Success in the Court of Appeal for Lawrence McDonald
December 3, 2018
The case is important for two main reasons. First, because it clarifies the circumstances in which liquidators of a company can recover from directors of insolvent companies dividends that ought not to have been paid. The first instance decision in this case allowing the directors to retain the dividends had caused widespread concern amongst insolvency practitioners and attracted much comment. The right of a liquidator to recover those sums has now been put beyond doubt.
Secondly, all three judges in the Court of Appeal gave guidance as to the proper approach a trial judge should take in circumstances where one party is a litigant in person. In this case, the Court of Appeal found that by introducing a new line of evidence himself in the form of leading questions, the trial judge had gone too far in seeking to assist the litigant in person.
As a member of Exchange Chambers’ nationally renowned, specialist restructuring and insolvency team, Lawrence acts for office holders and for companies and individuals involved in insolvency proceedings. Lawrence is regularly instructed by insolvency practitioners to act in claims to recover money for the benefit of a company in liquidation or trustee in bankruptcy. These include claims for misfeasance, transfers at undervalue, preferential transfers and fraudulent trading. He also acts for directors, companies and other people defending such claims.