The low down on the Insolvency Practitioners' Handbook 2014

With the Insolvency Practitioners’ Handbook 2014 now available in Lexis®PSL, Alison Curry, head of regulatory standards at the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA), highlights what is new in the Insolvency Practitioners’ Handbook 2014 and why might lawyers be interested in this book.

What is in the Insolvency Practitioners' Handbook?

The Insolvency Practitioners’ Handbook produced by the IPA draws together the most significant elements of statutory regulation with which insolvency practitioners are required to comply, with other best practice and guidance statements and our own IPA rules and guidance, into a single handy volume.

As the only specialist insolvency regulator and membership body, the IPA takes the function of supporting our insolvency practitioners in their work very seriously. If we can assist insolvency practitioners with ready access to the rules and regulations they need to refer to on a regular basis, we hope this will contribute to maintaining expected professional standards of practice. Promoting and maintaining high standards of practice is our primary objective as an association.

What does the latest edition include?

The 2014 edition has been revised to include Statement of Insolvency Practice (SIP) 16 on pre-packaged administration sales which was issued in November 2013 and the two new SIPs for individual and company voluntary arrangements (SIPs 3.1 and 3.2), which came into effect on 1 July 2014. So all of the SIPs in the Handbook are bang up-to-date. It also includes the January 2014 revision to the Straightforward Consumer IVA Protocol.

What might insolvency practitioners find most useful about the Handbook?

Members of the IPA say that having all of the materials in a single place is what helps them most. The Handbook is in full colour, so the various sections are easily identifiable. Also, now that we’ve made it a little lighter, it should be even easier to keep to hand for reference purposes.

Why might lawyers be interested in the Handbook?

Lawyers are most likely to be interested in the ethics code and SIPs set out in the Handbook which are not merely guidance—they are in effect mandatory in their application and set out standards to which insolvency professionals should adhere. Insolvency practitioners may be subject to disciplinary proceedings via their licensing body if they fall short of these expected professional standards. Both the ethics code and the SIPs are quite practical in their focus, addressing areas of contention within insolvency practice and highlighting potential regulatory pitfalls. Insolvency practitioners refer to them on a regular basis and they are increasingly being referred to by the courts. It is difficult to envisage how a lawyer could fully understand the work of an insolvency practitioner client without being aware of these primary requirements.

Similarly, when advising in any insolvency matter, it will be invaluable to be aware of the regulatory expectation placed upon the insolvency office holder.

What's next for the IPA?

The IPA has a long and proud history of supporting its members through examinations, training, and the provision of resources, such as our Handbook. We assist with around 100 ethical and regulatory enquiries from our insolvency practitioner members each year, run regional events and conferences and are developing an online programme of critical skills training. Our courses and events are open to non-members, though we do provide significant discounts to individual members and employees of member firms.

For details of any of our courses or events, visit our website for further details: Insolvency Practitioners Association

Accessing the Handbook

To access the Insolvency Practitioners Handbook 2014 in Lexis®PSL, see the Practice Note Insolvency Practitioners' Handbook 2014 (subscribers only).

Not a subscriber? Find out more about how LexisPSL can help you.

Interviewed by Anna Jeffrey, solicitor in the Lexis®PSL Restructuring & Insolvency team.

The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.

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