In Lafferty v Official Assignee Gordon J considered Mr Lafferty's appeal of two decisions of the Official Assignee to refuse Mr Lafferty's applications under section 62(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1967 to enter or carry on business while bankrupt.
Gordon J dismissed the appeal on the basis that Mr Lafferty could not show that the Official Assignee had made an error of law, failed to take into account relevant considerations or was manifestly wrong in exercising its discretion under regulation 34 of the Insolvency Regulations 1970.
Mr Lafferty's ability to provide further information alongside his application form was sufficient to satisfy his right to be heard. The fact of Mr Lafferty having served a prison sentence and his successful battle with drug addiction were relevant considerations, but Gordon J considered that the Official Assignee was entitled to take the view that the 2.5 years since his last offence was too short a period to demonstrate genuine change. Finally, the decision was not manifestly wrong as Mr Lafferty had an extensive criminal history of behaving fraudulently in conducting precisely the kinds of businesses that he applied to run.
The decision can be found here.