Bankruptcy and companies court

Who we are

The Bankruptcy and Companies Court is part of the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Our Work

Our work covers two main areas:

  • Insolvency law (both corporate and individual)
  • Company law

We deal with cases under the Insolvency Act 1986, the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, the Companies Act 1985 and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Our work is dealt with by six bankruptcy registrars who are the judges who deal with the majority of cases. Appeals from their decisions are to a single judge of the Chancery Division.

The Bankruptcy Court

The Bankruptcy Court deals with:

  • All bankruptcy petitions which may be presented in the London insolvency district.

Creditors and debtors' petitions below the value of £50,000 and £100,000 respectively are dealt with as county court matter. For this purpose the Central London County Court will sit at the Thomas More Building, Royal Courts of Justice, where petitions will continue to be issued and heard.

There are cases where, notwithstanding these monetary limits, the proceedings will continue to be presented in the High Court:

  • where the bankruptcy petition is being presented against a member of a partnership being wound up by the High Court in London;
  • where the debtor is not resident in England and Wales and has not carried on business or resided in England and Wales in the 6 months before the presentation of the petition; and
  • where the petitioner is unable to determine the debtor’s place of residence and place of business.
  • Applications to set aside statutory demands
  • Post-bankruptcy applications, the purpose of which is to obtain information about or achieve realisation of the bankrupt's assets
  • Public examinations and applications for the suspension of the bankrupt's discharge period
  • Applications for permission to act as director where the applicant is an undischarged bankrupt

The Companies Court

The Companies Court deals with:

  • Company winding up petitions
  • Post-winding up applications, the purpose of which is to obtain information about or achieve realisations of company assets
  • Petitions for the approval of the reduction in the capital or share premium account of companies
  • A wide range of final applications relating to companies, such as:
  • Applications to restore to the register
  • To register charges out of time
  • Applications for permission to bring proceedings
  • Applications appealing a liquidator's rejection of proof
  • A range of interlocutory applications such as the pre-trial management of unfair prejudice petitions
  • Applications by the secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Official Receiver for the disqualification of unfit company directors
  • Applications for permission to act as a director following the making of such an order
HM Courts & Tribunals Service


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