Estelle Macleod

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What do House of Fraser, Byron Burger, Carluccios, Mothercare, Prezzo and Carpetright have in common?

These are just a few of the big high street names which have sought to compromise their obligations to creditors in recent months via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). CVAs are designed as a flexible method by which companies can seek to contractually alter their position regarding different creditors – each CVA will be different, … Continue Reading

Recovering Rent After A CVA

A new wave of CVAs? A company voluntary arrangement (CVA) is, provided the voting thresholds are met, a binding agreement made between a company and its creditors, designed to compromise a company’s obligations to its creditors. As retailers and restaurateurs across the UK continue to show signs of financial distress, interest in the use of … Continue Reading

Step Aside, Payday Loans: There’s an Old Kid in Town

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Bills of Sale Acts of 1878 and 1882 would have been repealed by now, or could never apply to you, over 130 years after they were drafted. But if you’ve ever purchased a second-hand car (or, if you’re lucky enough to be purchasing works of art or … Continue Reading

Recast Insolvency Regulation: 26 June 2017

The Recast Insolvency Regulation (Regulation 2015/848) (“Recast Regulation”) will apply to all member states of the EU (with the exception of Denmark) in relation to insolvency proceedings opened on or after 26 June 2017. The Recast Regulation takes a similar approach to that of the prior EU Insolvency Regulation (Regulation 1346/2000), which came into force … Continue Reading

Insolvency Rules 2016: Decision Making

The Insolvency Rules 2016 (the 2016 Rules) have effect from 6 April 2016. A key change introduced by the 2016 Rules is a new approach to decision making, including a deemed consent procedure. The new approach is designed to ease the administrative and cost burden in insolvency proceedings, and is summarised here: Insolvency Rules 2016: … Continue Reading

Can We Work It Out? : An Overview of the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

After much consultation and debate, the Ministry of Justice has published the final version of the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (the Protocol), which is due to come into force on 1 October 2017. The Protocol is available on the Ministry of Justice website. Following the general trend of civil procedure in the UK, the … Continue Reading

Permission to continue proceedings during a statutory moratorium – South Coast Construction Ltd v Iverson Road Ltd [2017] EWHC 61

The recent case of South Coast Construction provides a helpful insight into the court’s treatment of applications for permission to continue proceedings during the administration moratorium. Mr Justice Coulson heard the matter whilst acknowledging that, by the time judgment was handed down, the interim moratorium (which had arisen following the filing of a notice of … Continue Reading

What is half of nothing? Wrongful trading developments in the ‘Robin Hood’ case

Case law on wrongful trading has developed significantly over the past two years, with the cases of Ralls Builders and Brooks increasing judicial consideration of the conduct of directors in the period preceding an insolvency. The judgment of the appeal and cross-appeal in Brooks was handed down in late 2016. It provides an essential update … Continue Reading

Ralls Builders Limited Clarification

In February 2016, Mr Justice Snowden handed down his judgment in the High Court proceedings concerning Ralls Builders Limited (in liquidation) [2016] EWHC 243 (Ch). This matter concerned an application by the liquidators of Ralls Builders Limited (in liquidation) (the company) for a declaration regarding the alleged wrongful trading of the company by its directors, … Continue Reading

Wrongful Trading: Robin Hood’s not-so Merry Men

Brooks and another v Armstrong and another [2015] EWHC 2289 (Ch) In a rare judgment considering wrongful trading in detail, the memorably-named “Robin Hood” case considers at which point the directors ought to have known that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into insolvent liquidation. It also reiterates that the … Continue Reading

Prohibitions on Restrictions to Assignment of Receivables

Many businesses assign or charge their receivables in order to obtain finance, and in many cases, to improve cashflow. Following the financial crisis of 2008, alternatives to bank-led finance have been sought by businesses, with the government making efforts to facilitate access to alternative finance. Commercial contracts often contain provisions prohibiting the assignment of payment … Continue Reading

A Cautionary Tale: Companies House owes a duty of care when registering winding up orders

In Sebry v Companies House and The Registrar of Companies, it was recently held that Companies House owes a duty of care when entering a winding up order (“Order”) on the Register of Companies. This duty is owed ‘to any Company which is not in liquidation but which is wrongly recorded on the register as … Continue Reading

New class of secondary preferential creditors created

Legislation has come into effect to create a new class of debt in insolvency, being “secondary preferential debts”. Secondary preferential debts are, in brief, those parts of a deposit which do not fall within the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”). Typically, parts of a deposit might fall outside of the FSCS because … Continue Reading

Litigation Funding: No Extension to the Insolvency Exemption

As readers may be aware, general changes to the ability to recover litigation funding under certain mechanisms came into general effect in 2013 pursuant to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (‘LAPSO’).  However, the insolvency profession has benefited from an extended period before the relevant changes will take effect on insolvency … Continue Reading

New Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings

On the 29th June 2014, the new Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings (‘2014 Practice Direction’) came into force. Below, we list some of the main changes made. The 2014 Practice Direction replaces previous versions of the Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings, save for Practice Direction 49B (relating to winding up petitions brought by contributories). In … Continue Reading