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Restructuring & Insolvency

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Winding up petitions in the public interest

Winding up petitions in the public interest are brought, by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy because they believe, on the basis of the investigation carried out by the Companies Investigations team at the Insolvency Service, that it is in the public interest that the company should be wound up and be stopped from trading.

Our Restructuring & Insolvency team has substantial experience in dealing with Winding up Petitions that have been lodged in the public interest. Ultimately, it will be for a Judge of the Business & Property Courts, a division of the High Court, to reach a decision whether there has been sufficient evidence provided to the court to show that it is just and equitable to make a winding up order in the public interest.

It is for the Secretary of State to prove to the court, that there is sufficient evidence to wind the company up in the public interest and this must be done to the extent that, on the balance of probabilities, that there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the established test that it is fair to wind the company up.

As with other types of winding up petitions there is the option for the company to provide evidence to counter the allegations that have been made within the petition. Our restructuring and insolvency lawyers have experience in presenting these arguments, using barristers where appropriate to assist, to the court in order to explain why decisions were made in the way that they were and why the company operated in the way that it did. By way of an example, if the company can show that is has significantly changed the way that it makes decisions and operates generally then this can be used as an argument to the court that it should not be wound up in the public interest.

The key point remains, as with many issues which arise from an insolvency angle, that the earlier you seek advice from an expert in these areas then the better chance there is to consider the position, discuss the options and the costs before coming up with a strategy that best allows you to move forward and present your arguments to the court.

Our team has detailed experience of dealing with these applications and will happily meet with you to offer constructive advice to allow you to make an informed decision about how you want to proceed.

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