Heath v Tang, Stevens v Peacock: CA 11 Aug 1993

The bankrupt applicants each applied to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against the judgment for a liquidated sum on which the bankruptcy petition had been based. In the first case, the trustee in bankruptcy indicated his unwillingness to pursue an appeal; in the second, no trustee had been appointed.
Held: A bankrupt may not personally appeal against the judgment on which the bankruptcy order made. The court set out the duties of court in supervising actions for and against a bankrupt. The jurisdiction conferred by s.303(1) protects a bankrupt from injustice which might otherwise be caused by his inability to bring proceedings outside the bankruptcy jurisdiction and, in an appropriate case, permits a bankrupt to apply for an order that the trustee must make an application or bring a claim or allow the bankrupt to conduct proceedings in the name of the trustee.
Hoffmann LJ noted that the bankrupt’s estate vests in his trustee when appointed under section 306 of the 1986 Act, and, under section 285(3) no creditor has, after the making of a bankruptcy order, any remedy against the property or person of the bankrupt in respect of debts provable in the bankruptcy. The effect is ‘that the bankrupt ceases to have an interest in the either his assets or his liabilities except in so far as there may be a surplus to be returned to him upon his discharge.’

Hoffmann LJ
Independent 14-Oct-1993, Times 11-Aug-1993, [1993] 4 ALL ER 694, [1993] 1 WLR 1421
Insolvency Act 1986 306 285(3)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCoulter v Chief Constable of Dorset Police CA 13-Jul-2005
An appeal was made against an order refusing to set aside a second statutory demand. The demand was to enforce payment of an order for costs made in proceedings between the parties. The first statutory demand had been upheld, and the judge found . .
CitedThames Chambers Solicitors v Miah QBD 16-May-2013
The solicitors appealed against a wasted costs order. They had accepted instructions to act for a bankrupt in pursuing a debt before his discharge and without the debt having been assigned to him by the trustee in bankruptcy.
Held: The order . .
CitedWilliams v Glover and Another ChD 4-Jun-2013
The company’s liquidator had refused to assign to its former directors a claim for a reduction in corporation tax which they were funding.
Held: Such a claim did not constitute property within section 436, and was not a chose capable of . .
CitedWordsworth v Dixon CA 1997
The bankrupt had been a defendant in the action brought by the plaintiff. The court considered his standing to appeal.
Held: The right to appeal vested in the trustee. Sir Thomas Bingham MR referred to the case of Heath v Tang and said: ‘that . .
CitedSingh v HM Revenue and Customs UTTC 15-May-2010
UTTC JUDICIAL REVIEW – the concession of ‘equitable liability’ known as the Noble practice – standing to bring judicial review proceedings – no.
The bankrupt objected to the attempted proof by the Revenue in . .
CitedBPE Solicitors and Another v Gabriel SC 17-Jun-2015
Application for directions in a pending appeal. The claimant alleged negligence against his former solicitors. After his successful claim was substantially overturned on appeal, he was made bankrupt.
Held: If the trustee adopted and pursued . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insolvency, Litigation Practice

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.81297