LB Holdings Intermediate 2 Ltd, The Joint Administrators of v Lehman Brothers International (Europe), The Joint Administrators of and Others: SC 17 May 2017

In the course of the insolvent administration of the bank, substantial additional sums were received. Parties appealed against some orders made on the application to court for directions as to what was to be done with the surplus.
Held: The Court considered the so called waterfall of distributions made on liquidation which proved to be in surplus as set out in Nortel.
It was not be open to LBHI2 to lodge a proof in respect of the subordinated debt until the non-provable liabilities have been paid in full, it was clear that, after meeting that proof in full and paying any statutory interest due on it, the non-provable liabilities could be met in full. As soon as that has happened, there would, subject to what I say in the next paragraph, be nothing to stop LBHI2 lodging a late proof: ‘On the face of it at any rate, it seems a little strange that a proof can be, or has to be, lodged for a debt which ranks after statutory interest (which can only be paid out of a ‘surplus’) and non-provable liabilities. It may be that the proper analysis is that the subordinated debt is a non-provable debt which ranks after all other non-provable liabilities.’
Based the narrower or primary contention raised by the LBHI2 administrators, it is not open to the foreign currency creditors to seek to claim as a non-provable debt, the difference between the sterling value of the debt at the administration date and the sterling value of that debt when paid, where the latter exceeds the former.
The contractual right (in this case to recover interest and in the case of currency conversion claims, to be paid at a particular rate of exchange) has been replaced by legislative rules. On that basis, there is no room for the contractual right to revive just because those rules contain a casus omissus or because they result in a worse outcome for a creditor than he would have enjoyed under the contract.
Section 74 can be relied on to meet non-provable liabilities but not statutory interest: ‘I would allow the LBHI2 administrators’ appeal on the issue whether section 74 can be invoked in order to pay statutory interest, but I would dismiss their appeal on the issue whether that section can be invoked in order to meet other non-provable liabilities. I would therefore allow the appeal in part against para (vi) of David Richards J’s order.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed
[2017] UKSC 38, [2017] 2 BCLC 149, [2017] 2 WLR 1497, [2017] BCC 235, [2018] AC 465, UKSC 2015/0138
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Insolvency Act 1986, Insolvency Rules 1986
England and Wales
At ChDRe Lehman Brothers International (Europe) and Others ChD 14-Mar-2014
On the winding up of the company, there had unexpectedly been a surplus of assets after payment of all debts. The court was now asked to determine claims to be allowed before a distribution was made.
Held: The court made declarations as . .
At CALB Holdings Intermediate 2 Ltd, (The Joint Administrators of) and Others v Lomas and Others CA 14-May-2015
Applications after recovery of surplus funds to repay creditors of Lehmann Brothers Ltd. The court had given orders as to the several uses of the surpluses. The parties appealed some elements of those orders.
Held: Most elements were upheld, . .
CitedCherry v Boultbee HL 22-Nov-1839
B died having made a will leaving a fund to pay income to A who owed her money but had been made bankrupt before the death. The debt to B remained unpaid.
Held: The liability to pay the debt and the right to receive the legacy had never tested . .
CitedIn re Nortel Companies and Others SC 24-Jul-2013
The court was asked as to the interrelationship of the statutory schemes relating to the protection of employees’ pensions and to corporate insolvency.
Held: Liabilities which arose from financial support directions or contribution notices . .
CitedIn re Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Ltd SC 19-Oct-2011
The bank had been put into administrative receivership, and the court was now asked as to how distributions were to be made, and in particular as to the application of the equitable rule in Cherry v Boultbee in the rule against double proof as it . .
CitedBloom and Others v The Pensions Regulator (Nortel, Re) ChD 10-Dec-2010
Applications for directions by the administrators of twenty companies in two groups, all raising the same common questions as to the effect of the Financial Support Direction regime created by the Pensions Act 2004 upon companies in administration . .
CitedBelmont Park Investments Pty Ltd v BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd and Another SC 27-Jul-2011
Complex financial instruments insured the indebtedness of Lehman Brothers. On that company’s insolvency a claim was made. It was said that provisions in the documents offended the rule against the anti-deprivation rule. The courts below had upheld . .
CitedGooch v London Banking Association ChD 1886
On the application of a landlord, the court had jurisdiction to restrain the liquidators of a solvent company in voluntary liquidation from distributing assets of the company amongst its shareholders, without setting aside sufficient assets to . .
CitedIn re Fine Industrial Commodities Ltd ChD 1956
The Court considered the payment of interest to simple contract creditors. The company had been wound up on the ground of insolvency. In the course of the winding up the liquidators brought an action to set aside a debenture. The action was . .
CitedMitchell v Carter, In re Buckingham International Ltd CA 1977
The making of a winding-up order ‘divests the company of the beneficial ownership of its assets’, and those assets become ‘subject to a statutory scheme for distribution among the creditors and members’, who have the right to have them administered . .
CitedIn re T and N Ltd and Others, Re Insolvency Act 1986 ChD 14-Dec-2005
The court considered the case of Glenister and similar and said: ‘I accept the submission that these cases are not in point to the issue as regards future asbestos claims. There is no element of discretion as regards such claims. If the ingredients . .
CitedHIH Casualty and General Insurance Limited and others v Chase Manhattan Bank and others HL 20-Feb-2003
The insurance company had paid claims on policies used to underwrite the production of TV films. The re-insurers resisted the claims against them by the insurers on the grounds of non-disclosure by the insured, or in the alternative damages for . .
CitedIn re Islington Metal and Plating Works Ltd ChD 1983
Section 30 of the 1914 Act provided that ‘demands in the nature of unliquidated damages … shall not be provable in bankruptcy’. Tort claims were therefore excluded as provable debts by the express wording of the Act. . .
CitedIn Re Buckingham International Plc ChD 20-Nov-1997
There is no power in the court to make any arrangement which will result in the preference of one set of creditors over others of the same class. . .
CitedIn re Lines Bros Ltd CA 1982
The liquidators in a creditors voluntary liquidation converted foreign currency debts of the company into Sterling at the rate of exchange prevailing at the date of the resolution to wind up. As a result of the depreciation of Sterling against the . .
CitedIn re Humber Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co 1869
The assets of a company held on the statutory trusts should be distributed as if they had all been collected and distributed on the date of the winding up order: ‘I think the tree must lie as it falls; that it must be ascertained what are the debts . .
CitedEx parte Mackay; Ex parte Brown; In re Jeavons 1873
Mr Jeavons sold a patent regarding the manufacture of armour plates to a Brown and Co and Cammell and Co in consideration of the companies paying royalties. There was also a loan from the company to Mr Jeavons secured on the royalties. The parties . .
CitedIn re Pyle Works CA 1890
The court was asked about a mortgage of the uncalled amounts on some partly paid shares and all the present and future property of the company. The issue was whether the mortgages extended to the calls to be made by the liquidator in the winding up . .
CitedParmalat Capital Finance Ltd and others v Food Holdings Ltd and Another PC 9-Apr-2008
(the Cayman Islands) Lord Hoffmann said that ‘a winding up order does not affect the legal rights of the creditors or the company’. . .
CitedFinancial Services Compensation Scheme Ltd v Larnell (Insurances) Ltd CA 29-Nov-2005
The claimant investors said that their financial adviser, the defendant insolvent company, had given them negligent advice. The action was brought as a preliminary to claiming against the defendant’s insurers under the 1930 Act, in the way made . .
CitedBarclays Bank Ltd v Quistclose Investments Ltd; etc HL 31-Oct-1968
R Ltd were in serious financial difficulties. The company’s overdraft with the appellant bank was almost twice its permitted limit. The company sought a loan of 1 million pounds from a financier, who was willing to lend the company that sum provided . .
CitedWight, Pilling, Mackey v Eckhardt Marine GmbH PC 14-May-2003
(Cayman Islands) An international bank went into liquidation in the Cayman Islands, with liabilities in Bangladesh. A new bank was created in Bangladesh, and the applicants sought to make the new bank liable, and through them the liquidators.
CitedInco Europe Ltd and Others v First Choice Distributors (A Firm) and Others HL 10-Mar-2000
Although the plain words of the Act would not allow an appeal to the Court of Appeal under the circumstances presently applying, it was clear that the parliamentary draftsman had failed to achieve what he had wanted to, that the omission was in . .
CitedMiliangos v George Frank (Textiles) Ltd HL 1975
The issue was whether an English court was able to award damages in Sterling only.
Held: The House distinguished clearly between the substance of the debtor’s obligations and the effect of English procedural law when a debt in a foreign . .
CitedInco Europe Ltd and Others v First Choice Distribution (A Firm) and Others CA 10-Sep-1998
The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear an appeal against a judge’s grant or refusal of an order staying court proceedings where arbitration was sought by one party under an agreement. . .
CitedIn re Dynamics Corporation of America ChD 1976
In a compulsory winding up of an insolvent company, a creditor’s claim for a debt in a foreign currency, and any set-off in a foreign currency against such a debt, must be converted into sterling as at the date of the winding up order. The result . .
CitedBeaufort Developments (NI) Limited v Gilbert-Ash NI Limited and Others HL 26-Feb-1998
The contractual ability given to an arbitrator under standard JCT terms did not oust the court from assessing and prejudging the acts of the architect under a building contract. As to the means for interpreting documents, Lord Hoffmann said: ‘I . .
CitedIn re Whitehouse and Co CA 1878
The Court was asked whether a contributory was entitled to set off a debt due to him from the company against calls made against him both by the company before the commencement of its liquidation and by the liquidator after the commencement of its . .
CitedWhittaker v Kershaw CA 1890
A company contributory has no liability until the company concerned is wound up. . .
CitedIn re MC Bacon Ltd (No2) ChD 1991
A claim was made by the liquidator for reimbursement, out of a fund in the hands of a secured creditor, of costs, which included costs the liquidator had been ordered to pay the secured creditor following the dismissal of the action in which he . .
CitedIn re Ayala Holdings Ltd (No 2) ChD 1996
The Court was asked as to an assignment to a creditor of all rights to and choses in action relating to or in any way arising out of or in connection with an action against a secured creditor. The rights purportedly assigned included the right to . .
CitedBank of Credit and Commerce International Sa (In Liquidation) (No 8) CA 2-Oct-1996
Not all debts which were eligible for proof in bankruptcy were also eligible for a set off.
Rose Ljexplained the doctrine of equitable marshallling, saying: ‘The doctrine of marshalling applies where there are two creditors of the same debtor, . .
CitedGye v McIntyre 1-Mar-1991
High Court of Australia – Bankruptcy – Proof of debts – Set-off – Mutual dealings – Composition with creditors – Person claiming to prove debt . .
CitedGraham and Others, Assignees of Leigh, Bankrupt v Russell 25-Nov-1816
An underwriter, in an action by the assignees of a bankrupt assured, upon a loss which happened after the bankruptcy, may set off a sum due to him for premiums on the balance of accounts between the bankrupt and himself. . .
CitedForster v Wilson 1843
English law regards insolvency set off as a way of achieving substantial justice between the parties. . .
CitedStein v Blake HL 18-May-1995
Where A and B each have claims against each other and A is insolvent, the common amount is set off, and the net difference remains as a debt due.
Hoffmann L said: ‘It is a matter of common occurrence for an individual to become insolvent while . .
CitedCherry v Boultbee CA 6-Apr-1838
TB was indebted to CB, his sister, in the sum of andpound;1878. He became bankrupt, and shortly after his bankruptcy C B made her will, giving legacies of andpound;500 and andpound;2,000 to her executors, in trust to pay the interest thereof (as to . .
CitedCherry v Boultbee HL 22-Nov-1839
B died having made a will leaving a fund to pay income to A who owed her money but had been made bankrupt before the death. The debt to B remained unpaid.
Held: The liability to pay the debt and the right to receive the legacy had never tested . .
CitedIn re Overend Gurney and Co (Grissell’s case) 1866
On the insolvency of a company, no cross claim may be set off against the company member’s liability for unpaid capital, for debt. Lord Cheldmsford LC said: ‘If the amount of an unpaid call cannot be satisfied by a set-off of an equivalent portion . .
CitedOakes v Turquand hL 1867
Lord Chelmsford said: ‘it is said that everything that is stated in the prospectus is literally true, and so it is; but the objection to it is, not that it does not state the truth as far as it goes, but that it conceals most material facts with . .
CitedCambridge Gas Transport Corp v Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (of Navigator Holdings Plc and Others) PC 16-May-2006
(Isle of Man) A scheme of arrangement was proposed for a company with involvement in several jurisdictions. An order in New York sought assistance in the vesting of shares and assets in the Isle of Man in the creditors committee. Cambridge was a . .
CitedIn re Abrahams ChD 1908
A debt was owed by the beneficiary to the estate which was payable by way of future instalments which were not due.
Held: The debt did not entitle the executors to hold back distribution of the beneficiary’s share of the estate. . .

Cited by:
CitedMT Hojgaard As v EON Climate and Renewables UK Robin Rigg East Ltd and Another SC 3-Aug-2017
The defendants had requested tenders for the design and construction of an offshore wind farm. The court now considered the situation arising because of inconsistencies between documents in the tender request. The successful tender was based upon an . .
CitedRevenue and Customs v Joint Administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) SC 13-Mar-2019
The Court was asked whether interest payable under rule 14.23(7) of the Insolvency Rules 2016 is ‘yearly interest’ within the meaning of section 874 of the Income Tax Act 2007. If so, the administrators must deduct income tax before paying interest . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 17 January 2022; Ref: scu.584116