Dissolution and bona vacantia—dealing with the Treasury Solicitor
Produced in partnership with Katrina Mather of Hardwicke Chambers
Dissolution and bona vacantia—dealing with the Treasury Solicitor

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Katrina Mather of Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dissolution and bona vacantia—dealing with the Treasury Solicitor
  • What is bona vacantia?
  • Who acts on behalf of the Crown in England and Wales?
  • Who acts on behalf of the Crown where bona vacantia property is situated outside of England and Wales?
  • Approach of BVD to bona vacantia property
  • Effect of disclaimer of bona vacantia freehold property—escheat
  • Effect of disclaimer of bona vacantia leasehold property
  • Involvement of BVD where sale by a receiver
  • Practical tips: how to avoid TSOL disclaiming the property
  • Practical tips: how to deal with the risk of disclaimer
  • more

Bona vacantia means ‘goods without an owner’ and is a relevant consideration where any company is at risk of being struck off and dissolved. Any assets which have not otherwise been disposed of and remain in the ownership of the company at the time of strike off or dissolution pass to the Crown bona vacantia. This Practice Note considers the practical issues arising from the perspective of a receiver appointed to (or to be appointed to) property which has vested in the Crown bona vacantia.

Instances of property, land and chattels passing to the Crown bona vacantia have been on the rise. This is in part because the Registrar of Companies is able to strike off and dissolve companies that they believe are not carrying on business under section 1000 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006); often, this will be where the company fails to file statutory information by a given deadline, eg annual accounts.

For further information on how a company may be dissolved, see Practice Notes: Voluntary striking off and dissolution and The Registrar's powers to strike off a defunct company.

What is bona vacantia?

When a company registered in England and Wales is dissolved while it still owns or has an interest in a property, that property will be deemed bona vacantia (meaning 'ownerless property') at the date