E-filing of administration appointments—don’t get your wires crossed

E-filing of administration appointments—don’t get your wires crossed

Cathryn Williams, a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, considers the case of Wright and others v HMV Ecommerce Limited where the court decided that an electronic filing (e-filing) of a notice of appointment of administrators by directors outside the court’s opening hours was valid. 

Wright and others v HMV Ecommerce Limited and another company [2019] EWHC 903 (Ch), [2019] All ER (D) 172 (Jan)

Background

The e-filing of court documents is governed by CPR Practice Direction 51O—The Electronic Working Pilot Scheme (CPR PD 51O). CPR PD 51O, para 2.1 states that e-filing ‘enables parties to issue proceedings and file documents online 24 hours a day every day all year round, including during out of normal Court office opening hours and on weekends and bank holidays.’ CPR PD 51O, para 2.2 makes it clear that ‘Electronic Working applies to and may be used to start and/or continue…insolvency proceedings.’

There are a number of stated exceptions to the availability of e-filing, including when there is planned or unplanned ‘down-time,’ and importantly:

‘(c) where the filing is of a notice of appointment by a qualifying floating charge holder under Chapter 3 of Part 3 of the IR 2016 and the court is closed, in which case the filing must be in accordance with rule 3.20 of the IR 2016.’

Further, paragraph 8.1 of the Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings (PDIP) states that ‘For the avoidance of doubt, and notwithstanding the restriction in sub-paragraph (c) to notices of appointment made by qualifying chargeholders, paragraph 2.1 of the Electronic Practice Direction 51O shall not apply to any filing of a notice of appointment of an administrator outside Court opening hours, and the provisions of Insolvency Rules 3.20 to 3.22 shall in those circumstances continue to apply.’

E-filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators (NoI)—in or outside of court hours

When e-filing an NoI, CPR PD 51O, para 5.4 states the following as to when that filing will be effective:

  • if a fee is payable, the date and time of filing and the date and time of issue will be deemed to be the date and time the payment is made 
  • once a document filing is accepted, a notice will appear on the e-filing account confirming (1) that the document has been accepted and (2) the da

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About the author:

Anna joined the Restructuring and Insolvency team at Lexis®PSL in August 2013 from Berwin Leighton Paisner where she was a senior associate in the Restructuring Team.

Anna has worked on a number of large scale restructurings primarily in the UK market acting on behalf of lending institutions.

Recent transactions include the restructuring of a UK hotel chain and the administration sale of part of the Connaught group. Anna has also spent time on secondment at The Royal Bank of Scotland and trained at Clifford Chance qualifying in 2007.