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What is insolvency?

Economic conditions are constantly changing and becoming more challenging. As a result, an increasing number of businesses are faced with financial difficulties.

Corporate insolvency occurs when a business reaches a point where it cannot pay its debts when they are due. The three most common corporate insolvency procedures are:

Voluntary administration

Voluntary administration is a process where a business facing financial difficulty is placed in the hands of an independent person, known as the 'administrator', who will assess the company's affairs and all the options available to the company moving forward.

Liquidation

Liquidation, also referred to as 'winding up', is the process of closing down a company which includes selling its assets to repay outstanding debts owed to creditors. The company is then officially closed or deregistered.

Receivership

In some cases, if a company is in financial difficulty, a secured creditor or the Court may put the company into receivership. When in receivership, an independent person, known as the 'receiver', takes control of some or all a company's assets in order to repay the debt owed to the secured creditor.

Directors of insolvent companies

Allowing your company to trade while insolvent can have serious ramifications. These include civil penalties, compensation proceedings taken out against you personally, and criminal charges. You should speak to our expert team as soon as possible if you suspect that your company cannot pay debts when they are due in order to avoid these consequences.

Creditors

A creditor is someone who is owed money by a company. Generally, there are two types of creditors:

  • Secured creditors – a secured creditor has an interest in some or all of the company’s assets as 'security' for the outstanding debt.
  • Unsecured creditors – an unsecured creditor does not have any interests in the company’s assets.

Creditors who are concerned about the company’s ability to repay its debt to them should seek legal advice as early as possible to discuss the options available to them for recovering the debt.

No matter the circumstances, we can help

One of the most common reasons for the failure to save a company from being wound up or to recover a debt owed by a company is that professional advice was sought too late.

Our highly experienced insolvency lawyers have the expertise and business insight to provide directors and creditors of companies with timely advice or to take action on threats if you have concerns about a company's financial position.

By working with us:

Our insolvency lawyers are well connected within the industry. We practice in insolvency, offering services to:

  • Companies
  • Directors and officers
  • Debtors and creditors
  • Insolvency practitioners including administrators, liquidators and receivers
  • Shareholders

Our services

We offer a full suite of services to help you through insolvency issues, including:

  • Advice on insolvency issues and their risks and consequences
  • Advice on debt recovery issues for creditors
  • Corporate insolvency including voluntary administration, deeds of company arrangement, liquidation and receivership
  • Public examinations, preference recovery actions and insolvent trading claims
  • Director duties and other company law issues associated with insolvency.

Litigation funding

Our strong relationships with litigation funders mean that we can also offer access to a range of innovative and flexible litigation funding solutions, which may suit your case and circumstances.

Learn more about our litigation funding options

Mark Walter

National Practice Group Leader

Diana Young

Principal Lawyer

Eileen Nguyen

Principal Lawyer

More information

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If you have a question, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and our Commercial Litigation team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.