HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesWhat happens when a company is wound up?

After a winding up order is made, a liquidator is appointed to try and get money back into the company and also investigate the conduct of the directors - and bring personal claims if appropriate. We act for directors and liquidators and have fantastic skills in this area. Let us help you.

A winding up order is just the start of another process

At the winding up hearing court date, the judge will make a winding up order unless the debt has already been paid or the debt is properly disputed.

Once the winding up order has been made, the company is then in formal liquidation. The paperwork will be passed to the government liquidator, known as the Official Receiver. Sometimes, an independent liquidator will then obtain the paperwork from the Official Receiver to undertake investigations into the company.

The role of the liquidator / official receiver

Whether it is the Official Receiver or the private liquidator who handles the liquidation, a number of things then happen after the winding up order has been made.

  • the liquidator’s job is to try and sell assets of the company and / or collect in monies due to the company. This is so that a distribution can be made to the creditors of the company who have lost out as a result of the liquidation. That can either be a partial or full payment to creditors although in reality, money is rarely paid out to creditors following a liquidation.
  • the liquidator will assess the value of any creditor claims in the liquidation and might write to you as a creditor asking you to complete a proof of debt form evidencing the monies that you are due and owing.
  • as part of the liquidator’s duties, he or she will also investigate the running of the company, those involved in the management and director level of the company and to see whether there has been any wrongdoing in the company. If there has been wrongdoing by any of the directors, they can commence personal claims against the directors for offences such as

All of these types of actions can lead to a recovery back into the company of monies which should not have been paid out (e.g. repayment of a director’s loan account shortly before liquidation) and that way, there may also be payments out to creditors in the longer term.

Creditors might also be asked to assist with ongoing enquiries

It is therefore important to know as a creditor that it is not always the end of the road when the company is placed into liquidation after a winding up order has been made.

However, any quick payment out is often very unlikely indeed. As someone involved in the management of the debtor company, the winding up order can be the start of another process which can lead to investigations by the liquidator against you, questions being asked about the management of the business and even possible director disqualification claims against you in the future.


Whatever the nature of your enquiry, our team at Francis Wilks & Jones have dealt with many such similar situations. We can help.

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