Insolvency Service

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The Insolvency Service
Type Government agency
Region served
United Kingdom
Chief Executive
Sarah Albon
Parent organisation
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Insolvency Service is an executive agency of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills with headquarters in London. It has around 1,700 staff, operating from 21 locations across Great Britain.

The insolvency Service administers compulsory company liquidations and personal bankruptcies and deals with misconduct through investigation of companies and enforcement. It also makes redundancy payments in cases where a company is insolvent.


It is responsible for authorising and regulating the insolvency profession. They:

  • administer and look into the affairs of bankrupts, people subject to debt relief orders, and liquidated companies, making reports of any directors’ misconduct
  • carry out investigations into live companies
  • act as trustee/liquidator where no private sector insolvency practitioner is in place
  • act as nominee and supervisor in fast-track individual voluntary arrangements
  • deal with the disqualification of unfit directors in all corporate failures
  • deal with bankruptcy and debt relief restrictions orders and undertakings
  • advise BIS ministers and other government departments and agencies on insolvency, redundancy and related issues
  • issue redundancy payments via the National Insurance Fund
  • provide information on insolvency and redundancy matters

Working under the Insolvency Acts[edit]

The Insolvency Service operates under a statutory framework – mainly the Insolvency Act 1986, the Insolvency Act 2000, the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and the Employment Rights Act 1996. Insolvency Service staff are based across the UK in a network of 38 Official Receiver offices throughout England and Wales;

Expansion of the Insolvency Service[edit]

On 1 April 2006 Companies Investigation Branch of BERR transferred to The Service and is based in offices in both London and Manchester. The new Debt Relief Orders which came into force on 6 April 2009 under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 are not dealt with by Official Receivers Offices but at the Services Plymouth office.

In April 2003 the Redundancy Payments Service transferred to the Insolvency Service. This enabled a joined up approach to company failure and any consequential redundancies to be had and this is demonstrated on a frequent basis.


The Agency Chief Executive is the Agency Accounting Officer and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Service. Sarah Albon succeeded Dr Richard Judge on 2 February 2015.

The Insolvency Service Board is responsible for the long-term success of the agency. This includes:

  • setting strategic aims and objectives
  • making sure that leadership and resources are in place to meet these aims
  • challenging and supporting management performance
  • reporting to BIS

Board members[edit]

The board is made up of both executive and non-executive members.

The executive members are:

  • Sarah Albon, Inspector General and Chief Executive
  • Graham Horn, Operations Director
  • Chris Pleass, Finance and Commercial Director
  • Anne Willcocks, External Affairs Director

The non-executive members are:

  • David Ereira, Chair
  • Alan Graham
  • Pat Boyden
  • Dame Elizabeth Neville
  • Tracey Bleakley
  • Richard Carter
  • Rachel James

See also[edit]


External links[edit]