HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesPublic interest winding up petition process

Our expert team regularly defend public interest winding up petitions and can help get them dismissed from court. If a company has been wound up in the public interest, our team can help defend any director disqualification proceedings which will inevitably follow. Let our team help you avoid the worst consequences of a public interest petition.

The public interest winding up petition process begins with detailed investigations by the Company Investigations team at the Insolvency Unit.

If they believe that there is sufficient reason for the company to be served with a public interest winding up petition, then they will recommend that a public interest winding up petition is issued.

  • once issued, the public interest winding up petition is then served on the company and the company will need to decide whether they wish to defend the petition or not;
  • if they wish to defend the petition, the company will need to inform the court and the Secretary of State that the winding up petition is defended;
  • the company will also need to file witness evidence detailing the grounds on which the winding up petition is defended.

As public interest winding up petitions normally involve a large amount of paperwork and large witness statements in support of the winding up petition, it is fairly usual for the parties to then agree “directions” (or steps) for when the company needs to file their evidence in opposition to the public interest winding up petition and when the Secretary of State can reply by.

If the parties cannot agree this between themselves, they will have to go to court for the court to decide on the directions to take the public interest winding up petition case forward.

Ultimately, once all the evidence has been filed, there will be a court hearing, where the court will decide whether it is in the public interest to wind up the company. If they agree, then the company will be formally wound up and the public interest winding up petition will be made final.


At Francis Wilks and Jones, we have helped companies defend public interest winding up petitions which have been presented against them. Our solicitors will be able to assist with all stages of the process, from drafting witness statements in response to the public interest winding up petition, to dealing with the Secretary of State and if needed, preparing for trial. Contact us now for an initial consultation.

Over the ten years we have worked together, FWJ continue to achieve exceptional results year on year. Andy Wilks and the team have been a pleasure to work with and have always provided pragmatic, commercial and accurate advice on a wide range of matters. FWJ have become an integral part of our business and we cannot recommend them highly enough.

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