Latest decision on out-of-hours appointment of administrators

The high court has confirmed that a company or its directors cannot appoint administrators outside of court hours.

The directors’ solicitors had filed a notice of appointment of administrators outside of court hours. The notice of appointment was brought to the attention of a judge the next day. The court in this case had to decide a) whether the notice of appointment was valid, and b) the correct date and time which should be endorsed on the notice of appointment.

After detailed consideration of (in many cases conflicting) authorities, Mr Justice Zacaroli held that it is not permissible for a company or its directors to effect an appointment of an administrator outside of court opening hours. The 2016 Insolvency Rules (and the 1986 Rules before them) provide for the appointment of administrators out of court hours in one case only, which is where the appointment is made by a Qualifying Floating Charge Holder.

However, the defects in filing could be cured under rule 12.64 IR 2016 so that the notice of appointment was still valid, but was treated as having been filed when the court office opened on the next working day.

It should be noted that a change to the IR 2016 is expected in order to clarify the position as to the appointment of administrators outside of court hours and is long overdue!

Symm & Company Ltd, Re V [2020] EWHC 317 (Ch)

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