There are two aims with the Winding Up part of the Act. The first is to set out the law in a more coherent way; the second is to make the three ways of winding up companies more consistent.
The biggest change will be seen in court-ordered liquidations. The role of the Court is pared back: once the order to wind up has been made, the process becomes more like that of a creditors’ voluntary winding up. The balance of involvement is altered: the Court’s is reduced, the creditors’ is increased.
The other notable changes are:
- The Director of Corporate Enforcement (“DCE”) now has the right to petition the court to wind up a company on the basis that it is in the public interest to do so.
- The old minimum indebtedness threshold is increased from €1,269.74 to €10,000.
- For the first time in Irish history, a person will have to be suitably qualified to act as a liquidator (member of a prescribed accountancy body, other body recognised by IAASA, practising solicitor, etc).
- The liquidator’s powers in relation to contributories is increased, and she may now settle the list of contributories and make calls on them.
- On the initiative of the liquidator, a committee of inspection may be set up in a court winding up, without the consent of the Court.
- If the liquidator believes that the affairs of the company have been completely wound up, he may apply to Court to have the company dissolved.
There is also a definition of “property” here (Section 559) which is new.