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Insolvency practitioner

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In the United Kingdom, only an authorised or licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) may be appointed in relation to formal insolvency procedures.

Quite often IPs have an accountancy background. A few active practitioners are lawyers, but it is not necessary to be qualified as either, as since 1986 there has been a direct entry route to the profession.

Insolvency is a regulated profession[edit]

In the UK, only a licensed insolvency practitioner can be appointed in relation to formal insolvency procedures for individuals and businesses. Insolvency practitioners are licensed to advise on, and undertake appointments in, all formal insolvency procedures. In the UK, insolvency practitioners are subject to oversight and inspection by their recognised professional body. Insolvency is a regulated profession under the Insolvency Act 1986[1] and anyone who wishes to practise as an IP needs to pass the JIEB exams; a set of three examination papers set by the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB). The exams are held once a year, usually in November, and each last 3.5 hours. Once the exams have been passed, it is necessary to meet the authorising body's insolvency experience requirements. Licences are issued by the following recognised professional bodies:[2]

As a "competent authority" under the Insolvency Act 1986, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) – and, for Northern Ireland, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment – also authorises IPs. The Insolvency Service,[3] an executive agency of BERR, oversees insolvency regulation in Great Britain and each authorising body is represented on the Joint Insolvency Committee, which aims to develop and maintain insolvency standards and best practice guidance, largely by means of Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs).[4]

There are currently around 1,735 licensed insolvency practitioners in the United Kingdom,[2] not all of whom take appointments – various lawyers hold licences but rarely use them to take appointments, preferring to advise other practitioners.[citation needed]

Trade body[edit]

The Association of Business Recovery Professionals, is the leading professional association for insolvency, business recovery and turnaround specialists in the UK. Known by its brand name ‘R3’, it promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses.

Procedures requiring an insolvency practitioner[edit]

Under UK law, unless an official receiver already holds office, the following types of formal insolvency procedure must be dealt with by a licensed insolvency practitioner:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Insolvency Act 1986 1986 CHAPTER 45" (PDF). Thomson Reuters (Le g al) Limited. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "The future of regulation insolvency practitioner" (PDF). Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  3. ^ http://www.insolvency.gov.uk Archived 2009-04-29 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Joint Insolvency Committee Annual Report 2006 Archived September 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]