In re British and Commonwealth Holdings plc (Nos 1 and 2): HL 1993

Section 236 extended the power of a liquidator to require from the company’s officers all the documents he would reasonably need in order to fulfil his duties under the Act.
Lord Slynn said: ‘The protection for the person called upon to produce documents lies, thus, not in a limitation by category of documents (‘reconstituting the company’s state of knowledge’) but in the fact that the applicant must satisfy the court that, after balancing all the relevant factors, there is a proper case for such an order to be made. A proper case is one where the administrator reasonably requires to see the documents to carry out his functions and the production does not impose an unnecessary and unreasonable burden on the person required to produce them in the light of the administrator’s requirement. An application is not necessarily unreasonable because it is inconvenient for the addressee of the application or causes him a lot of work or may make him vulnerable to future claims or is addressed to a person who is not an officer or employee of or a contractor with the company in administration, but all these will be relevant factors, together no doubt with many others.’
and: ‘the applicant must satisfy the court that, after balancing all the relevant factors, there is a proper case for such an order to be made. The proper case is one where the administrator reasonably requires to see the documents to carry out his functions and the production does not impose an unnecessary and unreasonable burden on the person required to produce them in the light of the administrator’s requirements.’
Lord Slynn
[1993] AC 426, [1992] 4 All ER 876, [1992] 3 WLR 853
Insolvency Act 1986 236
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedOfficial Receiver v Wadge Rapps and Hunt (a firm) and another and two other actions HL 31-Jul-2003
(Orse In re Pantmaenog Timber Co Ltd)
The Receiver sought to use information obtained under section 236 (documents recovered from the directors’ solicitors) in disqualification proceedings.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The Act had . .
CitedGreen v BDO Stoy Hayward LLP ChD 2-Nov-2005
The liquidator sought production of the company’s books and documents held by the defendant as former auditors of the company.
Held: The power to order discovery could be more freely exercised against an officer of a company than against a . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.186362