The recent case of Manolete Partners Plc v Hayward and Barrett Holdings Ltd  EWHC 1481 (Ch) impacts both insolvency practitioners and assignees of insolvency claims, potentially making such claims more expensive to bring and a procedural burden by requiring (depending on the nature of the pleaded claims) two sets of proceedings, even though the claims arise from the same facts.
Although the judge reached his conclusions “with regret” – and those conclusions essentially arise because of the constraints of the insolvency legislation – the findings are not helpful for insolvency practitioners seeking to pursue insolvency claims. More so for smaller value claims given the additional disbursement costs, and costs of two sets of proceedings, which could tip the cost/benefit scales against pursuing them.
Assignees of insolvency claims should also note the findings, although we have no doubt that litigation funders will do their best to find a workable solution to the problems that this case creates.
For those practitioners who are currently pursuing an insolvency claim using the procedure in the Insolvency Rules 1986 (the Rules), they should be alive to the fact that a respondent to those proceedings (or indeed the Court itself) may well seek an order requiring the applicant to pay an additional court fee to continue it, if part of the claim should have been issued using the Part 7 procedure (see further below) in order to remedy what this case has identified to be, a procedural defect.