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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

26 SEP 2013

Warner v (1) Barnes (2) Barnes [2012] EWHC 4223 (Ch); [2013] BPIR 677

(Chancery Division, Sales J, 21 August 2012)

In December 2008 Mr B and Mrs B, former UK residents, were made bankrupt in Australia. W was appointed as the trustee in bankruptcy of each of Mr B and Mrs B. Having obtained a recognition order, W obtained orders in England requiring them to attend for examination. At that examination, in October 2010, the registrar made an order in relation to each of Mr B and Mrs B that they were to deliver up the documents and information set out in a schedule to his order by a specified date, and an extensive schedule was appended. The orders did not contain a penal notice, nor were they personally served on Mr B and Mrs B. W pressed unsuccessfully for some items that had not been produced, of material in the schedule and on 21 June 2011 successfully obtained amended orders for their production including a penal notice and a deadline for compliance of 4pm on 12 July 2011. Personal service of the new orders was effected on Mrs B on 8 July 2011 and on Mr B on 10 July 2011. Upon the failure of Mr B and Mrs B to comply with those amended orders, W sought their committal for contempt of court. Sales J granted the application and fined Mr B and Mrs B £500 each. They had had sufficient notice of the date for compliance by the hearing of the committal application, and that the fact that they may not have indented deliberately to disobey the order was not relevant.

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