New Insolvency Rules laid before Parliament

New Insolvency Rules laid before Parliament

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date the Insolvency Rules 1986 (IR 1986) and other secondary legislation that has subsequently amended them will be repealed.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.

Background to the new insolvency rules

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:

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About the author:

Stephen qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and joined the Restructuring and Insolvency team at Lexis®PSL in September 2014 from Shoosmiths LLP, where he was a senior associate in the restructuring and insolvency team.

Primarily focused on contentious and advisory corporate and personal insolvency work, Stephen’s experience includes acting for office-holders on a wide range of issues, including appointments, investigations and the recovery and realisation of assets (including antecedent transaction claims), and for creditors in respect of the impact on them of the insolvency of debtors and counterparties.