So long as there is no evidence of willful default or lack of reasonable diligence, failure to submit a claim form in time in relation to a CVA may not be fatal.

In Energy Holdings (No 3) Ltd (In liquidation) sub nom Gold Fields Minim LLC v Tucker and Spratt, following the approval by a creditors' meeting of a CVA, creditors had 45 days in which to submit their claim forms. The CVA was advertised in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal and became operational in October 2005. A creditor subsequently sought to make a claim in July 2007, sending its claim form to the supervisor who rejected it as being out of time.

The court found that on the evidence, there was nothing to demonstrate willful default or lack of reasonable diligence on the part of the creditor to account for its late lodgement of its claim form. The creditor had not received notice of the CVA at the time it was put in place but, once it was aware of it in December 2006, had taken all necessary steps to investigating and formulating its claim. In the circumstances, the claim form could rank for distribution under the CVA and the administrator had to adjudicate it.

Things to consider

Knowledge of the CVA is essential. The fact that a CVA has been advertised will not necessarily affix a creditor with knowledge and neither will information appearing on the web site of the company. Each case will depend upon its own facts. The crucial thing to avoid having a claim rejected is that once knowledge of the CVA has been acquired, to act with all reasonable diligence in then submitting the claim.