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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

13 OCT 2010

Professor Sir Roy Goode QC on Insolvency Statistics - more detail please!

Professor Sir Roy Goode QC has sent an open response to Ms Margaret Sims' respondent list for the soon to be completing Insolvency Service (IS) Statistics Consultation. As one would expect from the doyen of commercial law scholarship, there is a lot of sensible content in the email. Sir Roy notes:

"Dear Ms Sims and Ms Paul,
Thank you for your reminder about the consultation on insolvency statistics.  I must apologise for only having time to reply in general terms.
I have always thought the statistics provided were pretty uninformative and that opportunities were being lost to gain meaningful information about how well the insolvency process worked.  Among the items of additional information it would be helpful to have are the following:
  1. Details of the number of cases in which a company moves from one insolvency regime to another (it is difficult to extract this information from the published stats).
  2. Details of the time taken from the start of an insolvency process to its conclusion.
  3. Particulars of:
    1. the amount paid for the expense of the liquidation or other insolvency process broken down into main heads
    2. the percentage of claim recovered from their security by:
      1. the holders of fixed charges
      2. the holders of floating charges;
    3. the percentage of claim distributed as dividend to:
      1. preferential creditors;
      2. ordinary unsecured creditors;
      3. deferred creditors.
    4. the percentage left for shareholders.

At present none of this information is to be found in the statistics, and to get it it is necessary to engage outside researchers, no doubt at significant expense.  Yet all the information could be gathered very easily by requiring insolvency practitioners to furnish a return of the above stats on completion of the insolvency process

Of course, the items i have listed are relatively unrefined, but academic and practising insolvency specialists would be able to formulate the question more precisely.

Yours sincerely,
Roy Goode."

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