Last year we saw two pivotal judgments handed down, Regis and New Look. These both concerned challenges brought by landlords, as to the manner in which landlord claims were treated in Regis’ and New Looks’, company voluntary arrangements (CVA). In the New Look case, landlords sought to attack the company’s CVA from all angles, with allegations of unfair prejudice and material irregularity, and in a huge blow for landlords the court upheld the New Look CVA, essentially finding that the manner in which landlords’ claims had been dealt with in the CVA was fair. It was not therefore unsurprising that the landlords sought to appeal the judge’s findings.
The appeal was eagerly anticipated, since, a Court of Appeal decision in New Look, whichever way it went, could have had a profound effect on the landlord community (either by making it extremely difficult for landlords to use the threat of a challenge to negotiate a better deal or putting a ‘nail in the coffin’ for companies wishing to use a CVA to compromise landlord claims ). The hearing was due to take place on 1 and 2 March 2022 but almost one year on from the High Court hearing, the matter was settled the evening before the appeal hearing was due to start – although the terms of settlement are unknown. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal will not get an opportunity to re-consider the points raised by landlords in challenge.
Following the outcome of the High Court decision last year, we produced a number of detailed alerts, titled “Making Sense of CVAs Post New Look and Regis”, which considered:
- The impact of the New Look and Regis decisions for UK insolvency practitioners
- Making sense of CVAs post New Look and Regis – a UK landlord’s perspective
- Voting and disclosure
Given that the High Court decision stands, these alerts set out the most up-to-date position
We do not expect this to be the end of landlord challenges to CVAs, but for now, the High Court’s decision in New Look sets out the parameters of a CVA and how they can deal with landlord claims.