Administration—e-filing a notice of appointment out of court hours (Re S.J. Henderson & Co Ltd; Re Triumph Furniture Ltd and Re Skeggs Beef Ltd)

Administration—e-filing a notice of appointment out of court hours (Re S.J. Henderson & Co Ltd; Re Triumph Furniture Ltd and Re Skeggs Beef Ltd)

Two different judgments have recently considered the consequences of e-filing a notice of appointment of an administrator out of court opening hours (so as to thereby appoint an administrator out-of-hours) with both courts finding that there is no legislative power which permits practitioners to do so. This has real implications for those working in this area, as filing a valid notice of appointment (under paragraphs [18] and [29] of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) is a prerequisite to the appointment of the administrator actually taking effect at all (see paragraphs [19] and [31] of Schedule B1 to IA 1986). Attempting to e-file such a notice outside court hours—which is easy to do considering the 24–hour availability of e-filing—can mean the appointment of the administrator therefore does not take effect at the time of filing, or can instead lead to the appointment being held to be defective. Practitioners need to be aware of the limitations of the e-filing regime in this context, so as to avoid there being any question over the validity of an administrator’s appointment at the time he or she take their first acts in the administration. Written by Emily Gailey, barrister, at Maitland Chambers.

Re S.J. Henderson & Co Ltd; Re Triumph Furniture Ltd [2019] EWHC 2742 (Ch)

Re Skeggs Beef Ltd Eason and another (as joint administrators of Skeggs Beef Ltd (in administration)) v Skeggs Beef Ltd (in administration) [2019] EWHC 2607 (Ch)

What are the practical implications of these cases?

Since the introduction of the Electronic Working Pilot Scheme, and its subsequent expansion, the concept of court opening hours has generally become less relevant to the day-to-day business of filing documents at court. It is now common for solicitors to e-file documents at court before 10am, for example, or after 4.30pm.

Where the document to be e-filed was the notice of appointment of an administrator, however, it was previously unclear whether

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