Gazetting and Advertising
1. What is the Gazette and why does the official receiver use it?
The London Gazette is a daily publication (Monday to Friday) produced by the Stationery Office, which carries legal and other notices of general interest for circulation. The Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency Rules 1986 require the official receiver to advertise specific matters in the London Gazette and this is what is known as ’gazetting’.
2. Which matters does the official receiver have to gazette?
Those matters which must be gazetted by the official receiver are:
a. the making of a winding-up order
b. the making of a bankruptcy order
c. correction of any previous notice where the court order has been varied significantly
d. where there was a mistake in the original notice
3. Other matters which may be gazetted
The official receiver can seek the court’s direction to gazette when applying to the court to amend the title of bankruptcy proceedings. A number of amendments of title have become routine applications where the changes introduced are minimal or will make no difference to the administration of the case. If there is no benefit to be gained following the minor amendment, it should not be gazetted as a matter of routine.
Where an order of annulment or discharge is made, such orders may be gazetted when the former bankrupt requests it but only at the former bankrupt’s expense. In such circumstances, the official receiver should take no steps to gazette until the necessary funds have been received from the former bankrupt.
In cases where a bankruptcy order was made on or after 1 April 2004, and the early discharge process has been applied, an order of discharge must not be gazetted or advertised until form EDNOT – ‘Notice of Discharge Form 6.82’ has been endorsed by the court and returned to the official receiver.
4. How does the official receiver arrange for the gazetting of an insolvency order?
The electronic system for producing gazettes means that the official receiver is only indirectly responsible for the production of gazette notices. Once the official receiver has been notified of the insolvency order, the usual initial notices should be produced via LOIS, (DO73). The gazette notice does not form part of this initial notices package and must be generated separately via LOIS, (CA03) and (DO73). Having been created and forwarded electronically, the gazette notice is automatically downloaded to a file that is monitored by CUST. This file is populated by users throughout the day, then at 0500 hours each day the file is automatically formatted. It is then available for the Fees & Data Management (F&DM) team within Estate Accounts Services (EAS) to access and deal with the gazette notices as appropriate. Gazette notices will usually be published two working days after being dealt with by the F&DM team.
5. One gazette notice ONLY to be generated and printed off
Only one print of the gazette notice must be made and this should immediately be placed on the office file. If, for any reason, a gazette notice is duplicated via LOIS, the information will be automatically downloaded and forwarded electronically again, which will result in another gazette entry of the same information. If this should occur, contact by e-mail must be made with the F&DM team firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, to notify them of the error and request that the second entry be removed.
6. What happens in a case where a director, partner or a bankrupt etc. has obtained an order for a stay of advertisement or a stay of proceedings?
It is essential that the official receiver obeys a court order for a ‘stay’. If not, it is possible that the company, partnership, or bankrupt concerned, may subsequently seek damages from the official receiver for failing to obey an order of the court.
7. Transfer cases
Where a winding-up or bankruptcy order is transferred from one official receiver’s office to another immediately upon the making of the order, it is the responsibility of the receiving or ‘new’ official receivers office to arrange for the gazetting of the order. Once aware of the transfer and where the gazette notice has not yet been published, the ‘new’ official receivers office should immediately notify the F&DM team of the transfer, by e-mail or by telephone. If the gazette entry has already been made using the old court and number, there is no need to re-gazette it simply because of the new court details, or to notify any change to the F&DM team.
8. What if an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) was appointed by the court immediately, when the order was made?
Where an IP is appointed liquidator or trustee by the court at the time the order is made, the official receiver is still responsible for the gazetting of the order. The official receiver should amend a standard gazette form, L72.12 – ‘Gazette Notice - Winding-up order’ or B37.17 – ‘Gazette Notice - Bankruptcy order’ to include details of the relevant insolvency practitioner, printing off one copy in the normal way. The gazette notice will then be generated and forwarded electronically and published in the usual way.
9. Prison references, victims of domestic violence, etc.
Particular care should be taken to ensure that, where a bankrupt is in prison at the date the petition is presented, no reference to the prison address is included in the bankruptcy order description. The court should remove the address to prevent the gazetted order including the prison address. If this has not been done prior to the official receiver receiving the bankruptcy order, the official receiver should draw to the court’s attention the general authority to amend proceedings at any time, and ask for the order to be amended accordingly.
This is equally valid where a bankrupt has been a victim of domestic violence and requests that their location should not be advertised. There may also be other cases where such information should not be published. If in doubt, the situation should be drawn to the examiner’s attention.
10. Why does the official receiver advertise?
As well as the requirement to issue gazette notices, the legislation also places on the official receiver the obligation to advertise certain insolvency events in newspapers. For this purpose, any publication registered as a newspaper with the Post Office can be used, and this includes free papers. The official receiver’s objective in advertising should be to reach as many of the insolvent’s potential creditors (and contributories) as possible and the advertisement should be placed in a publication with the largest circulation, or close to the largest, circulation, in the relevant area. This could be a national newspaper, for instance, where the insolvent traded across the country and has a large number of creditors spread over a wide area. However, generally speaking, the newspaper advertisement will appear in a local newspaper.
11. What does the official receiver have to advertise?
Those matters which the official receiver must advertise are as follows:
a. the making of a winding-up order;
b. the making of a bankruptcy order
c. first meetings of creditors and contributories in a winding up
d. first meeting of creditors in a bankruptcy
e. first dividend to non-preferential creditors in those cases where the official receiver, as liquidator or trustee, has not previously invited creditors by public advertisement to prove their debts. This will be true in most cases, as invitations to claim are normally only made in a voluntary winding up.
12. What may the official receiver choose to advertise
There are matters where the official receiver may choose to advertise at his or her discretion. These include:
a. where there is an amendment of title, the official receiver may be obliged to advertise the amendment if the court orders that he do so. (As with gazette notices, there is no point in the official receiver seeking permission to advertise an amendment of title unless the amended description is significantly different to the original)
b. a general meeting of creditors (and contributories), other than a first meeting, may be advertised at the official receiver’s discretion
c. in both winding up and bankruptcy, the official receiver may advertise a public examination ordered by the court, where deemed appropriate;
d. where a bankruptcy is annulled, the former bankrupt can make a written request that the order is advertised. The former bankrupt will have to pay for the advertisement and the official receiver should take no steps to place the advert until the funds have been received
e. when a bankrupt obtains discharge, he may request that the discharge be advertised, for which he will be liable for the cost
Note : From January 2010 the advertising contractor and procedure for advertising have changed. Paragraphs 13-20 have been removed. For details of the new contractor (Tribal) and associated advertising process please click HERE.
21. Can notice of the insolvency order and first meeting advertisements be combined?
Where there is a possibility that a decision regarding the holding of a first meeting can be made quickly, the order and meeting advertisements may be combined. In such circumstances, a short delay of no more than 10 days in advertising the insolvency order is acceptable. However, if a decision on calling the first meeting cannot be made quickly, the advertisement of the winding-up order or bankruptcy order must not be further delayed .
22. Can creditors be given notice of a meeting by public advertisement rather than by individual notices?
Generally, where meetings are called by the official receiver, each creditor (and contributory) is entitled to an individual notice. However, the official receiver has the right to ask the court to order that the requirement for individual notices be dispensed with and that the notice be given by public advertisement. This may be appropriate in a case with a large number of creditors, particularly where the debts outstanding are small and the immediately realisable assets are of little value.
23. Advertising public examinations
In both winding up and bankruptcy cases, the decision whether or not to advertise a public examination is left to the discretion of the official receiver, having considered the circumstances of the case. Generally, advertising is more likely where there is a lack of co-operation by the examinee and there are likely to be more creditors who have not been disclosed, or where useful information may be provided by known creditors as a result of the publicity.
24. Official receivers general discretion to advertise
The official receiver is not limited to those matters covered by the insolvency legislation as far as gazetting or advertising is concerned. If the official receiver feels that either a notice in the London Gazette or a newspaper advertisement would be of some benefit, then it can be done even where the Act or Rules do not specifically provide for it. This may be true, for instance, where the official receiver is appointed as provisional liquidator or interim receiver by the court and wishes to notify persons dealing with the insolvent, of the position. However, no action to place such a notice should be taken without specific instructions from the examiner.
a Where a bankrupt applies for annulment on the grounds of payment in full and the official receiver or other trustee reports to court that not all of the creditors have proved, the court may order that the annulment application be advertised so that creditors can lodge their claims.
b Tribal will provide estimates for the costs for advertisements if requested to do so (mainly for annulments and discharge). The request should be made to the agents with the request for the advertisement. It must be made clear to the agents that an estimate is required before publication.
c As both gazette notices and advertisements are produced from LOIS, ensure that abbreviations are not used when entering the insolvency details onto the system in the initial stages. For further information see CHM part – Initial Notices and Letters. Where there appears to be inaccuracies in what has been input to LOIS, check the file, with the court or with the petitioner for clarification, before taking any further action.
Where can I find out more?
Insolvency Act 1986
Section 133 – Public examination of officers
Section 140 – Appointment by the court following administration or voluntary arrangement
Section 279 – Duration (to discharge)
Section 280 – Discharge by order of the court
Section 282 – Court’s power to annul bankruptcy order
Section 290 – Public examination of bankrupt
Section 297 – Special cases (of trustee in bankruptcy)
Insolvency Rules 1986
Rule 4.21(4) – Advertisement - (Gazetting and advertisement of a winding up order)
Rule 4.50(5) – Public advertisement - (Meeting notices, winding up)
Rule 6.34(2) – Official receiver to send notice etc - (Gazetting and advertising etc, of a bankruptcy order)
Rule 6.35(2) – Where amendment order made - (Gazetting and advertising an amendment order of title)
Rule 6.46(2) – Official receiver to send notice etc - (Gazetting and advertising a stay of any proceedings, bankruptcy order)
Rule 6.47(2) – Where amendment order made - (Gazetting and advertising an amendment of title
Rule 6.79(5) – Public advertisement - (meeting notices, bankruptcy)
Rule 6.213(3) – Requiring advertisement of order - (Gazetting and advertising an annulment)
Rule 6.220(2) – Requiring advertisement of discharge - (Gazetting and advertising discharge from bankruptcy)
Rule 7.32(1) – Filing by officer of the court – (Provision of gazette notices for the court file)
Rule 11.2(1A) – Public advertisement - (Notice of intended dividend)
Case Help Manual
ORBS Intranet SiteForms to be used
L72.12 – Gazette Notice – W-up order
L72.23 – Gazette Notice Winding-up order (Partnership case - Corporate member)
L72.24 – Gazette Notice Winding-up order (Partnership case - Partnership)
B37.17 – Gazette notice – Bankruptcy Order
B37.18 – Gazette notice – Amendment of title of proceedings
B37.19 – Gazette notice – Annulment of proceedings
B37.20 – Gazette notice – Discharge order
B37.34 – Gazette notice Bankruptcy Order (partnership case [creditor’s petition])
B37.35 – Gazette notice – Bankruptcy Order (partnership case [debtor’s petition])
NFN 1 – Notice for Newspaper (1) - ‘Notice for newspaper covering advertisement of various bankruptcy matters’
NFN 2 – Notice for Newspaper (2) - ‘A newspaper advertisement directing creditors who have not proved their debts to do so by a specified date, either generally, or in relation to dividend intended to be declared by the official receiver’
NFN 3 – Notice for Newspaper (3) - ‘Notice for newspaper variously covering advertisement of, winding-up order, calling of meetings, a call on contributories, and public examination’
LCAD – Letter Covering Advertisement - ‘A letter to advertising agents from the official receiver, enclosing an advertisement for publication.
FAC – Filing at Court - ‘This letter covers various documents regularly filed at court, i.e. certificates relating to the appointment, release, removal, resignation or loss of qualification of IPs’
Click HERE to view the Flowchart for Gazetting
Note : From January 2010 the advertising contractor and procedure for advertising have changed. The flowchart has been replaced to reflect the changes.
Click HERE to view the Flowchart for Publication of Insolvency Information –Advertising
1 Receive details of a new winding-up or bankruptcy order.
2 Check the order for accuracy and spelling, etc.
3 If not already done, record full details on LOIS, (CA02 & CA03). See CHM part – Initial Notices and Letters for full information on the inputting of information and preparation of notices and letters.
4 If a prison address or a vulnerable bankrupt’s address etc. appears in the full description, or any other material information is incorrect, seek guidance from the examiner.
5 If appropriate, contact the court and request them to amend the order.
6 Once the order is accurate, produce forms L72.12 – ‘Gazette Notice - Winding-up Order’ or B37.18 – ‘Gazette Notice - Bankruptcy Order’ in LOIS, (DO73). Check for accuracy of detail and typing errors.
7 Print off one copy of the gazette notice separately as it does not form part of the initial notices package.
8 In the event that a duplicate print of the gazette notice is taken from LOIS in error, which could lead to another publication of the same gazette notice, contact the F&DM team immediately to notify them of the mistake and request that the second entry be removed.
9 Where the official receiver becomes aware that a valid stay of advertisement or stay of proceedings is in force, contact the F&DM team immediately email@example.com to prevent publication of the gazette notice. Remove the paper copy of the gazette notice from the file and destroy it.
10 If an IP was appointed by the court at the time the order was made, prepare and generate the gazette notice on LOIS in the usual way, amending the relevant gazette form to incorporate the IP’s details.
11 In a transfer case, the receiving or ‘new’ official receiver should notify the F&DM Team immediately the new court number is known, if the gazette notice has not already been published.
12 Where the title of bankruptcy proceedings is amended and the court orders gazetting of the amended title, type up in the usual way on form B37.18, LOIS (DO73). Print off one copy only and place in the office file.
13 Where a bankrupt requests that an order of annulment or discharge be gazetted, ensure that the appropriate remittance is received from the bankrupt before taking any further action.
14 Once the cost of placing the gazette has been received, type up in the standard format on form B37.19 or B37.20 as appropriate, LOIS (DO73). Print off one copy only and place on the office file.
Note : From January 2010 the advertising contractor and procedure for advertising have changed. Procedure points 15 - 32 have been removed. For details of the new contractor (Tribal) and associated advertising procedures please click HERE.