Bankrupt beneficiaries and risks for personal representatives
We have considerable experience in advising on all aspects of insolvency litigation, including acting for insolvency practitioners, companies, individuals and directors. We are uniquely placed to assist with complex insolvency litigation matters, with particular strength in fraud cases.
In addition to the experience of our commercial litigation team, we can also draw on the expertise of our leading specialists across the firm which means that we are uniquely placed to assist with complex insolvency litigation. We have the benefit of internal specialists in areas including fraud, employment, real estate, regulation, corporate and criminal law to enable us to advise clients on the wide variety of legal issues that can crop up in an insolvency process.
We have particular strength in fraud cases. We are regularly instructed to assist in asset tracing including utilising the full spectrum of insolvency powers available to investigate, locate and preserve assets. We have extensive experience in cross border recovery, asset freezes and search orders and we have the benefit of working with our leading criminal law team and professional advisers in other jurisdictions to assist as necessary.
We can advise on the full range of contentious insolvency matters, including:
Please see the following pages to access the advice you need:
The recent insolvency litigation work we have undertaken includes:
For more information, have a look at our frequently asked questions on insolvency litigation and read our case studies.
We can give advice and discuss the various options available for funding insolvency litigation which may include acting on a Conditional Fee Agreement or obtaining litigation funding from a third party funder.
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approachable litigators who are efficient and organised. They take the time to know the case and to know the client."
Chambers and Partners, 2019
sensible, realistic view of cases - seizing only the points worth arguing..."
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While testators generally have freedom to decide how to dispose of their assets in England and Wales, there are limits to this freedom, including where a beneficiary of the estate is made bankrupt. If the testator passes away during the course of the beneficiary’s bankruptcy, the legacy will usually pass to the trustee in bankruptcy for the benefit of creditors instead of to the beneficiary.
The government has introduced two separate pieces of legislation aimed at redressing the abuse of “killing off” companies to escape liabilities. One recently came into force, the other is currently before parliament.
Daniel Staunton explores the inherent conflict between the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy courts and the family courts and asks which jurisdiction trumps the other? This article focuses on the authorities in relation to section 284 and when family court orders might be liable to be set aside as void dispositions
Mary Young explores how divorce settlements between spouses may be caught later down the line in bankruptcy proceedings as potential TUVs where there are dishonest motives.
What often happens when the insolvency courts and family courts collide; the potential effect a bankruptcy order of one spouse can have on a financial order made in favour of the non-bankrupt spouse and the different tests of each court.
What happens when a director commits fraud by misappropriating company assets? Or what of the director who continues trading knowing that the company has no realistic prospect of paying its debts as and when they fall due? To whom does a director owe duties at that point and what recourse is there against that director? This article explores these questions.
We have previously examined how the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)(together the “Schemes”) work. A report issued by the Public Accounts Committee on 10 December 2020 highlights the darker side of the Schemes and what it is costing the UK taxpayer.
This article will focus on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom’s (HMRC’s) “gambit” to gain an advantage over other creditors through the return of the “crown preference” from 1 December 2020. This article explores what HMRC’s status as a secondary preferential creditor means and its implications for insolvency practitioners and others going forward.
A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (4th quarter 2020)
Disputes between directors often arise because of, and/or result in, disputes about company money. Directors need to be alert to how they are required to act, particularly in times of conflict.
It goes without saying that Insolvency Practitioners must behave honestly and with integrity in all their professional dealings. IPs must handle money and assets in a way which justifies the trust placed in them, but some professionals don’t realise that the way they behave on a Saturday night may be just as relevant to their ability to continue in their chosen profession as the way they behave on a Monday morning.
The current global pandemic has provided and will continue to provide plentiful opportunities for fraud and opportunism.
There has been much mention in the press in recent times about the amount of allegedly incorrect or fraudulent claims made by employers under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) (furlough scheme).
This blog focuses on two practical considerations that should be borne in mind when dealing with an estate where there are any suspicions that the value of the assets when realised may be insufficient to meet all debts and liabilities in full.
The recent case of The Official Receiver v Andrew Nathaniel Skeene and Junie Conrad Omari Bowers  EWHC 1252 (Ch) (“Skeene”) is a good example of the crossover between insolvency related proceedings and criminal proceedings. In this case, the High Court considered the Official Receiver’s (“OR”) ability to disclose to the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) documents which had been obtained by the OR during the course of disqualification proceedings.
Interviews are frequently conducted by office-holders with individuals previously involved with an insolvent company, such as directors and officers, employees, accountants, lawyers and other third parties. Such interviews will often provide key information regarding the company’s trading and dealings and the actions of its directors and employees, thereby assisting office-holders seeking to investigate potential fraud, misfeasance and other forms of misconduct.
Third parties are often caught (innocently or not) in the cross hairs of office holders seeking information and/or documents on the asset and liability position of a company in order to fulfil their functions properly and their duties to the creditors.
A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (2nd quarter 2020)
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill received its first reading in the House of Commons on 20 May 2020, several months after Alok Sharma first announced what we expected to be the biggest changes to insolvency law in decades.
In the recent case of Georgallides –v- Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  EWHC 768 (Ch), the High Court grappled with the question of how the maxim “fraud unravels all” should apply to disqualification undertakings given pursuant to Section 8A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (“the CDDA”).
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