Part 2 Shorthand writers
The official receiver will require the appointment of a shorthand writer where a written record of a court hearing is considered necessary. The most common occasions will be at the hearing for a public examination [Note 1][Note 2] (see Chapter 14) or a private examination [Note 3][Note 4] (see Chapter 23). Exceptionally the official receiver may consider the employment of a shorthand writer to record other proceedings, e.g. for a discharge hearing of a bankrupt when it is an important case or where further material evidence is likely to be given at the hearing. In the latter case a record should be taken of the evidence and the judgment. The question of transcribing the notes and the costs of doing so in relation to a discharge hearing is dealt with in Chapter 22, Annex 2, paragraphs 40 and 41.
A shorthand writer will usually be appointed directly by a court to act generally in that court, in which case a global declaration covering all insolvency matters will have been given [Note 5]. Where the official receiver wishes a written record of the proceedings to be taken he/she should contact the official shorthand writer contracted to the relevant court. The arrangements made may be confirmed in writing and the employment should be noted on LOIS (CA08) and in the record of handover to an insolvency practitioner liquidator or trustee (form IPROH).
32.3.23Appointment following application by official receiver (amended October 2010)
The official receiver may, if necessary, apply to the court at any time during proceedings for the appointment of a shorthand writer to provide a written record of them but he/she should usually request the employment before the hearing. The statutory form 7.4 (PESWA) was removed from the Insolvency Rules with effect from 6 April 2010 and for cases where the bankruptcy petition was presented on or after 6 April 2010 has been removed from document production. The court may still accept applications in the same PESWA format, templates of which can be accessed via the Case Help Manual part – Public Examinations. The official receiver should file a written report and application at court giving details of the name of the person proposed, and the time and date of the hearing, and that the appointment is valid for any adjournment of the hearing [Note 6][Note 7]. Verbal application may be made for the appointment at the commencement of the hearing but this should be followed by the filing of a written application at court. Upon hearing the application of the official receiver the court may make the appointment if it considers this appropriate. The employment of a shorthand writer should be recorded in LOIS (CA08) and in the record of handover to an insolvency practitioner liquidator or trustee (form IPROH).
A shorthand writer not appointed on a global basis must make a formal declaration to the court. The shorthand writer is required to state that a true and faithful record of the questions and answers at the examination will be made and that an accurate written record of them will be delivered if and when required. The official receiver need not request the shorthand writer to transcribe the notes if he/she does not consider it necessary.
The statutory form for the shorthand writer’s declaration, Form 7.5 (PESWD) was removed from the Insolvency Rules with effect from 6 April 2010 and for cases where the bankruptcy petition was presented on or after 6 April 2010 has been removed from document production. The court may still accept declarations in the same PESWD format, templates of which can be accessed via the Case Help Manual part – Public Examinations
The remuneration of the shorthand writer shall be paid by the party at whose instance the appointment was made, or out of the insolvent’s estate or otherwise as the court may direct. Any question arising as to the rates of remuneration can be determined by the court at its discretion [Note 8]. Where the shorthand writer is appointed by an order of the court made at the instance of the official receiver, the cost of the written record is paid as part of the expenses of the official receiver in the proceedings, so is payable from the administration fee [Note 9]. Where the official receiver is of the opinion that questions put by a practitioner, special manager, creditors, (contributories), or their duly appointed representatives at a public examination are unduly lengthy or irrelevant the official receiver must call the attention of the court to the matter immediately to prevent heavy charges for shorthand notes being incurred unnecessarily.
Shorthand writers’ fees are not fixed but are the subject of compulsory competitive tendering. If the official receiver needs to establish the amount of fees charged by the contractor who currently holds the contract for the local court, he/she should contact the local courts service for details of the contractor who currently provides shorthand writers to the court, and enquire directly of the contractor as to the fees charged. The British Institute of Verbatim Reporters can be located at: www.bivr.org.uk/.../SPAN> .
If a public examination is requested by the creditor(s) (or contributories) [Note 10][Note 11] the court may order the costs, including the shorthand writer’s remuneration, to be paid out of a deposit lodged by the creditor(s) (or contributories) [Note 12][Note 13].
The Insolvency Rules 1986 state [Note 14][Note 15] that where the shorthand writer is appointed by an order of the court made at the instance of the official receiver in connection with an examination, the cost of the written record is paid as part of the expenses of the insolvency proceedings. As stated at paragraph 32.3.25, the cost is payable from the official receiver’s administration fee. The official receiver should ensure that the account is paid promptly.
(Amended December 2013)
If the costs of obtaining a shorthand writer are incurred for enforcement proceedings, then the charge should be paid as an expense of the estate (see paragraph 14.57 for further information) [Note 16].
[Back to Part 1 Auctioneers] [On to Part 3 Translation and Interpreters]