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  • Insolvency Law
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Horton v Henry: The Death of Raithatha?

An article by Simon Passfield

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Insolvency Law

Corporate and Personal

FROM £39.00

This comprehensive book explains legislation and discusses cases on all aspects of corporate and personal.

Insolvency Law: Corporate and Personal is written in a detailed yet straightforward way, making it accessible to both practitioners and students. This comprehensive book explains legislation and discusses cases on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency, covering each of the procedures available. The text is presented logically under headings, with pointers to more specialised information and additional cases.

 This third edition:
  • significantly expands the material on international insolvencies in order to address the many case law developments
  • deals with changes in the Insolvency Rules
  • discusses the latest case law on the prescribed part under s.176A
  • incorporates changes to the law on dissolutions of companies
  • considers the anti-deprivation principle
  • examines how the football creditor rule operates in CVAs
  • considers the conflicting case law on procedural requirements for out of court administrator appointments
 Insolvency Law: Corporate and Personal is a popular first port of call for non-specialists and those new to the area of insolvency, whether in practice or whilst studying.


  • The Meaning of Insolvency
  • Purpose, Principles and Theory
  • The Administration of Insolvency Regimes
  • Options for Insolvents and the Layout of the Book

Non-Terminal Insolvency

  • Receivership
  • Administration
  • Company Voluntary Arrangements
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangements
  • Other Types of Arrangements

Provisional Liquidation

  • Provisional Liquidation

Winding Up

  • Introduction to Winding Up
  • Creditors' to Voluntary Winding Up
  • Compulsory Winding Up
  • The Aftermath of the Advent of Winding Up
  • The Players in a Liquidation
  • The Liquidator
  • Dissolution


  • Introduction to Bankruptcy
  • Debtor's Petition
  • Creditor's Petition
  • Effects of Bankruptcy
  • The Trustee in Bankruptcy
  • Discharge

International Insolvency

  • Cross-Border Insolvency
  • European Insolvency

Administration of Insolvent Estates

  • Investigations and Examinations
  • Funding
  • Disclaimer
  • Distribution of Property in Insolvent Estates


  • Secured Creditors
  • Retention of Title
  • Execution Creditors and Landlords
  • Preferential Creditors
  • Set-Off
  • Proving Debts

Swelling the Asset Pool

  • General Principles and Concepts
  • Transactions at an Undervalue
  • Preferences
  • Transactions Defrauding Creditors
  • Invalidation of Floating Charges
  • Extortionate Credit Transactions
  • Wrongful Trading
  • Fraudulent Trading
  • Breach of Directors' Duties


  • Misfeasance
  • Disqualification of Directors
  • Offences
 Read the full contents listing here
"provides a useful and well-structured overview as well as a deeper insight into insolvency law ...  a popular first port of call for non-specialists and those new to the area of insolvency"

German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce

"clear, concise, readable and uncluttered. The balance between breadth and depth of coverage has been well struck ... a popular foundation work"
The Cambridge Law Journal

"a clear, readable and comprehensive account of the principles of insolvency law ... discusses the subject in appropriate depth and breadth to make it suitable for both practitioners and students"
 German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce


 Insolvency law does not stand still. Practitioners and judges alike show an inventiveness and pragmatism second to none. Since the previous edition of this book we have seen any number of developments, some expected, some unforeseen, some major, some relatively minor. Insolvency law has continued its journey towards being a significant, discrete area of law, demanding study in its own right and not just as a bolt-on to the end of a company law syllabus.

Cross-border issues have continued to dominate. Forum shopping is a hot topic both for companies and individuals. We have seen large multi-national companies de-camping to the UK to take advantage of what is perceived as a debtor-friendly insolvency regime. This is partly due to the now established and accepted practice of pre-packaged administrations. Tourists have come over to the UK from Ireland, Germany and other jurisdictions. The many attractions to be found in the UK in 2012, such as cricket, warm beer, the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics have, for many, been more than matched by the 12-month bankruptcy discharge period. The courts' interpretation of the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings has become one of the main points of contention. All of this has meant that we have expanded the chapters addressing cross-border insolvency significantly.

To adopt a footballing analogy, the UK is in the Premier League of insolvency law jurisdictions. It is perhaps fitting then that we have seen the courts grappling with the latest insolvency media cause célèbre, that of the effect of the football creditor rule in company voluntary arrangements. It has caused general consternation that millionaire footballers are paid in full by their insolvent employers whilst a club's milkman (and other trade suppliers) go unpaid.

It has been apparent for many years that cross-border issues were likely to be the subject of a burgeoning jurisprudence. Other areas have been less predictable. Around the time of the second edition of this book, the then Government seemed committed to changing the law in relation to pre-packaged administration and to offering different types of individual debtors a smorgasbord of options to avoid bankruptcy. Partly as a result of the recession the current Government has shelved these proposals. Pre-packs have fallen from their previous pre-eminent place in the media reports of insolvency law and now appear to be widely accepted. The pragmatic reaction of interested takeholders has led the Government to conclude there is no overwhelming reason to bring into force new procedures which are no longer needed. We now have the Debt Relief Order which is vying for position with both bankruptcy and individual voluntary arrangements, as the most popular individual insolvency procedure. New life has been breathed into the ancient common law principle of fraud on the bankruptcy laws by the courts' willingness to consider the workings of one of the doctrine's modern incarnations, namely the anti-deprivation principle.

Somewhat surprisingly, receivership continues to be popular. Reports of its demise following the Enterprise Act 2002, appear to have been somewhat premature. It is true that administrative receivership is looking very much like ‘old school' insolvency but fixed charge or Law of Property Act receivers continue to fly the receivership flag. Possibly due to the reluctance of banks to be seen as pulling the plug on companies, directors of companies are often encouraged to appoint administrators themselves. This practice has thrown up two lines of conflicting case-law as to what is needed to make a valid appointment.

These treats and others await the reader of this edition. As with previous editions we have tried to keep the book to a sensible length. We have attempted to pull off the difficult trick of engaging in analysis of black letter law highlighting areas of difficulty whilst still making the law accessible. We have continued to provide a list of references at the end of each Part which may assist the reader in delving deeper into subjects, which due to lack of space, we are unable to consider in more detail.
 We both have a number of people we would like to thank. Thanks must go to Mary Kenny and Kate Hather of the publisher for their encouragement and assistance in the production of this edition. Also, we thank Tracy Robinson for her editing work.

Pete Walton would like to thank Debs for her continuous support and general willingness to take on responsibility for keeping everything ticking over whilst he was writing. He would also like to thank Caleb for preferring the delights of virtually managing Wolverhampton Wanderers to an unlikely World Cup victory to interfering with his father's creativity. Pete would also like to express his appreciation to Ruth Stilton whose willingness to proofread drafts of his ramblings over the past 10 years has been invaluable. Andrew Keay would like to thank his wife, Rhonda, for displaying her usual patience and support when it comes to research and writing.
 We have endeavoured to state the law as it was available to us as at 31 March 2012.

Andrew Keay,
    Peter Walton,

Leeds and Wolverhampton



 Clearly, while insolvency was once largely a matter that was limited to domestic concerns, that is no longer the case. We now live in a global economy where many companies operate in a number of countries, holding assets and employing people in those countries, and these companies may become insolvent. The likelihood is that in the future the number of international insolvencies ‘will increase still further with the advances in telecommunications and the ease with which it is possible to trade across borders.' The result is that when one of those companies which operates internationally becomes insolvent it is going to effect the operations in all of the countries in which it has done business. Rover, Parmalat, Lehman Bros are just three of the many companies that operated across borders in the past, and which have become insolvent in more recent times, and the advent of their entry into insolvency regimes has caused disruption and some difficulty for those charged with administering the companies and their affairs.

As international insolvency (sometimes referred to as ‘cross-border insolvency') is becoming more and more important we need to address the problems that it presents and to explain the law and practice that exists. In this Part we are only endeavouring to raise the primary issues that are relevant and to introduce the law and practice that applies in international insolvencies. In Chapter 25 we provide some background to the international issues that can occur and set out some of the attempts that have been made to streamline the practice as far as it relates to international insolvencies. The largest part of the Chapter discusses UNCITRAL's Model Law and the UK's attempt to assist in the process of streamlining the administration of insolvencies with the enactment of the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006. The Regulations importantly contain UNCITRAL's Model Law. Chapter 26 then goes on to consider the European Union's strategy in streamlining insolvency within its member states and to discuss the operation of the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings 2000, which has become a critical aspect of insolvency law and practice in the UK.

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