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30-03-2015

The Small Business Bill made its way into law last week in a luge of a passage through parliament since its first reading last June. The Deregulation Bill, which had received its first reading in January, received Royal Assent in the same week.

The Deregulation Act introduces partial licenses for IPs which might be ok (just) for personal insolvency but was particularly resisted for corporate.

The Small Business Act sees an end to creditors' meetings despite all the calls to improve creditor engagement. It also introduces compensation orders against disqualified directors, amongst other things. Whether the latter is Crown preference by the back door, and adds to cases defended by directors, only time will tell.

I don't think it will improve director compliance or fairly compensate victims but it may disrupt proper investigations by IPs and unfairly skew the pari passu principle.

Things sometimes don't improve with age. Insolvency legislation may have just had a dodgy facelift.

Frances Coulson (fcoulson@moonbeever.com)

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