James Rea-Palmer

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An effective and well-equipped insolvency and restructuring regime gives confidence to investors and financiers, enabling credit to flow through to businesses and boost economic activity, growth and innovation. In 1999, following the Asian financial crisis, the World Bank carried out a review of the international regimes to establish a set of key principles for effective insolvency regimes (see the report online here) So, how well-equipped is the UK regime and what challenges does…
A great deal of insolvency litigation is funded by non-parties to a claim – for example, by a creditor or an “after the event” (ATE)  insurer. Ordinarily such arrangements and their precise terms are confidential and are not required to be fully disclosed to a counterparty in litigation. In the recent case of Re Hellas Telecommunications (Luxembourg) [2017] EWHC 3465 (ch) (“Hellas”), the court considered the extent to which the underlying details of the litigation funders should be disclosed for the…
Introduction With Christmas fast approaching and black Friday/Cyber Monday having passed, retailers will be hoping for a big spike in sales this December to add some sparkle to another challenging year. The uncertain political environment both domestic and abroad has had a visible impact on consumer confidence and, coupled with rising prices and a weak pound, is adding to the costs of doing business for many UK retailers. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to this continued strain…
There are various ways misconduct can be reported in respect of companies and individuals. Establishing which authority has the power to conduct investigations of wrongdoing depends to a certain extent on the status of the companies and individuals. The Insolvency Service is empowered by law as the proper authority to investigate transgressions such as serious corporate abuse and the conduct of directors of insolvent companies, disqualified directors, bankrupts and individual subject to bankruptcy or debt relief restrictions (“Transgressions”). We look in…
The new school year is upon us and once again the education sector (and particularly funding for institutions from primary school right through to further education) is in the spotlight at a time when growth continues to stagnate. Education providers are continuing to encounter financial risk as a result of increase in investment requirements outstripping growth. These factors coupled with substantial cutbacks in government funding is creating a perfect storm for the failure of education providers and the government has…
From June this year, several specialist courts of the High Court of England and Wales are being banded together under a new title – “THE BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES”. The idea is to give these specialised courts a memorable and (it is hoped) user-friendly umbrella title, whilst still preserving the value of the existing brands of the individual courts. The specialist courts that will co-exist under this new umbrella comprise the Commercial Court (including…
The recent Court of Appeal case of JCAM Commercial Real Estate Property XV Limited v. Davis Haulage Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 267 has set out the importance of there being a settled intention to enter administration and indicated that this is a pre-requisite to an out of court appointment being validly made. The judge at first instance had held that it was not necessary for a company or its directors to have, at the point…
Dickinson v NAL (Realisations) Staffordshire Ltd is a useful case on how directors’ duties are looked at following a formal insolvency and ways in which an office holder can challenge transactions if there is evidence of wrongdoing or a concerted strategy to frustrate creditors’ recourse to a Company’s asset base which would ordinarily be available to them in an insolvency, subject of course to valid security and/or third party rights. Interestingly the court, when analysing…
An employment tribunal has recently confirmed that employees who have been unfairly dismissed from an insolvent employer can bring an action against a connected successor company. The tribunal held that there was a ‘commonality of ownership’ between the original and successor companies and that it was correct as a matter of public policy that employees should be able to sue the newco born from the ashes of the insolvent company.…
The recent case of Re Newtons Coaches [2016] EWHC 3068 considered whether a partnership falls within the remit of s.216 Insolvency Act 1986 (“IA 86”). The case looked at what s.216 is designed to prevent and the nature of partnerships in the context of both the Insolvent Partnerships Order 1994 (“IPO 94”) and the IA 86. The Registrar held that s.216 does not apply to partners of a partnership that has been wound up.…