4th Insolvency Research Conference hosted jointly by the Insolvency Service and the ICAEW on Tuesday 10th November 2009

I have just returned from the 4th Insolvency Service (IS) research day, which was co-hosted by the IS and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW - symbol pictured). The day was very interesting and certainly showed, again, that the Insolvency Service are at the vanguard of thought leadership. It is particularly encouraging to insolvency academics that the IS are engaging with a wide range of academics who have a wide range of interests, including historical! I delivered a paper which was entitled, "Discharge in bankruptcy: An examination of personal insolvency relief." Here is the abstract:

"At its heart this paper critically examines the concept of discharge in English and Welsh personal insolvency law. This critique takes the shape of both an historical examination (Part One) and a comparative analysis (Part Two) of the concept of discharge and its deployment and use throughout the commonwealth jurisdictions that administer a personal insolvency regime, namely: England and Wales, Scotland, America, Canada, and Australia. In relation to formal discharge from bankruptcy there are, it could be argued, two schools of thought as to the length of the bankruptcy period before discharge occurs. The first school of thought states that less onerous discharge provisions (‘liberal regimes thesis’) will and have encouraged irresponsible borrowing activities by debtors, thus causing a rise in the number of people seeking redress to the bankruptcy system. Whether or not this is a desirable outcome for rehabilitation goals is also addressed. The second school of thought advocates the idea that the legislative changes have not caused additional redress to the bankruptcy procedure themselves, but that the changes in the legislation were accompanied by an increase in consumer credit availability generally and that this lead to a natural increase in debt related failure (‘credit generosity thesis’) and therefore redress to the bankruptcy laws. This paper examines these competing contentions through an examination of both historical and comparative sources. It is argued that countries with more ‘liberal regimes’, in terms of bankruptcy discharge provisions, have a lower incidence of bankruptcy usage caused by more cautious creditor behaviour."

Here are the details of the other papers:


Welcome addresses

Vernon Soare, Executive Director, Professional Standards, ICAEW

Stephen Speed, Inspector General/Agency Chief Executive, Insolvency Service


The good, the bad, and the ugly: A survival guide to M&A in distressed times

Maria Carapeto, Mergers and Acquisitions Research Centre, Cass Business School, City University, London


Pre-packs and Statement of Insolvency Practice 16

Mike Chapman, Insolvency Practitioner Policy Section, Insolvency Service

Dr Sandra Frisby, Baker & McKenzie Associate Professor in Company and Commercial Law, University of Nottingham




Making creditor protection effective

Alan Katz and Michael Mumford, International Centre for Research in Accounting, Lancaster University


An independent review of the fee-charging debt management industry

Sharon Collard, Personal Finance Research Centre, University of Bristol




Debt Relief Orders

Nick Howard, Insolvency Service


Individual insolvency, centres of main interest and bankruptcy tourism

Chief Registrar Stephen Baister


Afternoon tea break


Discharge in bankruptcy: An examination of personal insolvency relief

John Tribe, KPMG Lecturer in Restructuring, Kingston University

15:45 – 16:30

Personal over-indebtedness régime design :- A basis for a predictive

model and empirical evidence from a small geography

Michael Green, Research Fellow, University of Wales

Programme for the 4th Insolvency Research Conference hosted jointly by the Insolvency Service and the ICAEW on Tuesday 10th November 2009 at The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, London EC2P 2BJ."

Picture Credit: http://www.seeklogo.com/images/I/Institute_of_Chartered_Accountants__England_and_Wales__2007-logo-FB30DD0F30-seeklogo.com.gif