Once the Winding Up Petition is issued and served on a Company, time is very limited within which to react and settle the debt (assuming it is not disputed). At this stage the petitioning creditor ought to have exhausted pre-action winding up procedures and will only want to secure its monies as soon as possible. Many companies find they need time to pay creditors such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and wish to suspend the winding up petition process temporarily in order to obtain funds to settle or properly dispute the debt.
Are HMRC (or other creditors) refusing time to pay?
We can advise your business if it is able to obtain an adjournment of the winding up petition even where your opponent creditor refuses consent. On hearing a winding up petition the Court has a discretion as to how to deal with the petition; the Court may dismiss, adjourn (conditionally or unconditionally), make an interim or any other order that it thinks fit. We have the necessary experience and legal knowledge of the circumstances in which the Court exercises discretion and can help to get your business an often much needed adjournment. If obtained, that extra time can be sensibly used to settle or dispute the debt claimed or to enter into an insolvency arrangement to make the debt more manageable. We specialise in advising companies facing winding up petitions and can help our client companies to get time to pay by negotiating with HMRC and taking care of the Court proceedings .
Asking the Court to adjourn
If the debtor company asks (preferably by witness statement evidence) that the petition be adjourned to enable settlement funding to be arranged or to determine the correct position on the debt to be established, the Court may be persuaded to allow a short adjournment. Adjournments can be given for almost any reason (preferably evidenced) and can be obtained either with or without the consent of the petitioning creditor (for example HMRC) as it is the Court which grants the adjournment not the petitioner. We are experienced in seeking adjournments and are able to advise our clients if they have good cause to obtain an adjournment of the winding up. If the debt is not disputed and is to be paid, an application can be made for the petition to be withdrawn following settlement.
Getting time to enter into a Voluntary Arrangement
If the debt is proven and there is no reasonable prospect of paying the full amount on the date of the hearing then the court may be persuaded (by cogent evidence) to adjourn the hearing if the company is likely to go into an insolvency process such as an administration or a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The latter allows the company to write off a proportion of its debts. In the case of a CVA the company may be able to pay off a proportion of its unsecured debts, such as HMRC debts and trade creditors, over a period of 3-5 years. In practice this will be proposed by a firm of turnaround experts. We work closely with turnaround and insolvency experts, KSA Group, who successfully propose a large proportion of the CVAs in the UK to help insolvent companies (you can call them on 01289 309431 or visit their company rescue website).
How we help you obtain time to resolve the problem
HMRC and other creditors know you are taking matters seriously when you instruct a specialist law firm to assist you by negotiating with creditors and advising and representing you in and at Court. We are a City of London law firm made up of Solicitors and Barristers and with professional chambers in the Inns of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple which is directly opposite the Royal Courts of Justice. We offer a fixed cost service to prepare and appear on your company’s behalf to seek an adjournment at the High Court (Companies Court). We also regularly deal with petitions due to be heard at other High Court District Registries, or at the County Court with jurisdiction. We provide national coverage for all winding up petition hearings across England & Wales.
If your company needs an adjournment of a Winding-Up Petition to get time to pay, our experienced Insolvency Law Experts are able to give clients specialist legal information and advice. To speak to one of our Solicitors or Barristers for a free telephone assessment and a free case assessment, please leave your details by clicking here or call us now on 0845 8622 529.