It is vital to comply with the court rules when it comes to serving a petition. Failure to do so can lead to a petition being dismissed and a heavy costs order payable by the petitioner. Whether you are looking to serve a petition or have been on the receiving end of one - we have the team to help.

Proper service of the winding up petition must be carried out as otherwise the winding up order might not be granted.

  • evidence of service must be provided to the court in the form of an affidavit of service demonstrating proper service of the winding up petition in accordance with the court rules. Without this, a creditor cannot wind up the debtor and place it into liquidation;
  • defective service of a winding up petition can also lead to it being dismissed or the hearing adjourned. And costs orders against the petitioner.

At FWJ we have access to highly trained process servers who can ensure that the winding up petition is properly served whatever the circumstances. In addition, our process server can also report on the debtor and whether it looks like it is still trading or not. This is often vital information at an early stage which can indicate if you are likely to recover the winding up petition debt.

Full details of the court rules are set out below

Paragraph 2 of Schedule 4 to the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 deals with Service of the Winding Up Petition as set out below

Service of petition


(1)  A winding-up petition must be served at a company’s registered office by handing it to a person at that address who—

  • (a) at the time of service acknowledges being a director, other officer or employee of the company;
  • (b) is, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person serving the petition, a director, other officer or employee of the company; or
  • (c) acknowledges being authorised to accept service of documents on the company’s behalf.

(2)  However if there is no one of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) at the registered office, the petition may be served by depositing it at or about the registered office in such a way that it is likely to come to the notice of a person attending the office.

(3)  Sub-paragraph (4) applies if—

  • (a) for any reason it is not practicable to serve a petition at a company’s registered office;
  • (b) the company has no registered office; or
  • (c) the company is an unregistered company.

(4)  Where this paragraph applies the petition may be served—

  • (a) by leaving it at the company’s last known principal place of business in England and Wales in such a way that it is likely to come to the attention of a person attending there; or
  • (b) on the secretary or a director, manager or principal officer of the company, wherever that person may be found.

The service of a winding up petition must be verified by a certificate of service and the rules relating to certificates of service are set out at paragraph 6 to Schedule 4 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, as set out below:

Certificate of service


(1)     The service of an application or petition must be verified by a certificate of service.

(2)     The certificate of service must—

  • (a) identify the application or petition;
  • (b) identify the company, where the application or petition relates to a company;
  • (c) identify the debtor, where the application relates to an individual;
  • (d) identify the applicant or petitioner;
  • (e) specify—
    • (i) the court or hearing centre in which the application was made or at which the petition was filed, and the court reference number,
    • (ii) the date of the application or petition,
    • (iii) whether the copy served was a sealed copy,
    • (iv) the person(s) served, and
    • (v) the manner of service and the date of service; and
  • (f) be verified by a statement of truth.

(3)     Where substituted service has been ordered, the certificate must be accompanied by a sealed copy of the order for substituted service.

Francis Wilks & Jones is the county’s leading firm of winding up petition solicitors. We are genuine experts in what we do including all aspects of winding up petition service. Call us today.

Case studies

View all case studies

Contact us in confidence