The Cork Report is seen by many as the seminal reform document in English insolvency law. The full citation is etched on the brains of many an insolvency scholar - Insolvency Law and Practice, Report of the Review Committee. Cmnd 8558. HMSO, London, 1982. It is an interesting exercise to mull on the make up of the committee and their day to day workings. I have recently come into the possession of a photograph that helps aid the task of reconstruction, or at least a reconstruction of their final celebration! My sources tell me that the celebration took place at the Reform Club, (where Geoffrey Drain was a member) although this does not account for the judicial portraits in the background. The meetings of both Cork Committees mostly took place at the then offices of the Official Receiver in Bunhill Row, in the City of London, close to the local head quarters of the Honorable Artillery Company (HAC). David Graham usually enjoyed egg and chips and a few biscuits which did nothing for his health. One day the committee was informed that it would no longer be possible to lunch at Bunhill Row since the canteen had become insolvent! Thereafter lunch was taken, frequently preceded by a walk through the famous Bunhill Row cemetery at the HAC.
The Cork Committee was made up of:
- Sir Kenneth Cork GBE, DLitt (chairman) - fourth from the right, being toasted.
- Peter Avis FIB
- John Copp MBE
- Geoffrey Drain CBE, BA, LLB, JP
- Alfred Goldman
- Muir Hunter QC, MA - far right hand side.
- John Hunter LLB
- Peter Millett, QC, MA, Cantab
- Duncan McNab FCCA
- Ritchie Penny
- Edward Walker-Arnott LLM - seventh from the left.
The co-opted members of the committee were:
- Mr SJ Barton, Herbert Smith & Co
- Mr N Cave, Midland Bank Ltd
- Mt JR Endesby LLB, Midland Bank Ltd
- Professor RM Goode OBE, Queen Mary College, University of London
- Mr D Graham QC - sixth from the left.
- Mr M Hancock, Clifford-Turner
- Mr RW Hellyer FCCA, Insolvency Practitioners Association
- Mr AM Homan FCA, Price Waterhouse
- Professor RB Jack, McGrigor Donald & Co and the University of Glasgow
- Mr JEF Lindsay QC
- Mr C Payne FCII, Bradstock, Blunt & Thompson Ltd
- Mr PFM Shewell FCA, Coopers & Lybrand
- Mr AJ Sim, Scottish Law Commission
- Mr IG Watt FCA, Thomson McLintock & Co
- Mr GA Weiss FCA, WH Cork Gully & Co
Picture Credit: University College London and Herbert Smith.