What is meant by ‘ordinarily resident’ in bankruptcy proceedings? (Re Khan)

What is meant by ‘ordinarily resident’ in bankruptcy proceedings? (Re Khan)

Joseph Wigley, barrister at 4 Stone Buildings, examines the case Re Khan; Reynold Porter Chamberlain LLP v Khan where the court had to determine whether it had jurisdiction to make a bankruptcy order against a Pakistani citizen who contended that he was not ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for the purposes of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986).

Original news

Re Khan; Reynold Porter Chamberlain LLP v Khan [2016] Lexis Citation 9, [2016] All ER (D) 92 (Feb)

The Bankruptcy High Court considered the meaning of ‘ordinarily resident’ and ruled that it had jurisdiction to make a bankruptcy order against the respondent debtor, a member of the Pakistan Senate, notwithstanding that it accepted his evidence that he usually resided in Pakistan. The time he spent in the UK, where his children were schooled, where he owned properties and had business interests, evidenced a degree of permanence. It followed that he had a place of residence in England and Wales in the period mentioned in IA 1986, s 265.

What was the background to the hearing?

Between August and October 2012, RPC, a firm of solicitors based in the City of London, rendered legal services to Senator Wakar Ahmed Khan (the debtor), a citizen of the Republic of Pakistan who holds diverse business and industrial interests within Pakistan, in connection with proceedings in the Commercial Court brought by Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA in July 2011.

The debtor, who had previously instructed at least three other firms of solicitors, failed to make any payment in respect of a number of invoices issued by RPC. In August 2014, RPC obtained default judgment in respect of the sums owing. No application was made by the debtor to set aside or otherwise challenge this judgment.

Since obtaining judgment, RPC took enforcement steps. After the debtor had variously avoided and refused to accept service, a statutory demand was served upon

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