Stepping back in time with receiverships

We are all familiar with the court’s power to make retrospective administration orders, what is often termed a ‘G-Tech Order’ after the seminal case. It was, however, unclear whether this principle would also carry into the sphere of receivership appointments. A judgment recently handed down in the Northern Irish courts suggests that indeed it does.

The case of Bank of Ireland v Edeneast Ltd centred on the scope of (the Northern Ireland equivalent of) the Insolvency Act 1986 (section 35). This section provides that a receiver may apply to the court for directions in relation to any particular matter arising in connection with the performance of the functions of the receiver. On such an application, the court may give such directions as it thinks fit.

The ‘receiver’ was appointed as receiver and manager in May 2010 but his authority to act as such was expressed to expire on 1 March 2011. Unfortunately, this limitation was not appreciated until some two years after the expiry date. During this period of time, the receiver had purported to continue acting as receiver and manager of certain licensed premises…

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