This is the latest case in the long running saga of attempts to make Mr Maud bankrupt.
The saga centres around a high value property complex in Spain. Mr Maud and objecting creditors contended on his appeal against a bankruptcy order made by the Registrar against him that the reason why the petitioners sought a bankruptcy order was for the ulterior motive of taking control of the property structure and that the order should be overturned.
The petitioners contended that the petition debt was due, there was no reasonable prospect of the debt being paid in a reasonable time and the Registrar was right to make a bankruptcy order. They also relied on an earlier appeal judgment on Mr Maud’s failed application to set aside the statutory demand that the petition was not an abuse of process.
The Judge held that, just because a petition was not an abuse of process, motive does not become irrelevant, particularly where, as in this case, there are objecting creditors. The Judge also noted that the petitioners had, since the hearing in front of the Registrar, conceded that they had the above ulterior purpose and held that the Registrar was wrong in failing to address the interests and weigh up the views of the classes of supporting and objecting creditors.
The Judge did not however exercise his discretion to determine the bankruptcy petition, but rather invited the parties to propose directions in advance of a further hearing of the petition. The saga continues!