Do I have to attend the bankruptcy hearing?
You do not personally have to be present at Court for the bankruptcy petition hearing. It is recommended that you do go and/or seek legal representation (a barrister or solicitor) otherwise the Court will likely make the bankruptcy order.
What happens at the bankruptcy petition hearing?
After service of the bankruptcy petition, the Court is involved and a date will be set for a bankruptcy petition hearing.
At the hearing, the petitioner (i.e. the creditor that instigated the bankruptcy proceedings) must attend or have legal representation in their stead. Other creditors will also have a right to attend the bankruptcy petition hearing (provided that a list of creditors is provided to the Court in advance).
If the debtor intends to oppose the making of a bankruptcy order, they must file a witness statement in opposition in court not less than five business days before the date of the hearing of the petition (rule 4.18(1), Insolvency Rules). A copy of the evidence must also be sent to the petitioning creditor as soon as reasonably practicable (rule 4.18(2), Insolvency Rules).
Why should you instruct a solicitor to represent you at the Bankruptcy Petition hearing?
In our experience, it may be tempting for a debtor to want to file grounds of opposition and represent themselves at the bankruptcy petition in order to save costs. It is understandable why there is a temptation to want to save costs given that a bankruptcy petition was raised precisely (in most cases) the debtor does not have excess sums to spend. However, there is a significant risk of failure if you do not seek legal representation which will have potentially serious consequences for you in the future.
The rules surrounding bankruptcy are technical and it is unlikely that a someone not versed in personal insolvency laws will achieve a successful outcome. Bankruptcy particularly and insolvency in general is a niche practice area – indeed many solicitors in general practice will rarely have experience in this discipline.
Moreover, if you are unsuccessful and declared bankrupt (along with the consequence of your bank account being frozen and your assets held by a trustee for the benefit of your creditors), the costs of then seek an annulment / cancellation of the bankruptcy order are likely to be far more expensive than setting aside a statutory demand or defending a bankruptcy petition.
Do not underestimate the severe consequences that bankruptcy entails. It is likely that seeking the advice of a specialist bankruptcy lawyers will be of far more benefit to you than ignoring impending proceedings or seeking to conduct the litigation yourself as a layman.
How we can help you
Our team is made of highly experienced and tough negotiators that will fight to get the best results for our clients. We have years of experience of negotiating with creditors and debtors alike from large multi-million pound cases to smaller matters with equally large consequences for the person involved.
We represent you at Bankruptcy Petition Hearings
Although we are based in the legal heart of London, operating as the only law firm in the historic Middle Temple Chambers, we provide comprehensive nationwide coverage to represent you at any bankruptcy hearing. Our team of solicitors and barristers will prepare grounds of opposition and a witness statement for you.
We will represent you at the bankruptcy petition hearing and will provide our own barristers or external local counsel to any hearing across the country.
Not based in London? We provide nationwide representation
That does not matter, we will represent you no matter where you are based in England or Wales.
If you contact us through our contact form, by email or by phone, one of our bankruptcy team members will contact you by phone to discuss your matter and assess whether we can help you.
If we can, we will arrange a conference with a senior member of our bankruptcy team. This meeting will take place either in person or using our telephone conference facilities or via Skype if you prefer. Therefore, no matter where you are based in England or Wales we can represent you.
Instruct Specialist Bankruptcy Petition Solicitors
We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers operating from the only law firm based in the Middle Temple Inns of Courtadjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. Generally many solicitors are unfamiliar with the Insolvency Rules and the minutiae of the bankruptcy process, we are experts in dealing with matters surrounding individual insolvency. Our team have unparalleled experience at cancelling bankruptcy orders, liaising with the Official Receiver, providing a solicitor’s undertaking, representing you at any bankruptcy hearing at the Bankruptcy Court, at the Royal Courts of Justice (Rolls Building), or the relevant High Court District Registry or County Court with jurisdiction under the Insolvency Rules.