Home / Services / Commercial Litigation / High-Value Debt Recovery / Winding Up Orders & Petitions

Winding Up Orders & Petitions

Getting a Winding Up Order is the final step towards closing down an insolvent company so its assets can be distributed to its creditors. While very much a final resort, making a Winding Up Petition may be a business or individual’s best chance of recovering some of the money owed to them.

At Saunders Law, we are a partner-led niche litigation law firm based in Central London. We assist individual and business clients with a wide range of contentious legal matters.

We handle a wide range of high value and often highly publicised litigation matters. Our strong track record of success and exceptional feedback brings clients from all over the world.

Our clients range from small to medium enterprises and high net worth individuals to large regional, national and international corporations. We specialise in high value debt recovery and insolvency work, regularly handling cases with debts in excess of £100,000.

Find out more about the firm, its teams and its typical work by taking a look at our clients.

Speak to our insolvency solicitors in London

For expert assistance with Winding Up Petitions and Orders and other advice about recovering business debts, contact Saunders Law today for a free, no obligation initial discussion of how we may be able to help.

Call us on 02076324300 or make an enquiry online.

Winding Up Orders & Petitions during Covid-19

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has temporarily suspended the use of Statutory Demands to give indebted businesses ‘breathing room’. Winding Up Petitions are also suspended unless the creditor can show that:

  • Coronavirus has not had a financial effect on the debtor; or
  • The debtor would be unable to pay its debts irrespective of the coronavirus.

Under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, this suspension will be in place at least until 30 September 2021. The Act also introduces a number of other permanent changes to the UK insolvency process, including a new restructuring process for struggling businesses and stand-alone moratoriums against all creditor action. Temporary modifications to the new moratorium process to make it more accessible to business during Covid-19 will also be in place until at least 30 September 2021.

Although Statutory Demands have been suspended, it may still be possible to prove a company is insolvent for the purposes of winding it up. This could include presenting existing court judgments in relation to the debt or other financial evidence.

Give us a call to discuss the available options or, for information about alternative methods of debt recovery, visit our High Value Debt Recovery page.

In particular, if the unpaid debt is approaching six years from the date it was incurred or acknowledged by the debtor, get in touch as soon as possible. Debts outside the standard unsecured debt limitation period of six years may become unenforceable.

Specialist advice about Winding Up Petitions in London

Winding Up proceedings are commonly used by HMRC where it believes the indebted company is insolvent. However, the option to wind up a company is also open to private businesses and individuals who are owed money.

A company becomes insolvent when it is unable to pay its debts in full or on time. Taking the step to wind up a business is a serious one, but may very well be the only option available to a creditor.

Unpaid debts tend to have a knock-on effect – just one unpaid invoice can cause considerable cash flow issues. As such, seeking specialist legal advice about the options available is essential.

How our insolvency experts can help

General advice about debt recovery and insolvency

Our specialist insolvency solicitors help businesses explore their options and take swift, efficient and cost effective action to maximise recovery of high value business debts.

Visit our High Value Debt Recovery and Statutory Demand pages for more information.

Statutory Demands

Note – Due to Covid-19, Statutory Demands are temporarily suspended until 30 September 2021 under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020. Get in touch for bespoke advice about alternative methods of proving debts for the purposes of winding up a company.

The first step to making a business insolvent is to issue a Statutory Demand – a formal legal document that demands repayment of a debt over £750 and a precursor to issuing winding up proceedings.

If there is no response to the Statutory Demand, or the debtor is unable to enter into meaningful settlement negotiations within 21 days, we can provide pragmatic, commercially-minded advice about taking the next step and issuing a Winding Up Petition.

In certain circumstances, a Statutory Demand is not required but certain criteria must be met.

Winding Up Petitions

The Winding Up Petition starts the formal court process of making a company insolvent.

We have experience handling such Petitions in an array of courts, including Royal Courts of Justice (Rolls Building), the Companies Court and local county courts and High Court District Registries.

There is a standardised Winding Up Petition procedure that we ensure is followed to the letter, including:

  • Checking the indebted company’s details, including whether there are any outstanding Winding Up proceedings in motion.
  • Completing the required legal documentation.
  • Submitting the Petition to the correct court.
  • Serving the Winding Up Petition upon the debtor and completing a Certificate of Service.
  • Once the court has accepted the Petition, advertising the Winding Up hearing in The Gazette and providing advice about preparing for the hearing.

Dealing with defended Winding up proceedings

There are a number of reasons why a company may defend a Winding Up Petition, including:

  • A dispute regarding the debt itself, such as the amount claimed or the basis on which the debt fell due (such as a breach of contract).
  • The validity of the Statutory Demand the Petition is based on, such as validity of service.
  • The validity of the Winding Up Petition itself, such as procedural errors within the document.
  • Other issues, such as issues of jurisdiction.

If a debtor disputes the debt, they could apply for an injunction to restrain the Creditor from:

  • Presenting a Winding Up Petition; or
  • Advertising a Winding Up Petition (if the Winding Up Petition has already been presented).

Further to receiving a Winding Up Petition, the insolvent company also has limited options to try to enter into a Company Voluntary Arrangement or obtain an Administration Order from court.

We regularly handle all types of defended Winding Up Petition matters, typically involving high value debts exceeding £100,000, complex counter-claims and contractual disputes.

Winding Up Orders

A Winding Up Order forces a company into compulsory liquidation, whereby an Official Receiver or Insolvency Practitioner will liquidate the company’s assets to repay its creditors.

We act on behalf of creditors in all matters relating to the issue of a Winding Up Order, including proofs of debt – submitting details of the debt owed to the Official Receiver or Insolvency Practitioner.

We also act on behalf of companies seeking to oppose Statutory Demands and Winding Up Petitions served on them.

Why Saunders Law is the smart choice for Winding Up Petitions & Orders

Over 40 years’ experience

Our team of dedicated commercial litigation lawyers has over 40 years of knowledge and experience handling complex and high value debt recovery and insolvency matters.

As well as boasting a wealth of technical legal expertise, we pride ourselves on our practical and business-focused approach, helping our clients reach the best possible outcome within the commercial context of their individual businesses.

Independently recognised expertise

We have been independently recognised for our market-leading expertise by prestigious client guides, the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. We are nationally recognised for our skills with our clients coming to us for advice and representation from across the UK and abroad.

A bespoke service

We specialise in providing strategic customised solutions for businesses and individuals across the UK, focusing on maximising returns and promoting our clients’ commercial interests.

Our team carefully take into account every clients’ unique goals, opportunities and risk concerns and tailor our expertise accordingly. This includes providing bespoke advice on a wide range of different dispute resolution and recovery options, handling settlement negotiations and advising on whether taking action to wind up the debtor company is commercially realistic.

The highest standards of client care

Providing our clients with a positive experience is as important as the results we achieve. Our team work closely with clients, providing a listening ear and working proactively to achieve the best possible outcome as swiftly and cost-effectively as possible.

Following their enquiry, our clients can receive a call back the same working day. Our partners are also always available to take calls when required. We are proud to receive excellent client feedback as a result of our welcoming and hands-on service.

Proportionate fees

Our policy is to be clear and upfront about costs, including the costs of instigating winding up proceedings and our fees for undertaking the work. We are happy to work closely with businesses to help them budget effectively and enable them to take confident decisions as we move forward. For information about our fees, visit our pricing page.

Speak to our insolvency lawyers in London

For expert assistance with Winding Up Petitions and other advice about recovering business debts, contact Saunders Law today for a free, no obligation initial discussion of how we may be able to help.

Call us on 0207 632 4300 or make an enquiry online.