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Deregulation Act 2015

Appointment of insolvency practitioner as interim receiver

580.Paragraphs 13 and 14 form part of the law of England and Wales only. They will come into force on a day to be appointed by the Secretary of State in a commencement order. Their effect is deregulatory because they will allow a wider choice of individuals to act as an interim receiver. Importantly, that individual could subsequently be appointed as trustee in bankruptcy. An interim receiver is someone appointed to preserve a debtor’s assets in the period between the dates that a bankruptcy petition is presented and heard by the court.

581.Both official receivers (who are civil servants) and insolvency practitioners (who operate in the private sector) can act as trustees of bankruptcy estates. Creditors often wish to appoint an insolvency practitioner to act as both interim receiver (where one is appointed) and the subsequent trustee. Except in limited circumstances however, the court may now only appoint the official receiver as interim receiver. The exception is where, a debtor petitions for their own bankruptcy under section 272 of the Insolvency Act 1986, and the court appoints an insolvency practitioner to prepare a report under section 273 of that Act stating whether the debtor is able to make a proposal for a voluntary arrangement. In such a case, the court may appoint the insolvency practitioner who prepared the report as interim receiver.

582.Paragraph 13 amends section 286 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to permit the court to appoint the official receiver or any insolvency practitioner as interim receiver in all circumstances. Paragraph 14 makes consequential amendments to section 370 of that Act to provide that any interim receiver may make an application to the court for the appointment of a "special manager" (someone, usually with specific sector expertise, to assist the interim receiver).

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