Lisa Linklater appears in precedent corporate insolvency decision of Norris J

February 20, 2017

Lisa Linklater has represented the applicant administrators in the recently reported decision of Norris J in the Leeds District Registry in Re Graico Property Co Ltd (in administration) [2016] EWHC 2827 (Ch) (reported by British Company Cases at [2017] BCC 15). Lisa was instructed by Bond Dickinson LLP, Leeds.

After sale of a freehold property, the principal secured creditor of the company was owed £2.5 million.  Negotiations for a sale of a leasehold property had fallen through and the head landlord would not accept a surrender of the lease.  The administrators had formed the view that the purpose of the administration, making a distribution to the secured creditor, could not be achieved.  The only practical way to deal with its affairs was for the company to move into liquidation, enabling liquidators to disclaim the lease.  The administrators applied under paragraph 79(4) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 to move the company into compulsory liquidation.

Norris J decided that the Applicant administrators were entirely right to have made the application in the circumstances.  Paragraph 79(4) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 was in the broadest terms enabling the company to enter compulsory liquidation without presentation of a winding up petition, saving time and cost.  The secured creditor supported this route and no creditors opposed taking that route.  The court made an immediate winding up order and appointed the administrators to be liquidators, as well as releasing them from liability for acts as administrators with immediate effect.