S was a German national. He lost litigation in Germany in July/August 2012. In about February/March 2012 SL had commenced litigation against him. S stated that this had encouraged him to leave his wife and start a new life in England. After establishing a company, on 31 January 2012 he presented his own bankruptcy petition. It was adjourned, with a requirement that S prepared detailed evidence and serve the petition on his creditors. SL opposed the petition. Chief Registrar Baister dismissed the petition. The administration of his economic and financial interests, including the ongoing litigation, was governed more in Germany than in England. While S might have a presence in England, his family ties were still in Germany, he had a more substantial presence in Germany. Further, it did not appear that S and his wife were truly separated and it appeared that he had entered into a number of transactions in Germany disposing of his assets with the purpose of window dressing. Finally, S had been misleading in his statement of affairs and had not properly complied with his disclosure obligations, and so the court would have exercised its discretion against making a bankruptcy order even if it had jurisdiction to make one.
In July 2006, M loaned W and his wife £200,000, repayable with interest of 10% pa on 31 October 2011. M was entitled to demand repayment on giving 1 year's notice. Additional terms gave M a profit share in the business of W and his wife, requiring them to produce accounts to M. In August 2008, M gave notice requiring repayment. Without prejudice to the requirement to repay, M also asserted that W and his wife were in repudiatory breach of the agreement by failing to produce accounts (which was denied). Nonetheless, all parties proceeded on the basis that the agreement was still on foot, with W and his wife acknowledging the debt was due in August 2009. Applications to set aside M's statutory demands were withdrawn. With costs awarded against W and his wife. They opposed the subsequent petition, having made payments of £105,000. Registrar Derrett made bankruptcy orders on 2 March 2012. W and his wife applied to annul the bankruptcies, asserting that the debts upon which the petitions were based were not liquidated debts. Chief Registrar Baister dismissed the applications on discretionary grounds, after concluding that it was strongly arguable that M's claim was for damages only. His Honour Judge Purle QC (sitting as a High Court judge) dismissed their appeals. The loan agreement had not been repudiated by the failure to provide accounts. Even if it had, a debt, including one payable at a future date, remained a debt even after repudiation. The bankruptcy orders were rightly made. There were no exceptional circumstances inviting the Court to review the orders under s 375 of the Insolvency Act 1986, as there was no confidence that the debts due to M and the other creditors would be paid within any reasonable time frame.
Two couples had emigrated from the UK. They all presented their own petitions, on the basis that while their COMIs were not in England and Wales, they had been resident in England and Wales within the 3 years immediately preceding presentation of the petitions. Chief Registrar Baister held that the EU Regulation did not apply, so that the only issue was whether the jurisdictional requirements of s 265 of the Insolvency Act 1986 were met. They were, because the section required only residence at some time within those 3 years, not throughout. The bankruptcy orders were made.
C provided annulment funding to the debtor and, to secure the repayment, obtained a charge over the matrimonial home of the debtor and her husband. Upon their inability to refinance the borrowing, C sought possession of the property. The debtor and her husband argued that the charge was unenforceable as not having been obtained in compliance with the Consumer Credit Act legislation. HHJ Hazell Marshall QC allowed C's claim, but the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal. Construing the legislation and having regard to the terms of the complex agreements, the arrangements were a regulated agreement and they, and the legal charge, were unenforceable as the Consumer Credit Act 1974 had not been complied with. Whether an enforcement order would be made in subsequent proceedings would have to be considered then. The Court of Appeal also made observations as to the unfairness of the transactions and as to the part played by the solicitors concerned.
D applied to set aside a statutory demand that had been served on him on 18 January 2010. That application was dismissed on 27 April 2010, but the order did not include any date on or after which a bankruptcy petition could be presented. It was presented the following day. Eventually, in the face of opposition from D on the grounds of asserted cross-claims, a bankruptcy order was made on that petition on 28 May 2012 and D appealed. Arnold J allowed the appeal and remitted the petition for directions and a further hearing. The purpose of r 6.5(6) of the Insolvency Rules 1986 was to enable the debtor to ask for time in which to pay the debt before a petition was presented or, if not to pay the debt, to try to arrive at some compromise. If no date was specified in the order, r 6.5(6) should not be interpreted as prohibiting the petitioner from presenting a petition forthwith. But, the district judge had been wrong to dispose of the petition summarily without giving D the chance to substantiate the grounds of opposition by evidence as, if the cross-claims were substantiated in evidence they would extinguish the petition debt.