Security for costs in winding-up appeals—Re The Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd

Security for costs in winding-up appeals—Re The Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd

Tony Beswetherick, counsel at 20 Essex Street Chambers, discusses the decision in Re The Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd, in which he acted for the respondent, and says the decision has put an end to the assumption that when a company appeals against a winding-up order the petitioner should be given security for costs.

Original news

Re The Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd; Subnom Aidiniantz v The Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd [2015] EWHC 2882 (Ch), [2015] All ER (D) 130 (Oct)

The petitioner had successfully applied to wind up a company previously involved in running the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The company was granted permission to appeal. The Companies Court dismissed the petitioner’s application, under rule 52.9 of the the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), SI 1998/3132, for an order imposing conditions.

What was the background to the application?

This was an interim application made in the context of an appeal against a winding-up order. The appellant company was wound up upon a creditor’s petition. The company appealed against the winding-up order on the basis that the petition debt had been disputed or else was subject to a larger cross-claim and so the winding-up order should not have been made. Permission to appeal was granted to the company but prior to the hearing of the appeal the petitioner applied to the court for orders:

  • requiring the company (or those responsible for instigating the appeal) to provide security for the petitioner’s costs of the appeal pursuant to CPR 25.15, and
  • under CPR 52.9 varying the terms on which permission to appeal had been granted so as to make the appeal conditional upon the company (or those responsible for instigating the appeal) paying into court the petitioner’s costs of the petition and other sums which he was owed

What were the legal issues that the judge had to decide in this application?

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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.