Service of documents in insolvency proceedings—how service is effected, what needs to be served and when
Service of documents in insolvency proceedings—how service is effected, what needs to be served and when

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

  • Service of documents in insolvency proceedings—how service is effected, what needs to be served and when
  • Opening proceedings
  • Applications within insolvency proceedings where service is required
  • Substituted service
  • Service out of the jurisdiction

Opening proceedings

When insolvency proceedings are commenced, each process will have its own procedure for serving the relevant documents. The positions for bankruptcy, compulsory liquidation and administration are summarised below.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy petitions presented by a creditor must be personally served by the creditor (or on their behalf) on the debtor, unless an order is made by the court for substituted service. This is dealt with at paragraph 1 and the table at the end of Schedule 4 to the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, SI 2016/1024 (IR 2016). Service is typically effected by the petitioning creditor (or their solicitor/authorised agent) delivering a sealed copy of the bankruptcy petition to the debtor.

Orders for substituted service are made when the court is satisfied that the debtor is avoiding service. For further reading on these applications and the service of bankruptcy petitions, see Practice Note: How to effect service of a creditor’s bankruptcy petition on the debtor and what happens if service cannot be effected.

The bankruptcy petition must be served at least 14 days before the first hearing, unless the court hears the matter as an 'expedited' petition (ie the debtor has absconded or the matter is urgent).

Compulsory liquidation

Service of a winding-up petition (being a court application to place a company into liquidation) is dealt with at IR 2016, SI