Last week HM Treasury published its much anticipated consultation paper on introducing a dedicated Insurer Resolution Regime (IRR) in the UK, which would implement key international standards.

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As expected, the UK's latest quarterly company insolvency statistics, published on 28 October, follow the pattern of previous quarterly updates this year with the number of insolvencies continuing to rise in comparison with both the equivalent quarter in 2021, and pre-pandemic.

With the temporary insolvency measures implemented under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act no longer in force, the Q3 2022 data shows a significant increase in insolvencies from Q3 2021, with the overall number of registered company insolvencies 40 per cent higher.

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Background

On 5 October 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited judgment in BTI 2014 LLC v. Sequana S.A. [2022] UKSC 25 concerning the trigger point at which directors must have regard to the interests of creditors pursuant to s.172(3) of the Companies Act 2006 (the "creditors' interests duty").

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In this article, Dentons gives its inside view on the pre-pack evaluator's report, made compulsory earlier this year to improve the confidence of creditors in pre-pack administration sales to connected persons. We consider the practicalities of selecting the right evaluator for the job, the potential for "opinion shopping" from evaluators and whether these new regulations have achieved what was intended.

A recap on pre-packs

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Today, new legislation comes into force* that provides directors of companies in financial difficulty with a second breathing space from the financial impact of the wrongful trading provisions.

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We have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic amidst war, political instability, strikes and double-digit inflation rates that haven’t been seen since the early 1980s. With interest rates likely to continue to rise during the first half of 2023 and pay increases falling short of inflation, consumer confidence remains low. Companies’ margins are being squeezed by rising interest rates and when combined with increased debt burdens, supply chain difficulties and labour shortages it is no surprise that the number of insolvencies across the UK is increasing.

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UK Restructuring A YEAR IN RETROSPECT 2 Contents Introduction Birmingham London North West Yorkshire UK team UK Restructuring Employment UK Restructuring Section Header Section Header Contents 3 Robert Russell UK Head of Restructuring +44 (0)161 235 4147 [email protected] 2022 – Unpredictable circumstances It would be fair to say that 2022 was not an easy year.

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The end of 2022 and the start of 2023 has seen a steady uptick in restructuring activity, not only for companies with complex capital structures but also small-to-medium sized enterprises seeking to take advantage of powerful restructuring tools (such as the UK’s Part 26A Restructuring Plan or Super Scheme).

The case of Goodbox Co Labs Limited (in administration) (Goodbox) is the first example of an individual creditor unilaterally seeking to access the Super Scheme.

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The 11 October 50-page judgment of Hildyard J in The joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) v FR Acquisitions Corporation (Europe) and JFB Firth Rixson will interest not only those who deal with ISDA Master Agreements (who may want to read the entire judgment), but also many lawyers and financial and commercial institutions. This is because the events of default which it had to consider, and especially the meaning of the word “continuing” in this context, are relevant to bonds, loans and various commercial contracts.

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The United Kingdom Supreme Court has just released an important insolvency judgment in BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA [2022] UKSC 25 (Sequana), which concerns when and the extent to which directors of a company must consider the interests of creditors.