Technical Guidance
COVID-19 Contingency Arrangements

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The latest COVID-19 contingency arrangements for the restructuring and insolvency profession. 

Practice Direction 51ZA – Extension of time limits and clarification of practice direction 51Y- Coronavirus (2 April 2020)
Practice Direction 51ZA concerns extensions of time limits and comes into force on Thursday 2 April 2020. It also provides clarification of Practice Direction 51Y, which came into force on 25 March 2020.
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Civil court listing priorities: 2 April 2020 (HM Courts & Tribunals Service)
Priority 2 - work that could be done - "Applications or hearings pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986 which concern the survival of a business or the solvency of a business or an individual"
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Update from Mr Justice Snowden, Vice Chancellor of the Country Palatine of Lancaster.
Position Summary and Guides for Urgent Applications "An Emergency Practice Direction for insolvency matters is in preparation which will seek to address the issue of CE-filing of Notices of Intention to appoint Administrators and Notices of Appointment of Administrators. It will also provide a structure for the hearing of winding up petitions in the forthcoming weeks, subject to local variations. I will be publishing details of those arrangements as soon as they are to hand, but practitioners should assume that such insolvency lists will be proceeding by a remote hearing unless notified to the contrary. "
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Hearings before Insolvency and Companies Court Judges
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HMRC - Coronavirus — Insolvency Guidance
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ICAEW and IPA - Joint statement by ICAEW and the IPA regarding measures to support IPs during the Covid-19 pandemic
"ICAEW and the IPA have been in conversation with the Insolvency Service and are looking at introducing various measures to ease the burden and support Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) during the current situation we are faced with."
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HMRC - Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19
"all businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June. Businesses have until 31 March 2021 to pay any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement."
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ICAEW - The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: furlough guidance (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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IPA - Message to members (25 March 2020)
"Possible key worker status for Insolvency Practitioners and others, potential measures for Insolvency Practitioners, information for IVA providers and support for businesses"
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ICAEW - Administration extensions
"There are a number of statutory deadlines where no serious consequences will flow from an IP failing to meet the deadline due to illness or lock down at the present time. But there are others where undoing the consequences of missing a statutory deadline might have more serious implications. "
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Protocol for Insolvency and Company Work at Central London
Amoungst other points, no bankruptcy order will be made on HMRC petitions currently listed for hearing. Instead, the judge will order the petition to be relisted after 12 weeks.
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Courts and Tribunals Judiciary - Practice Direction on Video or Audio Hearings in Civil Proceedings during the Coronavirus Pandemic (26 March 2020)
The new Practice Direction 51Y - clarifies the manner in which the court may exercise its discretion to conduct hearings remotely in private. It also clarifies what steps the court may make to ensure access by the public to remote hearings that have been held in private through making available audio or video recordings of those hearings at a time when the courts are operating normally.
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Update - Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Is the insolvency profession classed as a ‘key sector’? (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Companies House - Temporary Closure of Companies House Contact Centre (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Companies House - Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Acceptance of electronic IVA registration fees (BACS, CHAPS and Faster Payment) - The Insolvency Service (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Winding up petitions - Insolvency and Companies Court (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Commercial tenancies - British Property Federation Press Release
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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Contacting the Insolvency Service (25 March 2020)
*COVID-19 contingency arrangements*
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