The conflict liquidator of the collapsed electrical retailer, Comet, has obtained a £100m+ judgment against its former parent company, Darty, in respect of a preference paid to a Darty subsidiary in the run-up to Comet’s administration, in November 2012.
In a detailed judgment, the trial judge (Falk J.) considered various aspects of the statutory cause of action under s.239 of the Insolvency Act 1986, in what is likely to become a leading decision on (among other things) desire to prefer (IA86 s.239(5)), the application of the test for balance sheet insolvency (IA86 s.123(2)), and remedial discretion.
The decision appears to represent the largest ever IA86 s.239 preference claim, by value. It followed earlier disciplinary proceedings by the ICAEW against the original Deloitte office-holders, and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Comet’s collapse by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills.
The judgment is available here.
Andreas Gledhill KC acted for the successful liquidator (Geoff Carton Kelly) instructed by Adam Brown and Ben Larkin of Jones Day.