Key point

Under English law there is a clear public interest in ensuring the timely and efficient administration of insolvent estates and parties should comply with all time limits in the Insolvency Rules 1986 unless there are good reasons for requiring more time. 

The facts

A creditor in the Lehman administrations applied for more time to challenge the administrators rejection of its proof of debt. The original proof was filed in December 2010. In August 2013 the administrators (after some correspondence) formally rejected the proof of claim. Under rule 2.78 that gave the creditor 21 days to appeal. The administrators granted several extensions of this period until the 24 January 2014. On that date the creditor requested a further extension of time which the administrators refused. The creditor applied for relief on 4 February 2014.

The decision

The administrators had already been generous and further extending the creditor's time in which to appeal would delay the administration. The creditor's application was rejected.

Comment

The Court referred to the new regime on relief from sanctions under CPR 3.9 and the recent decision in Mitchell v News Group and argued by analogy that certain time limits under the Insolvency Rules were litigious in nature and therefore should be treated in the same way when it comes to relief from sanctions imposed for missing a deadline. Here despite the fact a refusal of relief would leave the creditor without recourse the time limit as previously extended by the administrators stood.

Contrarian Funds LLC v Lomas [2014] EWHC 1687 (Ch)