Bishopsgate Investment Management Ltd (In Provisional Liquidation) v Maxwell and Another: CA 13 May 1992

A company liquidator applied for an order under sections 235 and 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 that a director should disclose information to that liquidator. The Director objected that to do so would infringe his privilege against self-incrimination. In separate proceedings, heard for these purposes together, two other companies sought remedies of an account and tracing against the same individual, who had also been a director of those companies. In the course of the proceedings, the plaintiff companies sought and obtained Mareva injunctions (freezing orders) against the defendant’s former director, and included in those orders were requirements that the director should answer certain interrogatories. The director again objected on the basis that answers to questions might incriminate him.
Held: The orders were upheld. The privilege against self-incrimination is firmly established judge-made law dating from the sixteenth century abolition of the Star Chamber. The privilege against self incrimination is entrenched, and can be removed by clear words in a statute only. The plaintiff remained entitled to refuse to answer the interrogatories on the basis that the answers might incriminate him.

Gazette 13-May-1992, [1993] Ch 1, [1992] BCLC 475
Insolvency Act 1986 236 133
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHolder v The Law Society Admn 26-Jul-2005
The applicant challenged the independence of the respondent’s disciplinary tribunal.
Held: The claim failed: ‘the nature of the Tribunal is entirely adequately independent and impartial for the purposes for which it is constituted. The . .
CitedA, K, M, Q and G v HM Treasury Admn 24-Apr-2008
The applicants were suspected of terrorist associations. Their bank accounts and similar had been frozen. They challenged the Order in Council under which the orders had been made without an opportunity for parliamentary challenge or approval.
Insolvency, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.78423