Identify, Discover and Recover

Section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986


An Insolvency Practitioner acting as officeholder needs information to execute his or her functions to properly investigate the insolvent estate for the benefit of creditors by obtaining objectively reliable information.

A Liquidator, Trustee in Bankruptcy or Administrator enters office as a stranger. He or she will have had no prior involvement in the company or bankrupt’s financial affairs and dealings.

To be effective the Insolvency Practitioner will need to assemble as much information as possible. The Insolvency Practitioner needs to ascertain as much knowledge as was once in the possession of the individuals that were responsible for the insolvency in the first place.

However, such individuals may not always be entirely forthcoming and so the Insolvency Practitioner will usually need to reconstruct this information by approaching third parties to assist.



An Insolvency Practitioner has statutory powers provided by the Insolvency Act 1986 to obtain property of the Company, including its books and records.

The insolvency officeholder also can require and even compel the cooperation of the former officers of the insolvent company or in the case of an individual the bankrupt themselves.



Once the rights to the assets and property of the insolvent company or individual have been recovered then the process of realisation of this for the benefit of creditors is the final stage in the process that needs to be deployed to ensure that the returns are forthcoming.

This also means that those who have the rights to these returns may need to be carefully considered.

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About the Author:

Elliot Green
Elliot Green FCA FABRP Director and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner