Devinder Singh

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A Stellar Result for the Sellers of Comet Group Plc – UK Court of Appeal Unanimously Overturns £115m Preference Judgment

The Court of Appeal has unanimously overturned an unlawful preference ruling from the High Court, finding instead that the repayment of inter-company debt did not amount to a preference because, at the time the operative decision to make the repayment occurred, there was no desire to prefer. The case involved the repayment, by Comet Group … Continue Reading

Which Issues Affecting the Insolvencies of Failed Energy Companies has the Court Clarified?

On 11th November 2022, Mr Justice Zacaroli handed down judgment on an application for directions made by the officeholders of ten different energy supply companies (“ESC” or “ESCs”) seeking clarification on issues arising in the insolvencies of the ESCs which had not previously been the subject of judicial consideration. In terms of quantum, the issues … Continue Reading

Important Questions Answered As the UK Court Rules for the First Time on Issues Affecting Failed Energy Supply Companies

Devinder Singh, a restructuring and insolvency partner in SPB’s Birmingham office, acted for one of ten applicants in an application for directions made in the High Court by a number of officeholders following the collapse of several energy supply companies (“ESC”). The application sought directions on a number of key issues affecting the energy industry … Continue Reading

Restructuring Foreign Companies in England Using a Restructuring Plan

A restructuring plan may well be a very effective way of restructuring a foreign company. It has several advantages over a scheme of arrangement and with a relatively low entry threshold, the English court has already sanctioned at least one plan for a foreign company in the relatively short time that it has been available.  … Continue Reading

Have UK Insolvency Practitioners Lost the Protection of Release Clauses?

In the third (and final) of our blog series on recent CVA cases, in Rhino Enterprises Properties Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 2370 (Ch), the High Court gave permission for misfeasance proceedings to be brought against two former joint administrators. This was despite an approved Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) containing a clause releasing the joint … Continue Reading

Victory for Irish Landlords in Monsoon CVA Rent Disputes

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems faced by high-street retailers. Store closures during lockdown, changing consumer behaviour and the resultant loss of turnover and profits have caused many businesses to seek to reduce their rent payments. Company Voluntary Arrangements (“CVAs”) have become fashionable tools for trying to secure such rent reductions. In this blog, … Continue Reading

Further suspension of UK wrongful trading laws introduced

On 26 November 2020, The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”) came into force. The Regulations have exactly the same impact as the suspension of liability for wrongful trading that was brought into force by the Corporate Insolvency … Continue Reading

The Coronavirus Act 2020 – More Bad News for UK Commercial Landlords as Temporary Measures Extended Again

The UK Government is implementing further measures to protect commercial tenants from rent collection until the end of the calendar year. This is the latest in a number of extensions to the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 that have been enacted to help businesses navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new measures … Continue Reading

Resetting Your UK Business for the New Normal

Many local, national and global businesses with UK operations have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Cash flows have been impacted, trade and supply chains disrupted and business and consumer confidence damaged. Many businesses are facing the same challenges at the same time. The key for businesses to resetting for the “new normal” … Continue Reading

The New Insolvency Practice Direction – providing some much needed clarity for UK winding-up petitions?

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the “Act”) came into force on 26th June 2020. Alongside the Act, a new Insolvency Practice Direction (“IPD”) came into force and provides additional information in respect of winding petitions and the “coronavirus test”. This blog will look at a few of the key changes contained in the … Continue Reading

Walking the Tightrope of Wrongful Trading: Temporary “Suspension” of Liability in the UK Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

On 20 May 2020, the UK Government introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the “Bill”)  to the House of Commons. The aim of the Bill was temporarily to amend corporate insolvency laws to give companies the best possible chance of weathering the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the significant measures can be … Continue Reading

UK Government publishes bill outlining temporary restrictions on use of statutory demands and winding up petitions

The highly anticipated Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the “Bill”) was introduced to the House of Commons yesterday on 20 May 2020. Its aims appear to be simple: safeguard companies and maximise their chances of survival thereby preserving jobs. Alongside many key measures, the Bill includes temporary provisions to restrict the use of statutory demands … Continue Reading

Has your business assessed whether it can un-lock? The results from our UK on-line tool suggest many have not

Our new on line “Unlocking the Lockdown” tool looks at the next steps that may need to be considered by businesses across the UK as the country slowly navigates out of lockdown. As of 18 May 2020, our team has communicated with over 200 businesses to see what their next steps are and have concluded … Continue Reading

The Statistics Paint A Bleak Future For UK Businesses

As the world remains in lockdown, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect almost every business, impacting profits, customer interaction and ultimately threatening the survival of many businesses. New studies have begun to show the impact of the national lockdown on the UK’s business community. The Opinium-Cebr Business Distress Tracker (the “Tracker”), created by the Centre … Continue Reading

UK Business Extremes of Covid-19

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the measures introduced by the UK government to halt the spread of the contagion have inflicted an unprecedented shock to the UK labour market. Social distancing and lockdown measures have resulted in many non-essential stores having to close temporarily and/or stop trading to minimise gatherings and the spread of the virus. The … Continue Reading

What do the statistics say about the impact of Covid-19 on UK businesses?

As the UK enters its fourth week in lockdown, the financial impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has begun to materialise for many businesses. To support individuals and businesses moving forward and to assist them in producing contingency plans, the Office for National Statistics, one of UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics, has provided a … Continue Reading

What are the consequences of taking money from a rent deposit if the tenant company is in administration?

If administrators use leased property for the benefit of the administration, rent is payable to the landlord for the period of occupation, as an expense of the administration. In London Bridge Entertainment, the court considered whether the administrators were obliged to top up a rent deposit where the landlord had taken monies from the rent … Continue Reading

Does a company voluntary arrangement permanently vary the terms of a lease?

In this three part blog we highlight three recent court decisions concerning landlord rights and insolvency, which provide cautionary warnings and surprising twists.  The questions we consider are: Does a company voluntary arrangement (“CVA”) permanently vary the terms of a lease? Can a landlord be forced to accept a surrender of a lease? What are the … Continue Reading

CVA challenges by landlords – the latest news

The hair salon Regis announced recently that the company has entered administration. The news might not come as a surprise because the chain, prior to the company’s administration, was subject to a company voluntary arrangement (“CVA”) whose validity was challenged by landlords. The joint administrator of Regis commented: “trading challenges, coupled with the uncertainty caused by … Continue Reading

The court confirms that landlords have the right to forfeit a lease if its tenant enters a CVA. What practical impact does this have on landlord claims?

Can a CVA bind a landlord in respect of future rents? Is the landlord a creditor in respect of future rent? What about the right to forfeit; can a CVA modify that right? Is compromising rent under a CVA automatically unfair to landlords when other trade creditors are paid in full? These were some of … Continue Reading
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