Shedding light on the law and practice of adjourning/dismissing insolvency petitions – March 2016


Everything about insolvency petitions marks them apart from ordinary litigation. The Civil Procedure Rules are largely inapplicable. There are no parties in a strict sense, no statements of case nor disclosure and no oral evidence nor trial. Every hearing is a final hearing unless it is postponed to another final hearing. It is therefore of great importance for the practitioner to know and understand the law and practice of adjourning petitions. Unfortunately, this is not set out in the Act or Rules. Instead, it is largely derived from judge-made law. Even then, it is difficult for the uninitiated to find. The recent decision in Aabar Block S.A.R.L v Glenn Maud [2015] EWHC 3681 (Ch) (“Maud”) is a welcome review of the authorities. The simple message is that the discretion to adjourn/postpone is very wide and, whilst there are certain general rules of thumb, its exercise is highly fact-sensitive.

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