What is a special manager and when are they appointed?
What is a special manager and when are they appointed?

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

  • What is a special manager and when are they appointed?
  • What is a special manager?
  • Who can make an application?
  • In what circumstances should an application be made?
  • Appointments under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
  • Special managers in practice

What is a special manager?

Origin of the role of the special manager

Before the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) came into force, the official receiver (OR) had the power under the Companies Act 1985 (CA 1985, s 556, in force at the time) to apply to court for the appointment of a special manager over a company’s business or property. This procedure was used where the OR considered that, because of some special feature of the company’s business or property, it was in the interests of the creditors that a person with a particular expertise be appointed to manage the business or property.

The IA 1986 broadened the scope of the power to appoint a special manager significantly. It is now possible for the application to be made in corporate and personal insolvencies.

Special managers under the IA 1986

Broadly, a special manager is an individual with particular skills or expertise not generally possessed by the relevant office-holder. They are appointed by the court to assist an office-holder to deal with an insolvent person or company’s business or property.

For that reason, a special manager does not need to be—and is often not—an insolvency practitioner. However, in complex cases where a compulsory winding up order is made and the OR appointed, insolvency practitioners may be chosen to act as special managers

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