Bankruptcy Appeal. The Chancery Division, in dismissing an appeal against a bankruptcy order, held that there had been a clear and careful judgment by the district judge, who had reached a decision that had been well open to her on the evidence.
Company Liquidation. The Chancery Division ruled on an application by liquidators of Premier Motor Auctions Leeds Ltd and another company for orders that litigation expenses of proceedings brought by the companies be approved and authorised by the court, pursuant to r 4.218E of the Insolvency Rules 1986, and for orders that the application be heard in private and not be served on a creditor of the companies (Lloyds) until after the final determination of the proceedings. The court held that the circumstances of the case were not sufficiently exceptional to justify derogation from the open justice principle. A question of construction was raised as to whether the condition specified in r4.218B(1)(c) was satisfied and whether it could be said that the liquidators would have to have recourse to property comprised in or subject to Lloyds' floating charge in order to pay litigation expenses. However, it was not appropriate to deal with the application in the absence of Lloyds and the application and the evidence were ordered to first be served on Lloyds.
Bankruptcy Trustee in bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy High Court granted the applicant discharged bankrupt permission to bring an action against the respondent, the released joint trustee in bankruptcy, under s304 of the for an order that he repay, restore or account for money or pay a sum by way of compensation in respect of misfeasance or breach of fiduciary duty in carrying out his functions as trustee. There was evidence to suggest that the applicant had a reasonably meritorious cause of action against the respondent on the basis of his having incurred and paid legal fees in excess of what he had had authority to incur.
Company Insolvency. The Companies Court allowed the second defendant's counterclaim seeking the winding-up a company, which had been set up as part of a joint venture to develop and market internet telecommunications technology, where it was just and equitable for a company to be wound up. The defendants to the counterclaim were ordered to make restitution, alternatively to pay damages, in the sum of $6.7m plus interest.
Company Winding up. The Companies Court allowed the applicant company's application to restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition made against it. In the circumstances, the inquiries of fact and context required would be far better dealt with by ordinary process. A petition for winding up was not a suitable or even proper way to proceed.
Costs Order for costs. The Chancery Division, allowed the third to sixth defendants' application under CPR40.12 seeking clarification or amendment of an order for costs made following the trial of a probate action concerning a will. The amount of the claimant's personal liability for the costs of the third to sixth defendants under the order was not limited by reference to the amount of her pecuniary legacy. The court exercised its inherent power under CPR 40BPD 4.5 that the order be amended to add words to the order to ensure any ambiguity in the order was removed.
Bankruptcy Trustee in bankruptcy. The present case concerned a pier, the freehold of which was owned by H until he was made bankrupt and the freehold vested in his trustee in bankruptcy. Among other things, the Chancery Division dismissed H's application for a vesting order, holding that it would not be appropriate in all the circumstances to make an order vesting in H the pier or any part of it.
Bankruptcy Meeting of creditors. The appellants challenged the appointment of a trustee in the bankruptcy of an individual, F at a meeting of creditors, and they challenged the voting rights at that meeting of solicitors who had submitted claims for fees due under a conditional fee agreement made with F. The Bankruptcy High Court ruled that sums claimed by the solicitors, under the CFA made with F, who had entered into an involuntary arrangement, were unascertained and, accordingly, the solicitors' voting rights at a meeting appointing a trustee in bankruptcy were affected, pursuant to r6.93(3) of the Insolvency Rules, . Given that it was not possible from the evidence to know what had been properly incurred and therefore in order to permit voting rights, the claims of the solicitors were valued at 1.00 each, and a new trustee was appointed by the court.
Re Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK Limited; Subnom Official Receiver v Sahaviriya Steel Industries Public Company Ltd
Insolvency Company. The Chancery Division made an order, under of the Insolvency Act 1986, for the restoration of an IT system to Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK Ltd and, among other things, directed that the hearing should take place in private where the evidence involved revealing information that might adversely affect the liquidator's negotiating position in attempting to sell some or all of the company's business.
Insolvency Bankruptcy. A registrar had dismissed a bankrupt's application for a declaration that a notice claiming 'after-acquired property' had not been served on him by the trustee in bankruptcy within the statutory time limits, under s307(1) of the by the trustee in bankruptcy, and that it was, accordingly, of no effect. The Chancery Division, Bankruptcy Court, in dismissing the bankrupt's appeal, considered the meaning of 'knowledge' in respect of the date on which the trustee had become aware that the property in question had been acquired by, or had devolved on, the bankrupt. It ruled that the term 'knowledge' under ss 307 and 309 of the Act denoted actual knowledge and had to be knowledge of facts and not of mere claims or allegations and that the registrar had not erred in law in relation to the test of knowledge, under those sections of the Act, and had made findings of fact that had been open to her.