Bankruptcy petition served on Saudi prince

Published on
2 min read

A creditor sought to serve a bankruptcy petition governed by English & Welsh law on a Saudi prince.

Under section 265(2)(b)(i) of the Insolvency Act 1986, a bankruptcy petition may be served on a debtor who is not domiciled in England and Wales if the debtor had a ‘place of residence’ in England and Wales in the three years prior to the petition being served.

Considering the case law that applied to section 265, the court held that some case law which interpreted old law (being the Bankruptcy Act 1914) could be used to interpret the 1986 Act. This would not always be permitted and depended on how significantly the new statute departed from the old statute. Regarding “place of residence”, the court held that there was no single legal test for demonstrating that a property is a “place of residence”. Instead, the phrase should be given its ordinary meaning.  

The prince had lived at his mother’s London residence during the 1980 - 1990s whilst studying. He had continuing permission to stay there and, whilst studying, was registered there for council tax purposes. He had not stayed at the property in the three years prior to the petition, instead staying once at an alternative property. Despite this, the court was satisfied that on the balance of probabilities, the creditor had shown a good arguable case that the prince had a place of residence in England and Wales during that three year period. The petition could therefore be presented against the prince and served on the prince out of jurisdiction.

HRH Prince Hussam Bin Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud v Mobile Telecommunications Co KSCP [2022] EWHC 744 (Ch)

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