Contradictions abound around insolvency exemption

Contradictions abound around insolvency exemption

Restructuring & Insolvency analysis: Frances Coulson of Moon Beever, and former president of R3, considers the recent confirmation that the insolvency litigation exemption will end in April 2015.

Original news: Jackson reforms and insolvency

The current exemption for insolvency proceedings will come to an end in April 2015. The confirmation for this arose out of a written question put to the Secretary of State for Justice, Shailesh Vara.

What is the current position in terms of lobbying the government on the exemption?

While the lobbying to retain the exemption from the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO 2012) for insolvency litigation is currently hitting a brick wall, there is no reason to give up the fight. Shailesh Vara recently responded to a question from the Shadow Justice Minister, Andy Slaughter, to the effect that the exemption will end in April 2015. In response to several MPs letters, Mr Vara has responded that they will rely on their 'existing impact assessment'. They do not seem to realise that they simply have not had one. While impact assessments were indeed carried out, if the Ministry of Justice were to revisit them, they would see that, in fact, there was no mention of insolvency litigation at all. The impact assessments deal with general tort claims. There is a glaring omission in their impact assessments in relation to insolvency litigation and no follow up impact assessment on the intention to take positive steps to remove the current insolvency exemption. The only assessment of evidence as to the effects of loss of the carve-out come in the form of the Walton Report commissioned by R3 (see: R3 report on the impact of the Jackson Reforms on insolvency litigation from April 2015)

How does this fit in with the broader reform programme?

From my perspective, the whole insolvency reform programme

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About the author:

Frances gained her LLB (Hons) at Kings’ College, London University in 1983. She then attended Chester College of Law to take what were then the Solicitors’ Final Examinations. She has been at Moon Beever since 1984 where she trained, qualifying in 1986, and a partner since 1988 becoming Managing Partner in 2000. She is also a founder partner of ShawnCoulson, an international association, of which Moon Beever is the London office. She is Head of Insolvency and Business Recovery at Moon Beever running a substantial team of insolvency specialists. She undertakes most areas of personal and corporate insolvency, specialising in contentious insolvency especially cases involving fraud, as well as provisional liquidations and injunctive work generally.

She is Chairman of the Appeal Committee at ACCA and a member of the Insolvency Law Evaluation Panel at the Insolvency Service, and CBI Insolvency Panel as well as a member of Insol, and the IBA and, veering towards the personal, of the NFU, and the Carlton Club.

Frances is a regular speaker in the UK and abroad on insolvency and practice management.

Frances was formerly Chairman of the SPG Committee of R3, the Insolvency trade body representing 97% of licensed insolvency practitioners. She is President of R3 for 2011-2012, and remains a member of its R3 Policy Group.

She is interested in all things equestrian as are her three daughters and her husband, and spends her free time (such as it is) with her family and other animals, riding and trying to improve her strokes at Real Tennis.