Previous Decision

  • This case follows the ultimately unsuccessful attempt by liquidators to recover pursuant to a wrongful trading claim (see Grant & Anor v Ralls and others [2016] EWHC 243 (Ch) in RCR Update, June 2016).
  • Whilst the liquidators were successful in establishing wrongful trading from a date, the Judge refused to order the directors to make a contribution to the losses as he found that the net deficiency had not increased from that date.

This Application

The liquidators therefore asked the directors to contribute to the costs and expenses as a loss suffered by the company.

The Judge seemed unimpressed by the liquidators seeking to amend their claim at the start of trial to only include those costs and expenses from the relevant dates and a lack of particularisation of the evidence in support of the costs and expenses (such amendment the Judge refused in any event).

Judgment

The Judge found against the liquidators, refusing to depart from the decision in SISU v Tucker [2006] BCC 463 that office holders cannot recover their own fees and expenses unless they were bringing a particular expertise, akin to an expert, to the case, which he held that they were not.

The Judge also commented that it would be perverse not to order a contribution due to the lack of an increase in the net deficiency, but then to order the directors to contribute to the costs and expenses of that ultimately unsuccessful claim.

Re Ralls Builders Limited [2016] EWHC 1812 (Ch)