Trustee in bankruptcy—remuneration and expenses
Trustee in bankruptcy—remuneration and expenses

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

  • Trustee in bankruptcy—remuneration and expenses
  • Trustee in bankruptcy’s remuneration
  • Bankruptcy expenses

Trustee in bankruptcy’s remuneration

The trustee in bankruptcy (trustee) will usually look to the estate for their remuneration. The remuneration of the trustee is an expense of the bankruptcy payable according to the waterfall provided for in the IR 2016, SI 2016/1024 before any distribution is made to any creditor.

Where the estate is insufficient to cover the trustee’s remuneration and the trustee has expended skill and labour on assets held by the bankrupt on trust for others, it may be possible to recoup remuneration for that activity from those trust assets. However, that is dependent on the discretion of the court (see Re Berkeley Applegate). In Bell v Birchall, the court refused to allow a trustee appointed over the bankruptcy estate of a solicitor to recover his costs and expenses incurred—and to be incurred—in connection with storing the solicitor's practice files and the reconciliation of sums held in the practice's client accounts. The solicitor's bankruptcy did not absolve him of his obligation to conduct an orderly winding up of his practice—including the reconciliation of the client accounts—at no costs to clients, and that obligation would pass to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the event intervened in the solicitor's practice. There was therefore no need for the trustee to undertake such work.

For further reading on the Bell v Birchall decision, see News Analysis: Can a trustee

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