October 2007

7.23 Role of Petitions and Transfers Team

The transfer and allocation of High Court and District Registry cases to appropriate local courts and provincial official receivers is the responsibility of Petitions and Transfers team, which is part of OR London. 

Where it is necessary to transfer a case into London the London official receivers’ offices should not be approached directly but Petitions and Transfers teams should be contated who will advise which office to transfer it to ( This is to ensure that cases are allocated to the London offices on a strict rota basis.


7.24 Which official receiver – company

The basic criteria for the allocation of a company case is the location of the trading address, irrespective of how long ago the company ceased to trade.   Initial allocation of the case by the Petitions and Transfers team is, however, usually based on the location of the registered office as, at that stage, the location of the trading premises is unlikely to be known.


7.25 Which official receiver – bankruptcy

In the case of a bankruptcy, the last known trading address will be the key factor or, if the bankrupt did not trade, the last known residential address.


7.26 In cases of doubt

If there is doubt as to which official receiver’s office should deal with the case, a list of towns, the courts covering those towns and the official receivers attached to those courts is available on the Insolvency Service web-site (


7.27 Connected cases

Cases may be transferred for other reasons, such as a connection with an earlier insolvency being dealt with by another office. Where a case is being transferred to connect it with another insolvency, the proceedings should be transferred to the same court that administered the connected case. 


7.28 “In-aid” cases

The intended recipient official receiver may chose to deal with a case on an “in-aid” basis carry out the interview and return the papers to the original official receiver without ever taking ownership of the case.


7.29 Public Interest Cases

Cases identified as being of public interest will be retained by or transferred to the High Court and dealt with by the Public Interest Unit of OR London.


7.30 Transfer of cases from the High Court or its District Registries

Petitions and Transfers team have a target to effect transfers to local courts within 15 working days of the making of the insolvency order.


7.31 Cases allocated to the wrong office

Occasionally, perhaps during the initial enquiries or later, the official receiver may discover that the case should be allocated to a different office (and, therefore, different court).  If the required change of office is discovered during the initial 15 day period (see paragraph 7.30), the official receiver should first confirm with the intended recipient official receiver’s office that they agree that the case should be transferred to them, providing details of the reason for the required change (for example, trading address or connected case).  Petitions and Transfers team should be informed of the change of official receiver [note 1] in order that they can put in motion the transfer of the proceedings to the correct court.  The papers can then be forwarded to the receiving office.  Note, though, that the 15-day period for transfer is a maximum and the transfer may well have been put into motion earlier.

If the required transfer is identified after the initial 15 day period the guidance in the previous paragraph may still be followed with the exception that, as it is likely that the transfer to a county court has already been effected by Petitions and Transfers team, the submission of form TFRPT will not be required and the court transfer should be dealt with by the official receiver (rather than Petitions and Transfers team), following the guidance in paragraph 7.18


7.32 Transfer of cases from a county court

If the case requiring transfer is in the county court (whether or not the circumstances requiring the transfer were identified during the initial enquiry period), the guidance in paragraph 7.18 may be followed, as Petitions and Transfers team are not concerned with cases originating in county courts.


7.33 Which court?

If there is any doubt as to which court the proceedings should be transferred, HM Courts & Tribunals Service provides an index of place names which, on entry of the relevant place name, will provide details of the court with jurisdiction over that place (  Care should be taken to ensure that the intended recipient court has jurisdiction over insolvency matters.  The aforementioned website gives such information, though the best course of action may be to contact the receiving official receiver’s office who can advise as to which is the correct court.


7.34 Pending rescissions, annulments or stays in the High Court

Where, in a High Court case, the official receiver becomes aware of the possibility that there is to be an application for a rescission of a winding up order, annulment of a bankruptcy order, stay of advertisement, stay of proceedings, appeal or amendment of the order, Petitions and Transfers Team must be informed as soon as possible in order that they can hold up the transfer of the proceedings until the matter is concluded.  Where Petitions and Transfers Team are aware of the likelihood of such an application they will notify the receiving office so that it is aware that the transfer of the proceedings will be delayed.

If the attendance of the official receiver is required at a hearing relating to a case on which the transfer to a local court is held up pending the conclusion of an application to court, the official receiver in London will perform that function on a rota basis.  The current rota is available as a document on the intranet page of the London region http://intranet/ORRD/RegionalPages/London/London.htm.  Early liaison should be carried out with the official receiver who will be attending in order that relevant papers can be made available to allow for effective representation in court.

Where Petitions and Transfers Team are aware of any possible applications at the date of the order, they will notify the receiving office who should then be aware that the application to transfer proceedings will be held up until such time as the matter is resolved.


7.35 New court number

(Amended April 2011)

Once the court proceedings have been transferred the receiving court will allocate a new number to the proceedings.  It is important that the official receiver monitors the receipt of this new number and ensures that on receiving notice of the new court number the case details on ISCIS ‘Case Header ‘ tab are amended.  The change of identity will also require a change to the cover of the file.


7.36 Court file

In the event of delays in the transfer of court files where the case is being transferred from the High Court to a county court, enquiries may be made of Petitions and Transfers Team to make sure that the application has been made.

If the case has been transferred from a county court to another county court, then enquiries should be made of the office that was originally dealing with the case to ensure that the transfer application has been made.

If it has been established that the transfer application has been made, but the papers have not been received by the county court, the county court should be provided with a copy of the transfer order and encouraged to resolve the problem without involving the official receiver.

In cases where the official receiver requires an early resolution of the problem (for example, if there is need for an urgent hearing such as in respect of an annulment application) then he/she may need to be more proactive and should ask the receiving court to reconstruct their file with copies of relevant papers (such as petition, insolvency order and transfer order) being provided by the official receiver. 


7.37 Matrimonial proceedings

If the official receiver is appointed trustee in relation to a case where matrimonial proceedings are linked to an insolvency he/she should seek the transfer, by general application, of the matrimonial proceedings relating to property or a financial settlement to the court in which the insolvency proceedings are being conducted.  This is to allow the court to consider the rights of the creditors alongside the rights of any other party involved in the matrimonial proceedings.

See also paragraphs 24.37 and Chapter 31.3, Part 9 for more detailed advice regarding matrimonial proceedings.


[Back to Part 3 - Transfer of insolvency proceedings]