News story

Modernised insolvency rules introduced

New rules which guide insolvency practice have come into force.

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The modernised and consolidated rules replace the Insolvency Rules 1986 and their 28 subsequent amendments.

The rules have been recast to reflect modern business practice and to make the insolvency process more efficient. Changes include:

  • enabling electronic communications with creditors
  • removing the automatic requirement to hold physical creditors meetings, although creditors will be able to request such meetings
  • enabling creditors to opt out of further correspondence and for small debts to be paid by the office holder without requiring a formal claim from creditors

The Insolvency (England & Wales) Rules 2016 were developed in cooperation with the insolvency profession as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge. It is expected that they will save businesses an estimated £20 million annually enabling greater returns to the creditors of insolvent businesses.

The rules apply in England and Wales. A parallel project to modernise the Scottish insolvency rules is currently underway in partnership with the Scottish Government.

Insolvency Service form templates: England and Wales

Statutory forms relating to insolvency procedures have now been withdrawn. We have produced a limited number of templates for matters that fall under the responsibility of the Insolvency Service.

Using these templates will ensure full compliance with the new rules when completed properly.

You may use an alternative template/form but you will be responsible for ensuring its content complies with the Rules.

A document that fails to comply may not be accepted by the intended recipient including the office holder (official receiver, liquidator or trustee) or the court, for example.

Companies House and Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service have also produced a number of templates for insolvency matters that fall under their responsibility.

Previous templates should no longer be used.

Published 6 April 2017