Adjournment of Winding up and Bankruptcy Petitions
Due to Covid-19 the Courts have adjourned Winding up and Bankruptcy Petitions and the following article gives a brief overview of the steps taken. If you need to know more, then contact your Insolvency Practitioner.
Winding up Petitions
On 23 March 2020 it was decided that existing winding-up petitions should be adjourned to ensure the safety of all. Existing petitions were adjourned in blocks to future dates ranging from 17 June to 5 August 2020.
The court also gave permission to any party to seek dismissal of a petition before the adjourned hearing takes place. Such applications must be made by notice to the other party and to any party intending to appear and must be supported by evidence, clearly stating the reasons of dismissal and setting out details of persons who indicated an intention to appear. Such applications will be listed in a general dismissal list, which will be conducted remotely by video conferencing technology, such as Skype.
The above order does not preclude a petitioner from withdrawing a petition where notice of the petition has not been given and no notice in support or opposition has been received. Applications to withdraw will be most likely granted on paper.
For further information and list of adjourned hearings, visit https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-companies-winding-up
A similar approach to the adjournment of winding-up petitions has been taken by the High Court and Central London County Court regarding bankruptcy petitions scheduled for 25th March.
High Court – Insolvency & Companies Court
On 25 March 2020, the Daily Cause list (all cases for trial) stated that Chief ICC Judge Briggs had adjourned all bankruptcy petitions scheduled for 25 March 2020 generally with liberty to restore after 18 June 2020. All restored cases will only be taking place by Skype and remotely in accordance with the Protocol for Remote Hearings and the Review of Court Arrangements due to COVID-19.
It is possible to have a case heard by Skype if it is really urgent. If you think this applies to you then contact your Insolvency Practitioner for advice.
Central London County Court
A similar Protocol has been issued by the Central London County Court, which applies with immediate effect, for Insolvency and Company Work. The key aspects of this are:
- Under a standing arrangement with HMRC, no bankruptcy order will be made on HMRC petitions currently listed for hearing.
- On the hearing date the Judge will simply order the petition to be relisted after 12 weeks. The relisted date will be sent to HMRC. The debtor and any opposing or supporting creditors will be notified by HMRC of the relisted hearing date.
- The only exception to the arrangement is that HMRC will continue to ask, on paper, for dismissal or withdrawal of the petition where the debt has been paid.
- The same approach will be taken to other bankruptcy petitions unless a request for a remote hearing is made by email to the Court.
- Applications in bankruptcy proceedings will be dealt with on the first occasion on paper.
- Any hearing, directed after a consideration on paper, will be a remote hearing.
- Public examinations will remain listed but only for the Judge to make an order on paper. There will be no attendance. The Judge will simply adjourn the examination unless there is a request for rescission (the unwinding of a transaction which is done to bring the parties, as far as possible, back to the position in which they were before they entered into a contract), conclusion or a suspension of discharge from bankruptcy. Such a request should be made by email to the Court and will be considered on paper.
If you want to find out anything further about this topic then please feel free to call me on 01494 786000, 0207 240 2000 or 07961 116321. All conversations will be in strict confidence. You can also email me firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is for information and interest only. It is not a substitute for full professional advice, which will take in to account the specific and individual circumstances. Navigate Business Recovery Limited cannot accept any responsibility for any loss arising as a result of any person or organisation acting or refraining from acting on any information.