Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1989/2405

1989 No. 2405 (N.I. 19)


The Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

Made 19th December 1989

Coming into operation in accordance with Article 1(2)

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 19th day of December 1989


The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in Council

Whereas a draft of this Order has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament:

Now, therefore, Her Majesty in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 19741and of all other powers enabling Her in that behalf, is pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, as follows:—




S-1 Title and commencement

Title and commencement

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

(2) This Order shall come into operation on such day or days as the Head of the Department may by order appoint.

(3) An order under paragraph (2) may contain such transitional and supplementary provisions as appear to the Head of the Department to be necessary or expedient.

S-2 General interpretation

General interpretation

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 19542shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In this Order—

“business” includes a trade or profession;

“the Companies Order” means the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 19863;

“conditional sale agreement” and “hire-purchase agreement” have the same meanings as in the Consumer Credit Act 19744;

“the Department” means the Department of Economic Development;

“liability” means (subject to paragraph (4)) a liability to pay money or money’s worth, including any liability under a statutory provision, any liability for breach of trust, any liability in contract, tort or bailment and any liability arising out of an obligation to make restitution;

“modifications” includes additions, alterations and omissions;

“office copy”, in relation to a document of the High Court, means a copy purporting to be sealed with the seal of the Court;

“the official receiver” means, in relation to any bankruptcy or winding up, any officer of the Department who by virtue of Article 355 or 357 is authorised to act as the official receiver in relation to that bankruptcy or winding up;


(a) in Articles 48(3), 95(1), 212(h) and 222 and in Part XII, means prescribed by regulations; and

(b) except as provided in sub-paragraph (a) and in paragraph 3 of Schedule 4, means prescribed by rules;

“property” includes money, goods, things in action, land and every description of property wherever situated and also obligations and every description of interest, whether present or future or vested or contingent, arising out of, or incidental to, property;

“records” includes computer records and other non-documentary records;

“regulations” means regulations made by the Department subject (except in Article 359(5)) to negative resolution;

“rules”, except in Article 350, means rules made under Article 359;

“statutory provision” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 19545;

“transaction” includes a gift, agreement or arrangement, and references to entering into a transaction shall be construed accordingly.

(3) In determining for the purposes of any provision in this Order whether any liability in tort is a debt provable in the winding up of a company or a bankruptcy debt, the company or, as the case may be, the bankrupt is deemed to become subject to that liability by reason of an obligation incurred at the time when the cause of action accrued.

(4) For the purposes of references in any provision of this Order to a debt or liability, it is immaterial whether the debt or liability is present or future, whether it is certain or contingent or whether its amount is fixed or liquidated, or is capable of being ascertained by fixed criteria or as a matter of opinion; and references in any such provision to owing a debt are to be read accordingly.

(5) In this Order (except Article 355(1)) references to the official receiver include an officer of the Department appointed under Article 357(1) as deputy official receiver.

(6) For the purposes of any provision in this Order whereby an officer of a company who is in default shall be guilty of an offence, “officer who is in default” means an officer of the company who knowingly and wilfully authorises or permits the default, refusal or contravention mentioned in the provision.

S-3 “Act as insolvency practitioner”

“Act as insolvency practitioner”

3.—(1) A person acts as an insolvency practitioner in relation to a company by acting—


(a) as its liquidator, provisional liquidator, administrator or administrative receiver, or


(b) as supervisor of a voluntary arrangement approved by it under Part II.

(2) A person acts as an insolvency practitioner in relation to an individual by acting—


(a) as his trustee in bankruptcy or interim receiver of his property; or


(b) as trustee under a deed which is a deed of arrangement made for the benefit of his creditors; or


(c) as supervisor of a voluntary arrangement proposed by him and approved under Part VIII; or


(d) in the case of a deceased individual to the administration of whose estate this Article applies by virtue of an order under Article 365 (application of provisions of this Order to insolvent estates of deceased persons), as administrator of that estate.

(3) References in this Article to an individual include references to a partnership.

(4) In this Article—

“administrative receiver” has the meaning given by Article 5(1);

“company” means a company within the meaning given by Article 3(1) of the Companies Order or a company which may be wound up under Part VI of this Order (unregistered companies) or a building society within the meaning of the Building Societies Act 19866.

(5) Nothing in this Article applies to anything done by the official receiver.

S-4 “Associate”


4.—(1) For the purposes of this Order any question whether a person is an associate of another person is to be determined in accordance with the following provisions of this Article (any provision that a person is an associate of another person being taken to mean that they are associates of each other).

(2) A person is an associate of an individual if that person is the individual’s husband or wife, or is a relative, or the husband or wife of a relative, of the individual or of the individual’s husband or wife.

(3) A person is an associate of any person with whom he is in partnership, and of the husband or wife or a relative of any individual with whom he is in partnership; and a Scottish firm is an associate of any person who is a member of the firm.

(4) A person is an associate of any person whom he employs or by whom he is employed.

(5) A person in his capacity as trustee of a trust other than—


(a) a trust arising under Parts VIII to X (other than Chapter I of Part VIII) of this Order, Parts VIII to IX of the Insolvency Act 19867or the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 19858, or


(b) a pension scheme or an employees' share scheme (within the meaning of the Companies Order),

is an associate of another person if the beneficiaries of the trust include, or the terms of the trust confer a power that may beexercised for the benefit of, that other person or an associate of that other person.

(6) A company is an associate of another company—


(a) if the same person has control of both, or a person has control of one and persons who are his associates, or he and persons who are his associates, have control of the other, or


(b) if a group of 2 or more persons has control of eachcompany, and the groups either consist of the same personsor could be regarded as consisting of the same persons by treating (in one or more cases) a member of either group as replaced by a person of whom he is an associate.

(7) A company is an associate of another person if that person has control of it or if that person and persons who are his associates together have control of it.

(8) For the purposes of this Article a person is a relative of an individual if he is that individual’s brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal ancestor or lineal descendant, treating—


(a) any relationship of the half blood as a relationship of the whole blood and the stepchild or adopted child of any person as his child, and


(b) an illegitimate child as the legitimate child of his mother and reputed father;

and references in this Article to a husband and wife include a former husband or wife and reputed husband or wife.

(9) For the purposes of this Article any director of other officer of a company is to be treated as employed by that company.

(10) For the purposes of this Article a person is to be taken as having control of a company if—


(a) the directors of the company or of another company which has control of it (or any of them) are accustomed to act in accordance with his directions or instructions, or


(b) he is entitled to exercise, or control the exercise of, one-third or more of the voting power at any general meeting of the company or of another company which has control of it;

and where 2 or more persons together satisfy either of the conditions mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) or (b), they are to be taken as having control of the company.

(11) In this Article “company” includes any body corporate (whether incorporated in Northern Ireland or elsewhere); and references to directors and other officers of a company and to voting power at any general meeting of a company have effect with any necessary modifications.

Interpretation for Parts II to VII

S-5 Interpretation


5.—(1) In Parts II to VII—

“administrator” means a person appointed as defined in Article 21(2);

“administration order” means an order of the High Court under Article...

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