The insolvency legislation contains an unusual provision
pursuant to section 375(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986 enabling the
court to review its own decision. The issue in this case was
whether the High Court could review its own decision where that
decision was an appeal of a bankruptcy order made by a District
Judge in the County Court.
The debtor appealed the bankruptcy order to the High Court on
the grounds that he had made a reasonable offer to settle the debt.
The debtor and petitioning creditor reached an agreement, which was
transposed into an order made by the High Court discharging the
bankruptcy order and disposing of the appeal (the
In the meantime, a trustee in bankruptcy had been appointed. The
trustee applied to the High Court for a review for the Order
contending it was prejudicial to other creditors and should be
The High Court refused the application. It held that it could
not rescind an order made in that court on an appeal. The Court
also proceeded to dismiss the application on its merits, and held
that the trustee had no standing to rescind the Order as he was not
a party to the application.
The Appeal Decision
The trustee appealed to the Court of Appeal who allowed the
appeal in part holding that the High Court did have jurisdiction to
review its decision on an appeal and that the trustee should have
been added as a party. However, the Court of Appeal agreed with the
High Court that even if the Trustee had been a party to the appeal,
he would not have succeeded in opposing the application for an
Order, save for it providing for his costs and expenses.
The Court of Appeal therefore allowed the appeal in part and
remitted the matter back to the High Court to determine how the
Trustee's costs and expenses should be paid.
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