How to check whether a Company has entered an Insolvency Process

Prior to a presentation of a winding-up petition, it is essential to check at the earliest stage whether a business has entered an insolvency process. There are various ways to check if a business is already subject to an insolvency process and we have provided further details on this below.

We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers and based in the Middle Temple Inn of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. We are experts in dealing with matters surrounding insolvency in particular issues. Our team have unparalleled experience at serving statutory demands, negotiating with debtors/creditors, setting aside statutory demands and both issuing and defending winding up petitions.

What is the Central Register of Winding Up Petitions?

The central register of winding up petitions has information in relation to any insolvency process filed with the Court, including:

  • pending winding up petition or winding up order (subject to restrictions – for example petitions presented during the COVID-19 period which are initially marked private);
  • notice of intention to appoint an administrator, any administration application and any order of appointment; and
  • or moratorium order or application.

The register does not generally hold information about company voluntary arrangements, receivership or voluntary liquidations. In the event that the central register is not up-to-date, it i, enquiries of particular courts can be attempted.

How do you search the Central Register?

There are two ways to search the Central Register:

  • by using the public CE-file online or in person at court (this option is currently unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic), which allows searches 24 hours a day against company names.
  • by telephoning the designated premium rate number;

What is a HM Land Registry search?

A Land Charges search can be requested for any private and public limited company as well as private individual through the HM Land Registry website. The search should be made using full names as well as variations of name in order to receive accurate results.

What information is in The Gazette?

The Gazette is an online search tool which can be used to search for details of any companies involved in insolvency proceedings.

The Gazette publishes the following information in relation to insolvency proceedings:

  • advertisement of winding up petitions;
  • making of winding up orders;
  • appointments of liquidators by the court;
  • notices of appointments of administrators; and
  • appointments of liquidators in voluntary winding ups. 

What insolveny information is on Companies House?

The register at Companies House is a useful online search engine. Companies House will state whether a company is active, administration, in liquidation or is there is an active proposal to strike it off the register. It will also provide you with details of the liquidator or administrator is and their contact details.

Should I search the Personal Insolvency Register?

Although not relevant to issuance of winding-up petitions, an online search of the Insolvency Register is available to identify whether an individual has been made bankrupt. As with the Gazette and Companies House searches, it can sometimes take a few weeks for the information to be updated.

How does the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 impact these searches?

Paragraph 5 of the new Insolvency Practice Direction relating to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 states that a winding-up petition filed at court will now be classified as ‘private’ until the court has concluded whether or not it is likely that it will be able to make a winding up order. This is likely to cause problems with searching at the Central Registry of Winding-up Petitions as a search will not show an outstanding winding-up petition until the court has reached its conclusion.

Looking to issue a winding up petition? Need Legal Advice?

If your company is looking to issue a winding-up petition or is concerned about a winding-up petition or statutory demand from a creditor your company can potentially challenge that petition. For further details on how a company can obtain an injunction to restrain presentation of a winding-up petition, see our page here.

As a leading law firm with a track record of success, you can be assured that your matter is in safe hands. Our success rate is a result of the dedication of our lawyers who will diligently review your matter so it has the best possible chance of success from the outset when it matters the most.

If you have a dispute that is subject to an arbitration clause, our team of alternative dispute solicitors and barristers have extensive experience in overseeing all manner of arbitration. We provide authoritative advise on single issue disputes to high value, complex cross-border disputes for individuals, SMEs and companies.

Specialist London Winding-up Petition Lawyers

We’re masters of insolvency dispute litigation. We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers. We’re based in the Middle Temple Inns of Court (next to the Royal Courts of Justice where the High Court and Central London County Courts are based).  We’re experts in dealing with matters surrounding insolvency in particular our team have unparalleled experience at both issuing and defending winding up petitions vigorously at the Royal Courts of Justice (Rolls Building), or the relevant High Court District Registry or County Court with jurisdiction under the Insolvency Rules. We provide a quick no cost initial telephone case review to establish whether or not we can help you; just call one of our team on 02071830529.

Want legal advice on the merits of your case?

Our simple enquiry form goes immediately to our insolvency team in Middle Temple, London. Call us on +442071830529 from 9am-6pm.

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