Which documents can liquidators reasonably request? (Re Corporate Jet Realisations; Green v Chubb)

Which documents can liquidators reasonably request? (Re Corporate Jet Realisations; Green v Chubb)

James Morgan and Matthew Weaver, barristers at St Philips Chambers, advise that the judgment in Green v Chubb and Jervis is a helpful reminder that different tests are applied depending on whether the documents or information being sought can be said to form part of the company's property or whether it belongs to third parties.

Original news

Re Corporate Jet Realisations Limited (In Liquidation); Green v Chubb and another [2015] EWHC 221 (Ch)

The company's liquidator applied to the court under sections 234-236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) seeking delivery up of the company's records from administrative receivers who had been previously appointed over the company, together with information and documentation from the receivers and their firm concerning pre and post appointment work undertaken by them which included communications passing between them and the appointing bank. The court held that documents said to form part of the company's property were to be disclosed. With regard to the other documents sought, an assessment had to be carried out, balancing factors such as confidentially, with the duty of a liquidator to carry out his duties, including obtaining information and documentation where a reasonable requirement for the same is established. Having carried out that balancing act some—but not all—categories of documents sought were to be disclosed.

Briefly, what was the background to the case?

The company in question was a holding company with six trading subsidiaries all of which carried on the business of private jet charter hire. The company was incorporated in August 2001 and wound up on a creditor's petition on 25 November 2009, with the liquidator being appointed on 1 March 2010.

Prior to the winding up, administrative receivers (the receivers) had been appointed by the company's single largest creditor, Bank of Scotland plc (the bank), on 26 September 2007 pursuant to a debenture.

Prior to the appointment of the receivers, PwC had been

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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.