Failure to disclose the existence of bankruptcy proceedings was not fatal

An applicant’s failure to disclose the existence of bankruptcy proceedings was not fatal to an interim third party debt order. The court was required to determine whether an interim third party debt order should be made final.

D1 owed the Claimants over £1.1bn under a foreign judgment. The Claimants obtained a worldwide freezing order, issued bankruptcy proceedings, and subsequently obtained an interim third party debt order attaching against approximately £258k in D1’s bank account.

D1 argued that the order should not be made final because the Claimants had failed to disclose the pending bankruptcy proceedings when applying for the third party debt order.

There is a duty on the applicant for a third party debt order to provide accurate evidence, and a duty of disclosure.  The scope of the duty of disclosure depends on the circumstances; greater disclosure is required where the grounds for the order are debatable, or the potential consequences of the order severe.

The court held that the failure to mention the bankruptcy petition and freezing order was not fatal to the Claimant’s application.  The grounds for making an interim order were strong, and it was not for the court to know of the bankruptcy petition at the interim stage of the application.  The proper time to consider the issue was on further consideration of the application under CPR r.72.8.

The interim third party debt order remained in force, and the application for a final order was adjourned until after the hearing of the bankruptcy petition.

State Bank of India & Ors (Claimants) v (1) Vijay Mallya (2) Ladywalk LLP (3) Rose Capital Ventures Ltd (4) Orange India Holdings S.A.R.L (Defendants) & ICICI Bank UK Plc (Third Party) (2019) [2019] EWHC 995 (QB)

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