Ch 2: Provisional Liquidators (March 2011)

MARCH 2011



2.1 Introduction (amended April 2013)

This chapter provides information and guidance on provisional liquidators.  A provisional liquidator is appointed prior to the making of a winding-up order, when a petition for winding up has been presented to the court, accompanied by an application for the appointment of a provisional liquidator, and the court considers the appointment necessary for the protection of the company’s property pending the hearing of the petition.

Public Interest Unit (PIU) will act in all cases where the applicant is the Secretary of State or otherwise in cases which fit the PIU criteria (see paragraph 2.11). In other cases (which will be rare) the local official receiver will be appointed by the court as provisional liquidator (see paragraph 2.10).  Alternatively, an insolvency practitioner may be appointed as provisional liquidator when the petitioner requests the appointment of a particular insolvency practitioner.  An official receiver may be appointed liquidator of a company where an insolvency practitioner has previously acted as provisional liquidator, and the guidance in this chapter may be useful when dealing with such cases.

Guidance relating to the Secretary of State decision whether to seek the appointment of a provisional liquidator in addition to a winding up order and the conduct of proceedings is provided in the Enforcement Investigation Guide Chapter 352


The chapter is divided into 5 parts as follows:

Part 1 – Proceedings up to the making of an order for the appointment of a provisional liquidator (paragraphs 2.2 to 2.31)

Part 2 – Content of order, duties and functions of provisional liquidator (paragraphs 2.32 to 2.67)

Part 3 – Action following appointment of official receiver as provisional liquidator (paragraphs 2.68 to 2.107)

Part 4 – Deposits, indemnities and remuneration (paragraphs 2.108 to 2.131)

Part 5 – Winding up petition hearings and termination of appointment (paragraphs 2.132 to 2.150)


In addition, information and guidance are contained in the following annex:

Annex 1 – Frequently asked questions


The following abbreviations are used in this chapter;

BIS – Department of Business Innovation and Skills

CI – Company Investigations

PIU – Public Interest Unit


[on to Part 1 – Proceedings up to the making of an order]