Business as Usual for Courts: Temporary Changes to Insolvency Rules

April 19, 2020

By: tme

In light of the Corona Virus pandemic a temporary insolvency practice direction has been introduced from April 2020 and will remain in force until 1 October 2020, unless revoked or amended.

Key considerations to note are:

Filing notice of intention to appoint an administrator and notice of appointment of an administrator:

Subject to exceptions, where a company or director or a qualifying charge holder uses CE-filing to give notice of an intention to appoint or notice of an appointment of an administrator, the notice will be treated as delivered by the court on the date recorded in the filing of the email.

Filing notices by CE-filing where an email attaches a notice of an appointment of administrator and/or notice of intention to appoint an administrator to the court outside the court hours of 10.00-16.00 when they are open for business will mean the notice is treated as delivered to the court the next working day.

Statutory Declarations:

As a statutory declaration cannot be done in person, care needs to be given in order to ensure it is not defective or constitute an irregularity.

To ensure compliance the statutory declaration must:

  • Be done by way of video with a person authorised to administer the oath;
  • The person authorising the oath attests the statutory declaration was made by way of video and by a person authorised to administer an oath; and
  • The statutory declaration states it was made by video and by a person authorised to administer the oath.
Remote hearings:

All hearings will be conducted remotely by a method of technology agreed by the parties prior to the hearing unless the court orders otherwise. Initial reports of hearings taking place suggests that implementing remote hearings has largely been successful.

Pending petitions and applications:

All pending applications and petitions (save for winding up and bankruptcy petitions) that are listed for a hearing before 21 April 2020 will be adjourned and relisted, unless the hearing is urgent.

Hearings that are urgent can still be heard and we can advise you how this can be done. Contact Us for further information.

If a party intends to appear at the hearing they are required to deliver the notice of intention to appear in the usual way as per Rule 7.14 which must also include an email address or telephone number in order to be present at the remote hearing.

Winding up and bankruptcy petitions:

Such matters will continue and will be heard remotely in batches in the usual way.

The changes are pragmatic, given the circumstances. In conclusion, insolvency procedures remain intact, however advice should be taken before commencing any such procedure.

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