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(UK) Disclosure and Vote Swamping Revisted – Has the Position Changed following the Mizen CVA Appeal?

In two recent blog posts we discussed the challenge made to the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) of Mizen Build/Design Ltd (the “Company”) by Peabody Construction Limited (“Peabody”) and the finding of (i) a material irregularity based on failure to disclose information to creditors in the CVA proposal, and (ii) unfair prejudice based on vote swamping. … Continue Reading

Can UK Administrators Apply For Conditional Discharge of Liability?

The court has recently confirmed that it does have jurisdiction to grant administrators a conditional discharge of liability but decided not to do so in the case of Re Central Properties Holdings Ltd (in administration) [2023].  In this blog we consider why the court refused to make that order and whether there are any circumstances … Continue Reading

(UK) Pensions – A Pot to Play for?

The recent case of Re Lloyds British Testing Ltd [2023] is a reminder not to forget that in the right circumstances a director’s occupational pension pot might be a valuable source of funds that an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) can access to recover an unpaid debt due from a former director. Background In this case, an … Continue Reading

(UK) Avanti: The Evolution of a Spectrum – from Fixed to Floating Charge, who Needs Control?

In a decision likely to be welcomed by both debtors and lenders, the High Court has held that a charge granted by Avanti Communications Limited (“Avanti”) was properly characterised as a fixed charge (rather than a floating charge) notwithstanding that the chargor retained an element of control over the charged assets. A key plank of … Continue Reading

Latest Market Guidance on the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (“NSIA”) is not particularly comforting to UK restructuring professionals

The NSIA is aimed at safeguarding national security and only applies to certain transactions occurring within certain sectors where national security might be threatened.  There are 17 sectors in total, including energy, transport, and communications.   Depending on the transaction, the NSIA may require a purchaser to notify the Secretary of State of an acquisition to … Continue Reading

(UK) The Gloves are off for HMRC: What did we learn from the Great Annual Savings Sanction Hearing?

Yesterday saw the end of a three-day sanction hearing for the restructuring plan (the “Plan”) of the Great Annual Savings (GAS) company, with Justice Adam Johnson reserving his judgment and importantly, his decision on whether to exercise cross-class-cram-down to sanction the Plan for a later date. As we discussed in our recent blog, the Plan … Continue Reading

“It’s the principle of the thing”: HMRC fights back against UK Restructuring Plans

‘If, at first, you don’t succeed, then try and try again’ is a fitting description for HMRC’s recent approach to restructuring plans, with its opposition of plans proposed by The Great Annual Savings Company (GAS) and Nasmyth Group Limited (Naysmyth). The GAS sanction hearing (which is due to take place this week) will be the … Continue Reading

What is in your Derivatives?

Recent market shocks (from the 2022 mini budget which triggered a pension fund crisis to more recent developments with respect to Credit Suisse, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank) will prompt market participants to review their hedging arrangements. There are several matters to take into account when market participants start to experience distress, and in … Continue Reading

(UK) Stripped and Outnumbered: Compromising Guarantee Claims in a CVA 

A company voluntary arrangement (CVA) is a tool which has been widely utilised by companies seeking to restructure and compromise liabilities. In recent years CVAs have been in the limelight because of attacks by landlords who feel that they have been unfairly prejudiced by the CVA terms.  Largely, challenges such as those to the Regis … Continue Reading

(UK) EBT Claims- Have Beneficiaries been Unjustly Enriched?

Can a liquidator run an unjust enrichment claim to seek to recover PAYE and NIC liabilities from a company’s directors arising from the company’s use of a “disguised remuneration” employee benefit trust (“EBT”) scheme? Based on the findings of ICC Judge Barber in the case of Re Ethos Solutions Ltd, the answer is “no”.… Continue Reading

Restructuring Plans: A Final Lifeline for the UK Care Sector?

The challenges facing the care sector are not news to anyone. However, as we enter 2023, a sector which has historically operated on thin margins may be about to hit breaking point, with the number of insolvencies involving residential care businesses having increased by 59% in the last year alone. Is it possible to identify … Continue Reading

(UK) 2023: The Year of the Restructuring Plan?

It is difficult to predict what 2023 might hold for businesses in the UK.  Given the difficult economic environment, many will already be facing a challenging start to the year.  Although the challenges of the pandemic (such as lock downs) have gone, others have materialised. Energy price hikes and inflation rises continue to make trading conditions tough. At some point in 2023 affected businesses may have to restructure, and others may need to enter a formal process. … Continue Reading

The Register of Overseas Entities From a Restructuring and Insolvency Perspective

The requirement for overseas entities to register or be registered on the UK Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) at Companies House could impact certain transactions that insolvency practitioners (IPs) and lenders are involved with.  Our latest quick guide highlights some of those areas and flags points for IPs and lenders to consider when dealing with … Continue Reading

Cross Border Recognition, 25 years on: the view from each side of the Pond

The recent decision in Re Astora Women’s Health LLC illustrates the importance of cross-border recognition of insolvency processes, highlighting the benefits of a joined-up global approach which recognises that modern business do not stop for international borders. With Astora hot off the presses and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UNCITRAL Model Law on the horizon … Continue Reading

Is Your Appointor Entitled to Appoint? The Importance of Checking Whether There is Power to Appoint UK Administrators

The power to appoint an administrator is an important power for debenture holders when seeking to enforce their security. In order to exercise that power, the debenture has to be a qualifying floating charge (“QFC”) and it has to be enforceable. The case of Borg-Olivier v Knowles & Ors [2022] EWHC 2579 (Ch) (“Borg-Olivier”), highlights … 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

To Complete or not to Complete – “Early” Completion of Company Voluntary Arrangements (UK)

Can a Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) complete, but still remain in place and bind creditors? The simple answer is yes; but it does require (a) the terms of the CVA to be carefully drafted to allow notice of completion to be filed before the end of the CVA term; (b) compliance with the terms of … Continue Reading

Understanding Pandemic Supply Chains

Supply chain disruption was exacerbated by the pandemic, and due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine problems continue to impact UK businesses. Unfortunately there is no sign of disruptions abating in the short term. In a recent webinar Sarah Rathke explored the question: “Why is Everything Broken? Understanding Pandemic Supply Chains” which is available to view … Continue Reading
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