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The Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 have been laid before Parliament, and will come into force on 6 April 2017—subject to some transitional provisions—on which date the Insolvency Rules 1986 (IR 1986) and other secondary legislation that has subsequently amended them will be repealed. As the biggest change in insolvency law for 30 years, there will be relief that the new insolvency rules have finally been laid before Parliament, but also apprehension that insolvency professionals now have little under six months to digest the new insolvency rules, which contain a number of changes to procedures and processes, and be ready for their commencement.
As part of the government's Red Tape Challenge in 2011, the IS was tasked with reviewing the insolvency process in England and Wales in order to try to streamline the process and cut costs by reducing unnecessary regulation, therefore with the ultimate goal of increasing returns to creditors.
Note that Northern Ireland and Scotland operate under different rules and so do not fall under this particular reform process.
The first draft of the new rules was published in September 2013 for consultation, and invited stakeholder responses on the draft by 24 January 2014. The government stated that its aim for the new rules was to 'modernise and recast them…taking the opportunity to re-order the whole structure on more logical and clear lines.'
In July 2015 the IS published a news story on it's website stating that, on 20 July 2015, it had met with members of the Insolvency Rules Committee to discuss the draft new rules. At the same time the IS published a further draft of the new rules and an explanatory note of the policy changes, with a statement that the new rules would be expected to be made in spring 2016, with a commencement date of 1 October 2016. However, there have been delays, and at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Insolvency and Restructuring Group’s roadshow on 22 September 2016, the IS said that it was aiming to lay the new insolvency rules before Parliament week commencing 10 October 2016, with a commencement date of 6 April 2017, subject to Ministerial approval (see blog post: Timing announcement for the Insolvency Rules 2016).
This has now happened and the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, SI 2016/1024 were laid before Parliament on 25 October 2016.
The purpose of the new insolvency rules is to:
The changes include:
Given the extent and impact of the new insolvency rules, we will undertake a wide range of work over the coming weeks and months, including:
If you are a LexisPSL Restructuring and Insolvency subscriber, click the links below for further information:
Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015—impact on insolvency
The Deregulation Act 2015
Not a subscriber? Find out more about how LexisPSL can help you and click here for a free trial of LexisPSL Restructuring and Insolvency.
First published on LexisPSL Restructuring and Insolvency
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