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M owed a debt to B, an auction house, for the purchase of antiques. The debt was not disputed. After B had presented a bankruptcy petition, M was admitted to hospital, and detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, after an apparent suicide attempt. M's solicitors wrote to B, stating that M was a protected person requiring the appointment of a litigation friend, or the court's permission, before any step could be taken in the proceedings. The registrar nonetheless made a bankruptcy order. A deputy bankruptcy registrar refused an application to annul or rescind the bankruptcy order. M appealed against both orders. Vos J allowed the appeal against the bankruptcy order, and ordered the petition to lie on the file pending further inquiries. The registrar had enough material to conclude that M was incapable. M's affairs were complex. It could not be said that the bankruptcy order had been properly made. The petition should have been adjourned, and a financial deputy appointed to investigate M's affairs.
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...