsored or co-sponsored by International Chamber of Commerce: China; Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company; the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance of Taiwan; and the Association of Banks in Singapore. Attendees included approximately 500 bankers, corporate finance officials, attorneys, and government officials.

The topic of the presentations was a comparison of the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG) and the International Standby Practices (ISP). These rules attempt to state and order practice for financial instruments that provide assurance of payment or performance. The URDG has been recently revised in an attempt to broaden its use for independent demand guarantees. The prior rules have not been widely used, in part because of the confusion between demand guarantees and suretyship or accessory undertakings. The revised version copies many features of the ISP. The ISP has been in effect since 1999 and is estimated conservatively to currently be in use for over US$300 billion in undertakings and is widely used in the North America and the UK and increasingly in other parts of the world. It has been endorsed by the UN Commission on International Trade Law and the International Chamber of Commerce.

Professor Byrne chaired the drafting committee for the ISP and has authored The Official Commentary on the International Standby Practices and several related publications, as well as several articles. He is currently working on a revision of The Official Commentary which will be published this spring. His work in this field has been assisted by the George Mason University School of Law and its Law & Economics Center, which was publicized at the programs.