Section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986
Section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 is the enforcement section that enables an Insolvency Practitioner to obtain information. Sections 234, 235 and 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 are all interlinked.
Section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 can be used to obtain information from anyone having information relevant to the insolvent company’s (one applicable to Liquidation or Administration in this scenario) financial affairs. It cannot however be used by the Insolvency Practitioner oppressively or to put the insolvent entity in a better position that it would have been were it not for the insolvency. This is particularly the case if the insolvent entity has competing interests with an independent party from whom the information is sought.
Inquiry into company’s dealings, etc.Section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986
(1)This section applies as does section 234; and it also applies in the case of a company in respect of which a winding-up order has been made by the court in England and Wales as if references to the office-holder included the official receiver, whether or not he is the liquidator.
(2)The court may, on the application of the office-holder, summon to appear before it—
(a)any officer of the company,
(b)any person known or suspected to have in his possession any property of the company or supposed to be indebted to the company, or
(c)any person whom the court thinks capable of giving information concerning the promotion, formation, business, dealings, affairs or property of the company.
(3)The court may require any such person as is mentioned in subsection (2)(a) to (c) to submit to the court an account of his dealings with the company or to produce any books, papers or other records in his possession or under his control relating to the company or the matters mentioned in paragraph (c) of the subsection.
(3A) An account submitted to the court under subsection (3) must be contained in—
(a)a witness statement verified by a statement of truth (in England and Wales), and
(b)an affidavit (in Scotland).
(4)The following applies in a case where—
(a)a person without reasonable excuse fails to appear before the court when he is summoned to do so under this section, or
(b)there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person has absconded, or is about to abscond, with a view to avoiding his appearance before the court under this section.
(5)The court may, for the purpose of bringing that person and anything in his possession before the court, cause a warrant to be issued to a constable or prescribed officer of the court—
(a)for the arrest of that person, and
(b)for the seizure of any books, papers, records, money or goods in that person’s possession.
(6)The court may authorise a person arrested under such a warrant to be kept in custody, and anything seized under such a warrant to be held, in accordance with the rules, until that person is brought before the court under the warrant or until such other time as the court may order.