Group puts case for threatened receivers

NICHOLSON Graham & Jones partner Andrew Besser is legal adviser to a new group pressing the case for non administrative receivers, currently unprotected by insolvency legislation.

The Non-Administrative Receivers Association (Nara) will represent those receivers who handle insolvency of property assets under fixed charges and are not regarded by law as administrative receivers.

These professionals, who can be accountants, surveyors and in some cases lawyers, were left unprotected by last year's amendments to the Insolvency Act 1986 which tried to plug gaps left by the infamous Paramount ruling. Paramount decided that receivers could be left liable for the cost of employee redundancies in a company collapse.

“The aim is to create a body to set standards and a code of practice which will give a professional look to non-administrative receivers,” said Besser.

“We can then apply to have some sort of statutory approval, by persuading the DTI that LPA (Law of Property Acts) receivers are deserving of statutory protection.”

The Insolvency Act defines administrative receivers as those appointed by creditors with a floating rather than fixed charge, said Besser.

He added that other lawyers involved include Philip Matthews, of Wedlake Bell, while top accountants from firms such as Coopers & Lybrand and KPMG are also involved on the board.

Association chair is Coopers & Lybrand partner Barry Gilbertson.