Jackson & Anor v Baker Tilly & Anor [2014] EWHC 1134 (Ch)

In this case accountants were ordered to produce information to the Liquidators by His Honour Judge Mark Raeside QC.

The respondents drew the court’s attention to the matter of Green v BDO Stoy Hayward LLP [2005] EWHC 2143 (Ch) (“Green v BDO”), which was another case in which I as Liquidator sought information from accountants via an application under section 236 of the insolvency act 1986. The submissions by the respondents appears to have been that Green v BDO was authority for their position on the test of the “reasonable requirement” for information sought by the liquidators.

At paragraph 52 the judge rejected as a matter of law that Green v BDO was authority to the effect that if liquidators had incomplete information that an application under section 235 and or section 236 of the insolvency act 1986 should not succeed:

“The oral submissions of the Respondents developed this point beyond that, and indeed cited authority which I have referred to, the Green v. BDO case, which did not appear in their skeleton argument, but upon which great weight was placed. It was suggested that the authority of Green v. BDO was binding authority on me as a matter of law, which was to the effect that if liquidators were short on material that was not a proper reason to seek an application under section 235 and section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986. I reject that as a matter of law and, in my judgment, the case of Green v. BDO is not authority for that proposition, and such a proposition would run contrary to the Act and the cases I have set out above which bind me.”

Further, at paragraph 46 of Jackson & Anor v Baker Tilly & Anor [2014] EWHC 1134 (Ch) the judge said as follows in reference to the appeal that I lodged in the matter of Green v BDO:

“That seems to me to be a fact sensitive case on appeal which cites and confirms some of the cases which I have more fully set out for the purposes of this judgment.”

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