The Lady Magazine Faces Winding-Up Petition Over HMRC Tax Debts

The Lady, Britain’s oldest women’s magazine, founded in 1885, that was renowned for its commitment to good manners and propriety, now finds itself in the crosshairs of financial turmoil as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) takes legal action to recover outstanding National Insurance and Income Tax over £360,000.

Founded by the esteemed Bowles family, creators of Vanity Fair, The Lady has long been a symbol of tradition and refinement. Its history is woven with classified adverts, often seeking butlers and maids, and contributions from literary icons such as Nancy Mitford and Lewis Carroll. However, the magazine’s future now hangs in the balance as it confronts the prospect of compulsory liquidation due to unpaid tax debts.


Seek professional legal advice:

When responding to a winding-up petition, it is crucial to consult with a qualified professional solicitor. We provide guidance tailored to your company’s specific situation and help directors make informed decisions. If needed, we can guide you to trusted insolvency practitioners or other professionals. This guide only provides general information and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Insolvency laws and rules vary, as do the facts of every case, so you must seek professional advice specific to your company’s circumstances.

We analyse your winding-up petition prospects and deliver strategic legal advice at your first meeting. We get optimal legal results. Want our opinion on your case? Call us on ☎ 02071830529 or use our contact form.

Understanding Winding-Up Petitions

A winding-up petition is a serious legal action that, if successful, leads to the compulsory liquidation of a company. It is typically filed by a creditor, in this case, HMRC, when a company fails to meet its financial obligations. In The Lady’s scenario, the unpaid taxes serve as the grounds for HMRC’s winding-up petition as debt The Lady Limited – the company behind the renowned magazine, is unable to discharge.

HMRC’s Approach to Winding Up Petition

An HMRC spokesperson clarified that the winding-up petition was a last resort, emphasising HMRC’s commitment to exhausting all options before taking such drastic measures. The WUP by HMRC serves as a protective measure for taxpayers’ money, underlining the seriousness of the situation for The Lady Limited. The case is scheduled to be presented before the High Court in April, and the outcome will determine the magazine’s fate.

The Impact of Winding-up Petition on a Company

The consequences of a winding-up order are severe. Once granted by the court, it triggers the formal process of compulsory liquidation. An official receiver is appointed to oversee the dissolution of the company, realising and distributing its assets among creditors. The entire process is conducted publicly, with notices published in the London Gazette, informing creditors, shareholders, and the public about the company’s winding-up.

The presentation and in particular advertisement in the London Gazette of a winding up petition against a company can cause substantial harm to the commercial reputation of the company. The company may, for example, find it more difficult to obtain credit (for example, from suppliers) while the petition is outstanding.

The Lady’s current CEO, Benjamin Budworth, has asserted that the outstanding debt is being addressed through a structured ‘payment plan.’ Despite this claim, the magazine faces a challenging road ahead as it navigates the legal complexities and consequences associated with a winding-up order. The debts must be settled promptly to avoid the drastic consequence of compulsory liquidation.

Expert UK Winding-up Petition Solicitors

In situations where a company faces a winding-up petition, seeking legal assistance is imperative. At LEXLAW, our specialist insolvency solicitors can provide invaluable support in protecting you and your company’s interests. We can assess the specific circumstances, explore all legal strategies to provide with you a robust representation throughout the legal process. We can help challenge the grounds of the petition, negotiate with creditors, and formulate right approach to address the outstanding debts, potentially averting the dire consequences of compulsory liquidation.

The Lady’s predicament underscores the gravity of tax-related financial issues and the potential impact of winding-up petitions. As the magazine prepares to face the High Court in April, the role of legal counsel becomes pivotal in navigating through the complexities of insolvency law.

Seeking professional advice is not just a prudent step; it is often the lifeline that can safeguard a company from the harsh repercussions of compulsory liquidation. The Lady’s historic legacy now hangs in the balance, awaiting the legal proceedings that will determine its future.

Our solicitors and barristers can guide you through the minefield of complex winding-up rules and procedure and help you manage the entire process. We have years of experience in negotiating with debtor companies and their solicitors as well as creditor, shareholder or director petitioners (in particular HMRC).

We regularly represent our client companies in the High Court/Companies Court and successfully obtain adjournments (i.e. to allow time to negotiate and settle or to defend a winding up petition). We also help companies to avoid having bank accounts frozen by preventing the advertisement of winding up petition notices or (if already advertised in the London Gazette) by obtaining a validation order from the Court to unfreeze the company’s bank accounts. We have a proven track record of delivering legal advice and legal solutions. We know exactly how to get the best results for your business

Experts in HMRC Winding-up Petition Defence

HMRC is the largest issuer of winding up petitions, and the resultant legal and financial difficulties can be overwhelming for businesses. However, our firm has a dedicated tax disputes team that specialises in addressing HMRC-related claims and navigating Time To Pay Arrangements, providing effective support to companies during difficult times.

We firmly believe that a combined approach is key to saving struggling businesses, and our tax dispute team is renowned throughout the country for their exceptional track record in this area. Led by a former HMRC Tax Barrister who also headed the National Tax teams of two of the ‘Big 4’ accountants, our team possesses the expertise and insight required to achieve optimal HMRC tax dispute outcomes for our clients.

If your business is facing HMRC-related challenges or threats of winding up orders, our HMRC Winding-up Petition Defence team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our tailored legal solutions and how we can assist in safeguarding your and your company’s interests.

Check Your Insolvency Case ✔

We analyse your winding-up petition prospects. We deliver strategic legal advice at your first meeting. We get optimal legal results. Want a first or second opinion on your case? Click below or call our lawyers in London on ☎ 02071830529


The information on this website is not legal advice; you should always obtain specific advice on the circumstances of your case. Our Winding-up Petition Solicitors & Barristers provide specialist legal advice based on decades of expertise. Click here or call +442071830529 to get in touch. For regulatory reasons we do not take on low value cases nor provide free legal advice, information or guidance and our team cannot answer questions from non-clients.

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