“Insolvency business is booming …” in the UK

Adrian Duncan was an insolvency practitioner in Australia years ago.[1]  He now practises in the UK and it seems is doing quite well given what is said to be “shaping up to be the biggest amount of insolvency work the United Kingdom has ever seen”; with comparisons made with Australia.

Judgment debt

But judgment was entered against him in Australia for A$664,613 in September 2015. Much transpired between then and now.  He had paid over $450,000. He applied to the NSW Supreme Court to pay the remainder of the judgment sum by instalments, by “around September 2022”.

His evidence

His evidence, as paraphrased, was that he could repay the money because of recent improvements in the profitability of a business in the UK which he has an interest, with management accounts for the business showing forecast profit for the calendars year 2020 and 2021 of over ₤330,000, with work in progress of over ₤500,000.

“ … insolvency business is booming …”

Evidence was given by his lawyer that his

“insolvency business is booming and [Mr Duncan] expects this in the following year to be the most profitable he has ever had.”

” … shaping up to be the biggest amount of insolvency work the United Kingdom has ever seen”

His lawyer went on to explain in evidence that as a result of the impact of Covid-19,

“[Mr Duncan’s] insolvency work is rapidly expanding and will provide an increased revenue stream for some considerable time through what is shaping up to be the biggest amount of insolvency work the United Kingdom has ever seen”.

“Unlike in Australia …”

“Unlike in Australia, there has been no extension of time in the United Kingdom to allow companies and individuals to avoid a deemed insolvency. As a result, Mr Duncan is receiving appointments for insolvency and pensions cases every day … Mr Duncan informs me that several of the liquidations listed in his table have substantial assets and he estimates they will generate over ₤200,000 in professional fees, plus signing fees, over the coming months”.

Long hours

The lawyer continued:

“He is working from 4am to 8pm as well as working on weekends. His pensions team is at full capacity and working 7 days a week and his insolvency team is working 6 days a week. He has employed 4 new technical staff in the past 4 weeks and is interviewing for more staff. He has employed over 25 commission only sales consultants who are starting to generate additional work.”

The Supreme Court Judge granted Duncan time to pay the remainder of the debt by instalments: Big Country Developments Pty Ltd v Peter Griffiths (No 5) [2020] NSWSC 865.

[1] See Duncan and Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Joined Party) [2009] AATA 389


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