The Bankruptcy and Companies Courts are part of the Chancery Division of the High Court.
The Bankruptcy Court deals with the insolvency of individuals, while
Companies Court deals with the insolvency of companies, applications in company law and applications for the disqualification of company directors.
The work is for the most part dealt with by five Bankruptcy Registrars. Appeals from their decisions are to a single judge of the Chancery Division.
The Bankruptcy Court
The Bankruptcy Court deals with:
- Bankruptcy petitions which may be presented in the London insolvency district. Note, however, that creditors and debtors petitions below the value of £50,000 and £100,000 respectively are dealt with in the County Court at Central London which sits at the Thomas More Building, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2AA. There are also cases where, notwithstanding these monetary limits, the petition has to be presented in the High Court, for example where the bankruptcy petition is being presented against a member of a partnership being wound up by the High Court in London; where the debtor is not resident in England and Wales and has not carried on business or resided in England and Wales in the 6 months before the presentation of the petition; and where the petitioner is unable to determine the debtors place of residence or place of business.
- Applications to set aside statutory demands;
- Post-bankruptcy applications, the purpose of which is to obtain information about or achieve realisation of the bankrupts assets;
- Public examinations and applications for the suspension of the bankrupts discharge;
- Applications for a bankruptcy restrictions order;
- Applications for permission to act as director where the applicant is an undischarged bankrupt.
The Companies Court
The Companies Court deals with:
- Company winding up petitions;
- Post-winding up applications, the purpose of which is to obtain information about or achieve realisation of company assets;
- Applications for the approval of the reduction in the capital or share premium account of companies and in connection with schemes of arrangement.
A wide range of other applications relating to companies, such as:
- Applications for permission to bring proceedings against a company that is in administration or liquidation;
- A range of interlocutory applications such as the pre-trial management of unfair prejudice petitions;
- Applications by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Official Receiver for the disqualification of unfit company directors;
- Applications for permission to act as a director following the making of such an order.