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Insolvency Act 1986

Insolvency Act 1986
Citation 1986 c 45
Territorial extent England and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland
Royal Assent 1986
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Insolvency Act 1986 (c 45) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that provides the legal platform for all matters relating to personal and corporate insolvency in the UK.


  • History 1
  • Contents 2
    • Companies Winding Up 2.1
    • Insolvency of Individuals - Bankruptcy 2.2
    • Miscellaneous matters 2.3
    • Schedules 2.4
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5


The Insolvency Act 1986 followed the publication and most of the findings in the Cork Report, including the introduction of the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) and Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) procedures.

Elements of the Act have been updated by the Enterprise Act 2002 which came into enforcement on 1 April 2004 and introduced amongst other things the popular "out-of-court" administration route.[1]

Those considering the main Act should also refer to the Insolvency Rules 1986 and numerous Regulations and other amending legislation since 1986, and also to the best practice which applies to the administration of formal insolvency matters set out in the Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs) approved by the insolvency practitioner authorising bodies.


The Insolvency Act 1986 essentially governs issues relating to personal bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements and all administrative orders relating to company insolvency.

Companies Winding Up

    • Chapter I - Receivers and Managers (England and Wales)
    • Chapter II - Receivers (Scotland)
    • Chapter III - Receivers Powers in Great Britain as a whole
  • Part IV - Winding Up of Companies Registered Under the Companies Acts (ss 73-219)
    • Chapter I - Preliminary
    • Chapter II - Voluntary Winding Up (Introductory and General)
    • Chapter III - Members Voluntary Winding Up (ss 91-96)
    • Chapter IV - Creditor' Voluntary Winding Up (ss 97-106)
    • Chapter V - Provisions Applying to both kinds of Winding up
    • Chapter VI - Winding Up by the Court (ss 117-162)
    • Chapter VII - Liquidators
    • Chapter VIII - Provisions of general application in winding up
    • Chapter IX - Dissolution of companies after winding up
    • Chapter X - Malpractice before and during Liquidation; Penalisation of companies and company officers; Investigations and prosecutions (ss 206-219)
  • Part V - Winding Up Unregistered Companies (ss 220-229)
  • Part VI - Miscellaneous Provisions applying to Companies which are Insolvent or in Liquidation
  • Part VII - Interpretation for first group of parts

Insolvency of Individuals - Bankruptcy

  • Part VIII - Individual Voluntary Arrangements
  • Part IX - Bankruptcy (ss 264-371)
  • Chapter I - Bankruptcy Petitions - Bankruptcy Orders
  • Chapter II - Protection of Bankrupt's Estate and Investigation of his Affairs
  • Chapter III - Trustees in Bankruptcy
  • Chapter IV - Administration by Trustee
  • Chapter V - Effect of Bankruptcy on certain rights, transactions etc.
  • Chapter VI - Bankruptcy Offences
  • Chapter VII - Powers of Court in Bankruptcy
  • Part X - Individual Insolvency: General Provisions
  • Part XI - Interpretation for second group of parts

Miscellaneous matters

  • Part XII - Preferential debts in company and individual insolvency
  • Part XIII - Insolvency Practitioners and their qualifications (ss 338-398)
  • Part XIV - Public Administration (ss 399-410)
  • Part XV - Subordinate Legislation
  • Part XVI - Provisions against debt avoidance (England and Wales Only)
  • Part XVII - Miscellaneous and General
  • Part XVIII - Interpretation
  • Part XIX - Final Provisions


See also


  1. ^ Lyndon Norley, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP and Joseph Swanson and Peter Marshall, Houlihan Lokey (2008). A Practitioner's Guide to Corporate Restructuring. City & Financial Publishing, 1st edition ISBN 978-1-905121-31-1

External links

  • Original text of the statute as published by the Office of Public Sector Information
  • Text of Act from
  • Text of the Insolvency Act 1986 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database
  • Insolvency Service website
  • Insolvency Practitioners Association website
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