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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

21 MAY 2013

Ebbvale Ltd v Hosking (Trustee in Bankruptcy of Andreas Sofroniou Michaelides) [2013] UKPC 1; [2013] BPIR 219

(Privy Council, Lords Walker, Mance, Clarke, Wilson and Carnwath, 30 January 2013)

The bankrupt was a shareholder in a company incorporated in the Bahamas. The trustee in bankruptcy became aware of an allegation that a property had been sold to the company with the help of a bank loan. The trustee was of the view that the company was under the effective control of the bankrupt and that the alleged sale of the property was an attempt to hide his continuing ownership. The company was added as a defendant to proceedings in England & Wales where declaratory relief as to the ownership of the property was sought. Having purchased the bank loan the trustee presented a winding-up petition against the company and a winding up order was made. The company's appeal was dismissed, and it appealed further. The Privy Council dismissed the appeal. There was no doubt that the trustee's purpose in presenting the petition was intimately related to the English proceedings and indeed it was probable that the trustee regarded a winding up order as likely to be of advantage to him as claimant in such proceedings. However such an order was also objectively likely to be of substantial advantage to him in his capacity as a creditor and to secure such an advantage was the other purpose. It was not necessary that it should have been the principal purpose. The petition was not an abuse of process and the trustee was entitled to a winding up order.

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