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An overview of winding-up orders

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

If you find yourself in a situation where a company owes you money and is refusing or unable to pay then, with the help of a solicitor, you may be able to petition the court for a ‘wind-up’ order.

In England and Wales  a wind-up order can be served to a company if their total debts to you equate to more than £750. With legal counsel you also need to be able to prove that the company is unable to pay the debts and serve specific forms to the court.

Evidence of the company being unable to pay their debts could be a certificate of personal service or substituted service which includes details of the services you provided to the company and details of your requests for payment.  It could also be a statement from a bailiff’s company to inform you that they cannot recover assets of enough value to cover the debt in question. This helps to demonstrate to the court that your previous attempts at recovering the debt have been unsuccessful.

Your solicitor will then serve these forms to the relevant court. Which level of court will depend on the level of debt owed. Once this has happened, they will serve the petition to the defending company and confirm that they have done so through a ‘certificate of service’.

After a certificate of service has been served the next step is to inform the relevant liquidator, administrative reciever, administrator or supervisor.

There are fees involved with serving a winding up petition, including £280 for court fees and £1250 as a petition deposit for the management of the petition order.

Once the petition has been accepted a date will be set for a court hearing which has to be announced through The Gazette at least 7 days prior to the hearing.  A copy also needs to be sent to the court within 5 days and a list provided to the court detailing everyone who will be in attendance by 4.30pm at the latest on the day of the hearing.

If the winding-up order is granted in this hearing then the company will be sold and its assets sold off by means of a liquidator to help clear the debt which is owed to the creditor.

The process of serving a winding-up order can be incredibly complex and it is important that you seek experienced legal advice to guide you through some of the potential pitfalls. For advice please contact us on 020 7611 4848 to arrange a complimentary telephone consultation.

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