Consolidated? – Yes. Simpler? – hell, no.

The last month has been one of disappointments for me – disappointing presents, disappointing parties, disappointing weather, etc. But that’s not unusual for December is it. Nor, I suppose, is it unusual in dealing with new insolvency legislation. I am only part way in to it all, but already…..

Remember how the insolvency service promised the new rules would simplify and streamline our processes? The problem is that while they may have intended that, they didn’t really properly amend the Act the way they could have with SBEE. As a consequence, many of the differences between procedures which were there before, have remained. So yes, we now have a number of procedures that are in the same place (thus, consolidated) but with so many exceptions and alternatives, that one wishes for a Philip Schofied type character who could say the magic words – “Simplify” and it would.

So it is with progress and final reports, dividends and even fee agreements.  Even the timings of statutory meetings, which could so easily have been made uniform – 14 days, say, – have to be dealt with in a special table listing 11 different processes.

Then there is the little wrinkle that decisions outside meetings are deemed to be made at 23:59 on the day of the decision. Which, unless I find another subsection somewhere, means that  you will only be able to rely on a decision having been made (if not in a meeting) on the day following.

Let alone, the rule which says that in most processes you have to notify unproven creditors only, when preparing a dividend, but in ADMs you have to notify everyone. Actually, that was already the Rule, but you see what I mean…

This leads me to offer three pieces of advice –

  1. By all means get checklists and letter packs and forms for the new Rules from either a Compliance specialist or from IPS or Vision Blue.
  2. Double check them carefully, yourself before signing any, being particularly careful with decision notices, reports and anything related to SIP 9.
  3. Budget for an extra-long compliance visit this year and probably next. Even the best of my compliance friends and I will be struggling to get used to our own checklists as well as yours, so everything will take longer.

And to think I have at least a couple of more years before I can retire….


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