Personal Insolvency Solicitors

Helping you through Bankruptcy

Our Insolvency team provide comprehensive assistance on matters relating to the financial distress of businesses and individuals. Our experience in a broad array of industries equips us to provide a focused approach to enable us to quickly identify the legal issues that can arise during voluntary or court-ordered insolvency proceedings.

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is an insolvency process for individuals. Unlike its corporate equivalent, liquidation, only the Court can make an Order declaring an individual bankrupt. You would use this process when your debts are larger than your income. 

Any individual who wishes to be made bankrupt must make an online bankruptcy application which is determined by an adjudicator first (an official within the Insolvency Service), and not by the Court.

The making of a bankruptcy order whether by the Court or by the adjudicator releases the debtor from the debts they owe to their creditors (save for some statutory exceptions) and prevents unsecured creditors from commencing or continuing with any legal process against the bankrupt or any properties. A trustee in bankruptcy (trustee) will be appointed to assess the situation and if appropriate, divide certain assets of the debtor amongst those creditors who have a valid and approved claim.

A bankruptcy usually lasts until it is discharged, and this is usually on the first anniversary of the bankruptcy order. During this time, an individual will automatically be subjected to a number of legal restrictions which can have serious implications.

Antecedent Transactions: Handling antecedent transactions

Once an individual is declared bankrupt, the trustee in bankruptcy has a duty to investigate and, if appropriate, challenge that individual’s transactions which may have breached the IA 1986 prior to their bankruptcy.

Types of Antecedent Transactions

Transactions at an Undervalue

If an asset is gifted to, or transferred to, an individual by the bankrupt (prior to their bankruptcy) for an amount significantly less than the value of the other party’s consideration, this could amount to a transaction at an undervalue. However, such transactions must have taken place within a relevant time frame. 

The Court has the power to examine an individuals’ transactions which took place up to five years before the date the bankruptcy petition was presented or the bankruptcy application was made (the “Relevant Time”). In these circumstances, the trustee in bankruptcy must show and prove that the bankrupt was either insolvent at the time of the transaction, or became insolvent as a result of such transaction. 

If the transaction took place less than two years before the Relevant Time, the trustee in bankruptcy is not required to prove the individuals’ insolvency at the time and the claim in general will be easier to prove. 


Where a creditor of the bankrupt’s estate is put in a better position than they would have been had the transaction not occurred, this is known as a preference. These usually relate to payments or security for debts.

In these circumstances, the trustee in bankruptcy has to prove there was a desire on the debtor’s part to put the creditor in a better position – this is assumed to be the case if the parties are known to each other, i.e. “associates”.

A trustee in bankruptcy has powers to investigate these types of transactions going back two years prior to the Relevant Time if the transaction was with a family member or associate. However, if the transaction was with an unknown creditor, the trustee can only investigate the transactions going back 6 months from the Relevant Time.

Transactions Defrauding Creditors

Transactions defrauding creditors must have been entered into for the purpose of putting assets beyond the reach of a creditor(s) and the transaction must have been at an undervalue. 

These types of transactions are different to the various other antecedent transactions, in that a claim can be made by both the trustee in bankruptcy or the creditor harmed by the transaction. There are also no specific time limits within which to transactions must have taken place prior to the onset of insolvency. 

What Is Personal Insolvency, and Why Is It a Concern?

Personal insolvency refers to a situation where an individual's liabilities exceed their assets, and they are unable to pay their debts. Facing personal insolvency is a concerning issue as it can lead to legal proceedings, damage to credit reputation, and personal distress.

How Does Bankruptcy Fit into the Personal Insolvency Landscape?

Bankruptcy is a specific form of personal insolvency, where the court or an adjudicator declares an individual bankrupt. It's a legal process that frees the debtor from most debts and involves the appointment of a trustee in bankruptcy to divide certain assets among valid creditors.

Services Offered by KaurMaxwell's Personal Insolvency Solicitors

How Can KaurMaxwell's Specialist Personal Insolvency Solicitors Help You?

Our experienced personal insolvency solicitors at KaurMaxwell offer comprehensive assistance on matters relating to financial distress, including:

  • Negotiating debts on your behalf with any creditors or landlords
  • Guidance through voluntary or court-ordered insolvency proceedings
  • Handling antecedent transactions
  • Advising on individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
  • Support with bankruptcy applications and processes

What Legal Advice and Support Are Available for Bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)?

We provide tailored legal advice and support for both bankruptcy and IVAs, ensuring that you understand your options and choose the best path for your financial situation.

The Process to Declare Bankruptcy

What Are the Steps to Declare Bankruptcy?

  1. Consider Alternatives: Explore other debt solutions before proceeding with bankruptcy.
  2. Make an Online Application: Individuals must make an online bankruptcy application.
  3. Adjudicator's Decision: The application is determined by an adjudicator within the Insolvency Service.
  4. Appointment of a Trustee: A trustee in bankruptcy will be appointed to divide certain assets among creditors.

How Can a KaurMaxwell Bankruptcy Solicitor Guide You Through the Bankruptcy Process?

Our bankruptcy solicitors at KaurMaxwell will delicately and diligently guide you through each step of the process, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and providing support to navigate complex issues.

Exploring Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) Options

What Is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), and How Does It Work?

An IVA is a legally binding voluntary arrangement between a debtor and creditors to repay a portion of the debts over a set period. It's an alternative to bankruptcy and requires the guidance and management of an insolvency practitioner.

How Can an IVA Help You Resolve Insolvency Issues?

An IVA can provide a structured way to manage debt problems without the severe consequences of bankruptcy. It allows for negotiated repayments and can protect assets like your home. An individual has more control as they can negotiate deals that are more appropriate for their circumstances and can choose the insolvency practitioner.

Why Choose KaurMaxwell's Personal Insolvency Solicitors in London? 5 Reasons:

At KaurMaxwell, we understand that personal insolvency is a complex and often stressful process. Choosing the right insolvency solicitors can make all the difference in achieving favourable outcomes. 

Here's why KaurMaxwell stands out as your ideal choice for personal insolvency lawyers in London:

  1. Diverse & Comprehensive Expertise: The team at KaurMaxwell brings together diverse expertise in areas such as civil and commercial litigation, property law, employment law, and insolvency law. This multifaceted approach ensures that clients receive well-rounded legal support.
  2. Proven Track Record: Team members like Mandeep Kaur Virdee, have successfully negotiated and managed several complex bankruptcies. One of Mandeep’s most notable achievements was obtaining over 12 adjournments for a bankruptcy petition, in circumstances where she successfully convinced the judge that there was a more beneficial alternative, despite a well-known IVA supervisor vigorously petitioning for bankruptcy. The insolvency team’s strategic thinking and ability to achieve desired results demonstrate a proven track record of success.
  3. Personalised Service: KaurMaxwell prioritises personalised service that caters to individual needs. Whether it's our exceptional personal service in property portfolio management or a bespoke approach to each client, we're here to support you every step of the way.
  4. Accessibility: Based in London, our insolvency solicitors are easily accessible to clients across the UK. We're here to assist you, whether in person, over the phone, or through virtual consultations.
  5. Multilingual Support: Our team is fluent in multiple languages (Spanish, Punjabi, Hindi, Tagalog, Gujarati, French, Twi, Kurdish and English) allowing us to serve a diverse client base with ease.

Get in Touch with KaurMaxwell's Bankruptcy Solicitors

How Can You Contact KaurMaxwell for Legal Advice on Personal Insolvency?

Get in touch with our experienced team at KaurMaxwell today for personalised legal advice on personal insolvency and bankruptcy.

Why Call KaurMaxwell for Support with Bankruptcy and Insolvency Issues?

We regularly assist and advise on all types of insolvency matters, whether contentious or non-contentious. Our team at KaurMaxwell is here to help you navigate the legal landscape with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Differences Between Personal Insolvency and Bankruptcy?

Personal insolvency is a broader term that includes bankruptcy. While personal insolvency refers to the inability to pay debts, bankruptcy is a specific legal process to resolve insolvency.

How Can an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) Help Me Avoid Bankruptcy?

An IVA can offer a flexible way to manage debts without declaring bankruptcy. It requires agreement from creditors and allows for negotiated repayments.

Can I Declare Bankruptcy Without a Solicitor, and What Are the Risks?

While it's possible to declare bankruptcy without a solicitor, the process can be complex and fraught with risks. A solicitor's guidance ensures that you comply with legal requirements and make informed decisions.