How pensions affect pre-packs—the implications of the Bonas case
Produced in partnership with Raquel Agnello QC of Erskine Chambers
How pensions affect pre-packs—the implications of the Bonas case

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Raquel Agnello QC of Erskine Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How pensions affect pre-packs—the implications of the Bonas case
  • Relevant case reports
  • Factual summary
  • Analysis of the decision
  • What implications can practitioners draw from the Panel and Upper Tribunal decisions for pre-packs?
  • Bonas and pre-packs
  • Brexit

This note considers the implications of the Bonas case for those concerned with pre-pack administrations. The case was brought by the Pensions Regulator under section 38 of the Pensions Act 2004 (PA 2004) and concerned the use of a pre-pack administration of the UK employer of a pension scheme, Bonas UK Limited (Bonas), in October 2006.

Relevant case reports

The case was heard before the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator in March 2010. They determined to issue a contribution notice to the parent of Bonas, a Belgian company called Michel van de Wiele NV (VDW) in the sum of £5.089 million. Their full reasoning can be found on the Pensions Regulator’s website.

VDW referred the decision to the Upper Tribunal, applying to strike out the Regulator’s case. In a decision dated 17 January 2011 the President of the Upper Tribunal considered in detail certain procedural issues relating to the Upper Tribunal, and questions of the proper interpretation of section 38 PA 2004. He barred the Regulator from proceeding with certain aspects of its case, but did not grant VDW’s strike out application.

Following the Upper Tribunal decision the case settled. The Regulator’s report of the settlement reached, and of the case generally, is on its website.

Factual summary

The settlement of the case means that the Upper Tribunal did