Practice requirements - becoming an insolvency practitioner
Last updated 6 November 2013
Professional conduct rules
Rule 17 of the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007 deals with insolvency practice.
Solicitors and registered European lawyers licensed as insolvency practitioners must also comply with the Insolvency Joint Code of Ethics (PDF 176K), agreed by the Joint Insolvency Committee on 1 November 2008. An overview and background explanation is available to download: Insolvency code of ethics: Background and overview (PDF 80K).
Licensed insolvency practitioners must pay a licence fee upon application.
They also pay an annual fee, usually in December, to cover the cost of mandatory monitoring and levies from the Insolvency Practices Council, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment of Northern Ireland.
The fee is recalculated annually, and will vary from year to year.
Under the Insolvency Practitioners and Insolvency Services Account (Fees) (Amendment) Order 2005, the annual fee payable to BERR by recognised professional bodies per person authorised is £200.
Period of authorisation
Authorisation as an insolvency practitioner is effective for a maximum of three years and is subject to re-authorisation.
If you are authorised and you think your license is about to expire, you don't need to do anything. We automatically send you the forms and all of the details you need at least two months before your authorisation expires.
To ensure the forms reach you promptly, please notify us by email of any changes to your practising details.
Statements of insolvency practice (SIPs)
SIPs are issued to insolvency practitioners with a view to maintaining standards by setting out required practice and harmonising practitioners' approach to particular aspects of insolvency.
The purpose of SIPs is to outline basic principles and essential procedures with which insolvency practitioners are required to comply. Departure from the standards established in SIPs is a matter that may be taken into account in the event of disciplinary or regulatory action.
The recognised professional bodies, acting through the Joint Insolvency Committee, have agreed that, for reasons of consistency, this statement of purpose should be retrospectively applied to all SIPs; solicitor insolvency practitioners should read all SIPs accordingly.
The following SIPs can now be downloaded below: 1-4, 7-16.
Download SIP 1
SIP 1 – An administrative receiver's responsibility for the company's records (PDF 50K)
Download SIP 2
SIP 2 – A liquidator's investigation into the affairs of an insolvent company (PDF 70K)
Download SIP 3
SIP 3 – Voluntary arrangements company (PDF 103K)
Download SIP 4
SIP 4 – Disqualification of directors (PDF 44K)
Download SIP 7
SIP 7 – Preparation of insolvency office holders' receipts and payments accounts (PDF 50K)
Download SIP 8
SIP 8 – Summoning and holding meetings of creditors convened pursuant to Section 98 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (PDF 58K)
Download SIP 9
To download the main text of SIP 9, follow the first link below; to download the appendices, follow subsequent links.
SIP 9 – Remuneration of insolvency office holders (PDF 84K)
Download SIP 10
SIP 10 – Proxy forms (PDF 18K)
Download SIP 11
SIP 11 – The handling of funds in formal insolvency appointments (PDF 57K)
Download SIP 12
SIP 12 – Records of meetings in formal insolvency proceedings (PDF 37K)
Download SIP 13
SIP 13 – Acquisition of assets of insolvent companies by directors (PDF 43K)
Download SIP 14
SIP 14 – A receiver's responsibility to preferential creditors (PDF 45K)
Download SIP 15
To download the main text of SIP 15, follow the first link below; to download the annexes, follow subsequent links.
SIP 15 – Reporting and providing information on their functions to committees in informal insolvencies (PDF 32K)
Download SIP 16
SIP 16 – Pre-packaged sale in administrations (PDF 50K)