Licensed insolvency practitioners
The Insolvency Act 1986 requires anyone acting as a receiver, liquidator, administrator, supervisor or trustee of a company or of an individual to be a licensed insolvency practitioner.
The Law Society is one of several professional bodies that can license (or "authorise") its members as insolvency practitioners; the Council of the Law Society has delegated this regulatory function to the SRA. The recognised professional bodies are members of the Joint Insolvency Committee (JIC).
The licence allows solicitors to
- act as supervisors of voluntary arrangements
- act as administrators
- act as administrative receivers or liquidators for a limited company
- act as receivers
- act as trustees in bankruptcy for individuals
- administer insolvent estates of the deceased
Licensed solicitors are also able to offer advice on all legal aspects of insolvency, bankruptcy and related matters.
When you see the SRA's licensed insolvency practitioner logo, you'll know that the solicitor's skills, knowledge and experience have been rigorously and independently assessed.
How can solicitors become licensed as insolvency practitioners?
For details of the criteria for and terms and conditions of authorisation, see the SRA's Procedures for authorisation to act as an insolvency practitioner (PDF 63K).
Before applying to the SRA for authorisation, solicitors must have passed the Joint Insolvency Examination. In addition, applicants must
Joint Insolvency Examination
Solicitors who wish to be licensed as an insolvency practitioner must first pass the Joint Insolvency Examination (JIE).
The examination is set, marked and administered by the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB), which consists of representatives appointed by the recognised professional bodies (RPBs) authorised by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The authorised bodies are known as Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs).
The Council of the Law Society has delegated its RPB functions to the SRA.
The JIE consists of three papers; each paper is three hours long and includes four compulsory questions.
2013 Exam papers
- Liquidations –
- Receiverships, Administration and Company Voluntary Arrangements –
- Personal Insolvency –
Past papers are available from our contact centre on request.
Information for solicitors
Solicitors must comply with practice requirements to remain licensed as insolvency practitioners, you can find out more about these on the Insolvency Service website.
Statements of Insolvency Practice
Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs) are a series of guidance notes issued to licensed insolvency practitioners with a view to maintaining standards by setting out required practice and harmonising practitioners’ approach to particular aspects of insolvency.
The SIPs can be accessed through ICAEW's website.
Solicitor insolvency practitioners are subject to the normal rules and principles that apply to solicitors.
In its role as a recognised professional body, the Law Society is required to make a report to the Insolvency Service on the investigation and outcome of any complaint made against a solicitor who is a licensed insolvency practitioner, among other matters. The Law Society has delegated this function to the SRA.
Insolvency practitioners regularly submit returns regarding appointments held; they are also monitored by a contracted agency. If concerns arise from an unsatisfactory monitoring report, the SRA will investigate the issues and, if necessary, take action.