How to complain about an Insolvency Practitioner
A person who acts as a liquidator, trustee in bankruptcy, administrative receiver, administrator or supervisor under a voluntary arrangement must be authorised to act as an insolvency practitioner. The authorisation process was introduced in 1986 to ensure the suitability of those who are authorised to act as insolvency practitioners.
Authorisation may be made in GB by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry directly, or by one of seven professional bodies (listed on pages 10, 11 and 12 in the leaflet How to make a complaint against an insolvency practitioner (DOC, 2.1 Mb) ) recognised by the Secretary of State as being competent to do so. Each authorising body is required to have proper procedures in place to ensure that complaints against those insolvency practitioners it authorises are investigated.
In carrying out their duties, insolvency practitioners must comply with several statutory requirements. They must also follow best practice guidance and ethical guidance.
If you consider that an insolvency practitioner is acting unprofessionally, improperly or unethically, you can make a complaint to the appropriate authorising body. However, it must be stressed that the Secretary of State or the authorising body cannot intervene directly in individual insolvencies; nor can they give directions in relation to the conduct of individual cases, or reverse or modify a decision of an insolvency practitioner. Insolvency, by its very nature, deals with a number of competing interests, most notably between the insolvent person and his or her creditors. Ultimately, commercial and other disputes may only be resolved by the courts, and the authorising body’s disciplinary procedures should not be regarded as an alternative to the powers available to individuals under the Insolvency Act 1986 or otherwise. Generally, an authorising body will not consider complaints about the amount of a practitioner’s remuneration (providing it has been properly approved in accordance with the law and relevant Statements of Insolvency Practice) as that is a matter for creditors and ultimately the court. The Secretary of State can only consider complaints against the insolvency practitioners who are authorised by him.
Remember, the insolvency practitioner is the person who is in charge of the insolvency case. So complaints against a case administrator or a case manager, for instance, should be taken up with the relevant insolvency practitioner.
Further information can be found in our publication 'How to make a complaint against an insolvency practitioner'
(DOC, 2.1 Mb) If you have a complaint against an insolvency practitioner authorised by DETINI you will need to contact that department http://www.insolvencyservice.detini.gov.uk.
All insolvency practitioners are required to disclose details of their authorising body on their correspondence. A searchable database of all authorised insolvency practitioners in GB is available in the 'Find an Insolvency Practitioner' database on this site.
The searchable database for authorised IPs in NI is available on DETNI website using the links below.