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Date of publication: September 2016

Informal Arrangements

It may be possible to negotiate an informal settlement with creditors, which will restore a company to solvency. This clearly depends on individual circumstances and creditors will need to be offered more than they could reasonably expect to receive from a formal procedure.

Fixed Charge or Law of Property Act Receivership

This appointment is made by a mortgagee who holds a fixed charge over an asset of the company.  The Receiver is appointed to realise a specific asset for the benefit of the charge holder.

Administrative Receivership

The holder of a floating charge over a company's assets created prior to 15 September 2003 may be able to appoint an Administrative Receiver should the company default under the terms of the debenture.
Administrative Receivership is likely to be utilised to enable the company to continue trading in order to facilitate a going concern sale of its business and assets.


A company may be placed into Administration out of court by a qualifying floating charge holder or director. Other parties such as creditors or shareholders may seek to appoint an Administrator via the court.
This is designed to be a constructive procedure with the aim of achieving 1 of 3 objectives:

  1. Rescuing the company as a going concern (not simply its business). If this is impossible;
  2. Achieving a better result for the company's creditors than would be likely if the company were wound up. If this is not possible;
  3. Realising property in order to make a distribution to one or more secured or preferential creditors.

Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”)

Under a CVA, a company can be re-organised to enable it to pay as much as it can to its creditors and continue to trade. The CVA must be approved by 75% or more of those creditors voting at the meeting of creditors.

Members' Voluntary Liquidation

A solvent liquidation that facilitates the closure or restructure of a company's business. It provides for all creditors to be paid in full (together with interest) within twelve months and for the distribution of surplus assets to its shareholders.

Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation

This is appropriate when a company is insolvent and has no prospect of continuing to trade profitably in the future.

Compulsory Liquidation

This is invariably a creditor driven process, which follows a winding-up order made by the court, usually on the petition of a creditor. It is a creditor's action of last resort in attempting to collect an outstanding debt.

The Liquidator has wide ranging powers in order to review the company’s affairs and its officers’ conduct which in turn may result in recovery of funds for the benefit of creditors.


Disclaimer: This note does not contain a full statement of the law and it does not constitute legal advice.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the information set out above.

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