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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

26 SEP 2013

Liggett and Others v Northern Bank Ltd [2013] NIMaster 10; [2013] BPIR 595

(Chancery Division, Master Kelly, 21 April 2013)

Land owned by MH was disclaimed under Art 288 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 by his trustee in bankruptcy, the Official Receiver, on the basis that it was onerous property. The applicants, creditors of MH who had entered into a contract with MH in September 2000 to develop a residential site on the land, sought a vesting order under Art 293 of the 1989 Order. It was opposed by a bank, which claimed to be a secured creditor of MH with security over the land. In refusing the vesting order but adjourning the application pending determination of the issue as to whether the bank had valid security over the disclaimed property, Master Kelly found that the applicants had no interest in the land and any argument that they were entitled to a vesting order as compensation had to fail. It was clear from Art 293(4) that a vesting order should not be granted by way of compensation unless it was just to do so. The granting of a vesting order was an equitable remedy. In view of the possible interest of the bank as secured creditor and the interests of the other unsecured creditors if the bank's claim to security failed, it would not be just to vest the land in the applicants. 

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