Role, powers, functions and duties of a liquidator
Role, powers, functions and duties of a liquidator

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Role, powers, functions and duties of a liquidator
  • The role and function of a liquidator
  • The powers of a liquidator

The role and function of a liquidator

A liquidator is the officer appointed when a company goes into liquidation who has responsibility for collecting in all of the assets of the company and settling all claims against the company before putting it into dissolution.

In basic terms, a liquidator’s function is to ensure that the company’s assets are realised and distributed to the creditors and, if there is any surplus, to distribute it to the contributories. A liquidator must fulfil this function following the duties imposed and powers granted to them under the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) and the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 (IR 2016, SI 2016/1024). Different powers are granted to provisional liquidators and general liquidators. Usually a provisional liquidator will be given more limited, specific functions to carry out, and therefore their powers will be limited accordingly. These powers will be set out in the order appointing them, but tend to be more a protection of the assets pending a full liquidation, rather than the realisation and distribution of those assets. For more information see: Provisional liquidation—overview.

A liquidator acts as an agent on behalf of the company, although in a somewhat different way to a standard agent in that this agent directs the principal as well as acts for it. The liquidator does not stand