Clause 12 — Insolvency

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 7th March 2011.

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Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 8:45 pm, 7th March 2011

Clause 12 implements the Calman commission recommendation that the UK Insolvency Service should be made responsible for laying down rules to be applied by insolvency practitioners on both sides of the border. The commission was persuaded by evidence from stakeholders, including the Law Society of Scotland and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, that a consistent approach to winding up would bring significant benefits to insolvency practitioners, creditors and others dealing with insolvent companies in both England and Wales and in Scotland. Many windings up involve groups of companies that operate on both sides of the border, and it will be more efficient in terms of both time and money if the same winding-up rules are applied to each insolvent company in the group, except where Scottish common law dictates otherwise.

As a result of the proposals, the reorganisation of groups of companies will be more efficient and lead to increased returns for creditors and shareholders. Group reorganisations may involve subsidiaries being wound up, and a common approach to winding-up rules would help reduce the cost and complexity of group restructuring where constituent companies operate in both Scotland and in England and Wales. In its evidence to the Calman commission, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, which regulates most of the insolvency operators working in Scotland, highlighted the benefit of consistent rules in promoting a more stable environment for corporate recovery and turnaround.