Lightman & Moss on The Law of Administrators and Receivers of Companies is the title of the book which, in its 6th edition, was published in September 2017. Its editors are Gavin Lightman, Gabriel Moss, Hamish Anderson, Ian Fletcher and Richard Snowdon. With respect one could say that they represent the cream of the insolvency crop. The first edition dates back to 1986, so it cleches 30+ years of core developments in insolvency law and practice of England and Wales. What is noticed immediately is that the title has been changed in that ‘the lasting contribution of the original authors’, as the Preface says, is recognised, and that the Appendices are gone. The editors expect that these materials are readily available elsewhere, for which they refer to Sealy & Milman, which I shortly reviewed two months ago, see http://www.bobwessels.nl/blog/2017-09-doc12-20th-edition-sealy-milman/.
The structure of the book mainly is unchanged. It covers 32 chapters in which also the 2010 amendments to the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Insolvency (Amendment) Rules 2010 are covered. In addition, the new Insolvency (England & Wales) Rules 2016, taking into account the amendments to the Insolvency Act 1986, in force since April 6, 2017, have been given account to. The chapters themselves cover a broad range of topics, including fixed and floating charges, expenses, taxation of companies in administration or receivership, the procedures involved in the duties, liabilities and appointments of receivers and administrators (and the distinctions between administrators, administrative receivers and other receivers or the liquidators and the provisional liquidators), and themes such as (fraudulent and wrongful) trading, directors’ disqualification, disposals, employees, pensions, leases, set-off and liens. The treatment is an indepth one, providing details, with references to many court cases. References to legal literature are rare. Extensive tables of cases and statutes, and an index, assist in easily finding avenues to the topic treated in the book.
Some 130 pages are devoted to situations that include a foreign element, Chapter 30 (Fletcher/Moss) on Conflict of Laws, Chapter 31 (Fletcher / Nick Segal) on the EC / EU Insolvency Regulation, and Chapter 32 (Fletcher and Hannah Thornley) covering the UNCITRAL Model Law. Interestingly in these chapters, references to literature are much more common. In chapter 30 the territorial application of the Insolvency Act is explained, which is also serviceable for non-English practitioners, including the ‘sufficiently connected with England’ requirement. Other topics in this chapter are the position of foreign receivers appointed otherwise than by court order or indeed appointed by a foreign court, or the assistance available from the English courts to foreign cases, with an explanation to cases such as Rubin and New Cap, Cambridge Gas and Singularis. Chapter 31 covers a some 50 pages treatment of the EU Insolvency Regulation, ie the original Regulation 1346/2000, followed by what has changed under the Recast 2015, with effect from 26 June 2017. Here the reader finds half a page reflecting the desire to gaze into a crystal ball (‘Brexit’). Not surpising: the outcome is likely to remain unclear for a considerable time. The last chapter covers 30 pages on the UNCITRAL Model Law, which includes references to sources, literature and several cases. The book reflects the law stated as at 30 April 2017, with a stop press note for the Supreme Court decision in Waterfall I, but evidently not refering to the recent 9 November 2017 case in the matter of Agrokor, a large Croation company subject to Extraordinary Administration proceedings. Recognised under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006, as the court follows a wide interpretation of ‘foreign proceeding’.
In all, tho book is a sound and substantial treatment of present English insolvency law, also very useful for those non-English practices that are confronted with this domain of law.
Gavin Lightman, Gabriel Moss et al., Lightman & Moss on The Law of Administrators and Receivers of Companies, Sweet & Maxwell, 6th ed., 2017, 981 pp. ISBN: 9780414034082.
Note: this book I received free of charge from the publisher with the request to announce it or to review it on my blog at www.bobwessels.nl.