Kerry Underwood

INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS DURING CORONAVIRUS

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Central London County Court

The specialist Circuit Judges for business and property work in the Central London County Court have published a protocol setting out how insolvency and company work will be dealt with in the Central London County Court.

The protocol applies with immediate effect and until further notice.

The measures are as follows:

  • By arrangement with HMRC, HMRC petitions currently listed for hearing will not be heard but will be ordered to be relisted for hearing at least 12 weeks later.
  • The relisted date will be sent to HMRC and the debtor and any opposing or supporting creditors will then be notified by HMRC of the relisted hearing date.
  • HMRC will continue to ask, on paper, for dismissal or withdrawal of the petition where the debt has been paid.
  • Listed bankruptcy petitions by other petitioners will be relisted in the same way unless a request for a remote hearing is made by email to RCJBankCLCCDJHearings@justice.gov.uk.
  • Applications in bankruptcy proceedings will be dealt with on the first occasion on paper.
  • Any hearing then directed will be a remote hearing.
  • Public examinations will remain listed but should not be attended and will be adjourned unless there is a request for rescission, conclusion or a suspension of discharge from bankruptcy.
  • Such a request should be made by email to RCJBankCLCCDJHearings@justice.gov.uk and will be considered on paper.
  • Claims for an extension of time to register company charges will remain listed but will be considered on paper without attendance.
  • The requirement to produce the original charge is waived in this period and evidence of solvency will be accepted by email to RCJCompGenCLCC@justice.gov.uk.
  • Claims for the restoration of companies to the register will remain listed but will be considered on paper without attendance.

 

HMCTS Publishes Revised Operational Summary on Courts and Tribunals

On 2 April 2020, HM Courts & Tribunals Service published an update to its page providing a daily operational summary on courts and tribunals during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 2 April summary provides new information in relation to various operational matters, including:

Civil Court listing priorities – “Priority 2” work, which refers to work that “could be done”, has been updated in the Civil court listing priorities document to include: “Applications or hearings pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986 which concern the survival of a business or the solvency of a business or an individual”.

 

North and North-Eastern Business and Property Courts

Mr Justice Snowden has stated that a new emergency Practice Direction on insolvency matters will be published shortly, dealing with the e-filing of Notices of Intention to appoint administrators and Notices of Appointment of administrators.

Snowden J’s position summary given in his capacity as supervising judge of the Business and Property Courts for the North and North-Eastern Circuits does not give further detail on the pending emergency Practice Direction, which is a matter for all Business and Property Courts and not just the circuits he oversees.

He notes that the emergency Practice Direction will also provide a structure for the hearing of winding-up petitions in the coming weeks.

The position summary otherwise concerns the Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle Business and Property Courts although it does not suggest that there are differences for other circuits.

It states that:

  • The CE-file in the Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle Business and Property Courts will remain operational, although there may be delay in processing filings and judges will not have access to unprocessed filings.
  • Practitioners should assume that insolvency lists for winding-up petitions will be proceeding by a remote hearing unless notified to the contrary.
  • The policy of blanket adjournment of winding-up and bankruptcy petitions across all the Business and Property Courts is no longer being pursued.

There are two guides for urgent applications in the Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle Business and Property Courts: for urgent applications within court hours and for urgent applications outside court hours.

The latter applications outside court hours will continue to follow established procedure for the time being.

Source: Mr Justice Snowden: Covid-19 update number 1: Position Summary and Guides for Urgent Applications

 

Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction – April 2020

On 6 April 2020 a temporary Practice Direction on insolvency proceedings came into force and it expires on 1 October 2020 unless amended or revoked before then.

Most of it concerns emergency measures to deal with  COVID-19, but it also addresses longer running issues relating to the e-filing process for administration appointments.

It covers:

  • New rules on the ability to use electronic working, CE-file, to file Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator and Notice of Appointment of an administrator outside court hours.
  • Adjournment of pending applications, petitions and claim forms and procedures for  re-listing.
  • The process for listing urgent hearings in the High Court.
  • Remote hearings.
  • Temporary listing procedure for winding-up and bankruptcy petitions.
  • Making of statutory declarations before an authorised person but not in their physical presence.

 

Written by kerryunderwood

April 9, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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