Insolvency Event: 'The Poulson Affair: Corruption and the role of Bankruptcy Law Public Examinations in the early 1970s' IALS - 21 May 2010.

I am giving a paper this evening at the IALS as part of my wider research into the influences on practitioners who sat on the Cork Committee. The paper I am delivering tonight looks at the Poulson Affair. I am also looking at the series of Willie Stern (Wilstar) cases and how these influenced the practitioners who worked on them and how this influence in turn affected the drafting of the Cork Report and its recommendations. This Wilstar treatment will be reserved for another occasion. Mr Desmond Simpson of RC Moorhouse & Co, the solicitor who acted for Poulson's Trustee in Bankruptcy, observed in a letter to The Times (February 16 1976) in the context of the Poulson bankruptcy and the Ropergate liquidation that, "each and every one of these proceedings was a significant signpost to reform in law and conduct both in insolvency and far beyond." A recent Radio Four documentary on T Dan Smith has touched on the affair.

Asked whether the Cork report recommendations should accepted the chairman, Sir Kenneth Cork, observed, "They will be stark staring bonkers if they do not put the measures through..." (The Times, June 10, 1982 at page 15). As we now know some of the measures did not make it onto the statute book. I will of course not comment on the mental state of the Board of Trade at the time!

I will hopefully see you tonight at the following event:

"The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the London Legal History Seminar are pleased to announce


Kingston University

'The Poulson Affair: Corruption and the role of Bankruptcy Law Public Examinations in the early 1970s'

on Friday 21 May 2010,


Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

If you wish to attend please RSVP to Belinda Crothers, Email:



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