Commercial Landlord Intu goes into Administration

Britain’s biggest shopping centre owner has gone into administration, however, the company confirms that its centres are still open and will continue to trade. The failure of the business is an example of the failing commercial real estate sector given the coronavirus pandemic. It has been reported that less that 15% of the quarterly rent bill owed by high street and other commercial tenants has been paid since lockdown was imposed in late March 2020.

Our team is made of highly experienced and tough negotiators that will fight to get the best results for our clients. We have years of experience of negotiating with creditors and debtors alike from large multi-million pound cases to smaller matters with equally large consequences for the person involved.

How has Intu been affected by Covid-19?

The collapse of the shopping centre giant is arguably one the biggest casualties pandemic so far. Trading shares in the company were earlier suspended following dramatic falls.

The group has struggled under a £4.5bn debt burden from the past year however, have been hit significantly by lowered rent payments from retailers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

How will insolvency affect Intu’s employees?

Intu directly employs nearly 3,000 people. In addition, Intu is a disproportionately important player in many of the UK’s regional economies with a further 102,000 people working in its 17 shopping centres across the UK.

Another 30,000 people work in Intu’s broader supply chain.

“Underlying group operating companies remain unaffected and all shopping centres are continuing to trade. The Intu group’s relationships with its tenants are with these operating companies, not the companies entering administration. The shopping centre operating companies have or are expected to enter into transitional services agreements with the administrators of the central entities to ensure continuity of service provision by the central entities to the individual shopping centres.”

Statement from Intu

How has commercial real estate been affected by COVID-19?

The insolvency of Intu will likely lead to one of the most complex administrations seen in Britain’s property industry for years. There have been widespread fears for the commercial real estate sector amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This week it was reported that less that 15% of the quarterly rent bill owned by high street and other tenants has been paid.

The pandemic has prompted a vast majority of commercial retail tenants to withhold rent payments as they suffered with lack of business during lockdown.

How can we help you oppose a winding up petition?

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 your company is concerned about a winding-up petition or statutory demand from a commercial landlord your company can potentially challenge that petition on the following grounds:

  1. That the debt alleged in the statutory demand or petition to be owing is genuinely disputed on substantial grounds by your company;
  2. Your company has a genuine right of set-off against the creditor that exceeds the amount claimed in the statutory demand; or
  3. In certain other limited circumstances (for example such as jurisdiction, technical or procedural error or delay).

In order to oppose a winding-up petition, you would need to file a witness statement in opposition with the Court no fewer than five business days before the date when the petition will be heard by the Court (rule 7.16 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016). You would also need to provide a copy of that witness statement to the petitioning creditor at least five business days before the hearing.

Your company is entitled to appear at the petition hearing and to oppose the making of a winding-up order. It is usual for companies to instruct solicitors and/or barristers to appear on their behalf at the petition hearing.

We represent you at Winding up Petition Hearings

Although we are based in the legal heart of London, operating as the only law firm in the historic Middle Temple Chambers, we provide comprehensive nationwide coverage to represent you at any winding up petition hearing. Our team of solicitors and barristers will prepare grounds of opposition and a witness statement for you.

We will represent you at the winding up petition hearing and will provide our own barristers or external local counsel to any hearing across the country.

Not based in London? We provide nationwide representation

That does not matter, we will represent you no matter where you are based in England or Wales.

If you contact us through our contact form, by email or by phone, one of our winding up petition team members will contact you by phone to discuss your matter and assess whether we can help you.

If we can, we will arrange a conference with a senior member of our winding up petition team. This meeting will take place using our telephone conference facilities or via Skype if you prefer. Therefore, no matter where you are based in England or Wales we can represent you.

Instruct Specialist Insolvency Lawyers

We provide a no cost initial case review to establish whether or not we can help you. 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 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

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