Chancellor announces case migration from Registrars to Central London County Court to reduce court waiting times

In an effort to reduce the current long waiting times to appear before a registrar in the High Court, the Chancellor of the High Court, in consultation with the court users committee, has agreed that certain cases that would usually appear before a registrar in the High Court may now be transferred to the County Court  sitting in Central London and be heard before a district judge.

Summary

The Chancellor has produced a note setting the criteria upon which cases will be transferred.

It should be noted that all winding-up petitions should continue to be issued in the High Court. The High Court will decide on any reallocation if appropriate. The power for such transfer is provided for by rule 13 of The Insolvency (Amendment) Rules 2015 (SI 2015/443).

All bankruptcy petitions must be listed and allocated in accordance with the Insolvency Rules 1986, SI 1986/1925, r 6.9A.

All High Court proceedings which are to be listed before a registrar in accordance with the Practice Direction—Insolvency Proceedings will continue to be issued and listed in the Royal Courts of Justice sitting in the Rolls Building.

With effect from 6 April 2015 certain proceedings will be issued and heard in the County Court sitting in Central London, such as applications to restore a company to the Register of Companies, among others.

This will take effect from 6 April 2015.

The full text of the note is as follows:

Note on listing and criteria for the transfer of work from the registrars to the County Court sitting in Central London

1. All winding up petitions must be issued and listed for initial hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice sitting in the Rolls Building.

2. All bankruptcy petitions must be listed and allocated in accordance with the Insolvency Rules 1986, SI 1986/1925, r 6.9A.

3. Save as provided above, all High Court proceedings which are to be listed before a registrar in accordance with the Practice Direction—Insolvency Proceedings will continue to be issued and listed in the Royal Courts of Justice sitting in the Rolls Building. In each case consideration will be given by a registrar at an appropriate stage to whether the proceedings should remain in the High Court or be transferred to the County Court sitting in Central London.

4. When deciding whether proceedings which have been issued in the High Court should be transferred to the County Court sitting in Central London, the registrar should have regard to the following factors:

a. the complexity of the proceedings

b. whether the proceedings raise new or controversial points of law

c. the likely date and length of the hearing

d. public interest in the proceedings

e. (where it is ascertainable) the amount in issue in the proceedings

5. As a general rule, and subject to 4(a)–(d) above, where the amount in issue in the proceedings is £100,000 or less, the proceedings should be transferred to the County Court sitting in Central London.

6. Subject to para 4(a)–(e), the following will be transferred to be heard in the County Court sitting in Central London:

a. private examinations ordered to take place under the Insolvency Act 1986, ss 236 or 366 (but not necessarily the application for the private examination)

b. applications to extend the term of office of an administrator (Insolvency Act 1986, Sch B1, para 76)

c. applications for permission to distribute the prescribed part (Insolvency Act 1986, Sch B1, para 65(3))

d. applications to disqualify a director and applications for a bankruptcy restrictions order where it appears likely that an order will be made for a period not exceeding five years.

7. With effect from 6 April 2015 the following proceedings will be issued and heard in the County Court sitting in Central London:

a. applications for the restoration of a company to the register (Companies Act 2006, s 1029ff)

b. applications to extend the period allowed for the delivery of particulars relating to a charge (Companies Act 2006, s 859F)

c. applications to rectify the register by reason of omission or mis-statement in any statement or notice delivered to the registrar of companies (Companies Act 2006, s 859M) or to replace an instrument or debenture delivered to the registrar of companies (Companies Act 2006, s 859N).

Further Reading

If you are a LexisPSL Subscriber, click the link below for further information:

Practice and procedure for the drafting, presentation, service and advertisement of a winding-up petition to the court by a creditor of a company registered in England or Wales

Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings (2014)

How can an administrator apply to extend their term?

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First published on LexisPSL Restructuring and Insolvency

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