Making a complaint against an insolvency practitioner

This section contains information regarding complaints against an insolvency practitioner.

How to make a complaint against an insolvency practitioner

A person who acts as a liquidator, trustee in bankruptcy, administrative receiver, administrator or supervisor under individual or company voluntary arrangements must be authorised to act as an insolvency practitioner.

The authorisation process was introduced in Northern Ireland in 1991 with the enactment of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. The process aims to ensure that anyone wishing to act as an insolvency practitioner must meet certain professional requirements in terms of educational standard and experience in dealing with insolvency issues.

Authorisation may be made by one of six professional bodies recognised by the Department as being competent to do so.

In carrying out their duties, insolvency practitioners must comply with several statutory requirements. They must also follow best practice guidance and ethical guidance.

If you consider that an insolvency practitioner is acting unprofessionally, improperly or unethically, you can make a complaint to the appropriate authorising body or the Complaints Gateway. However, it must be stressed that the Department or the authorising body cannot intervene directly in individual insolvencies; nor can they give directions in relation to the conduct of individual cases or reverse or modify a decision of an insolvency practitioner. Insolvency, by its very nature, deals with a number of competing interests, most notably between the insolvent person and his or her creditors. Ultimately, commercial and other disputes may only be resolved by the courts, and the authorising body's disciplinary procedures should not be regarded as an alternative to the powers available to individuals under the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 or otherwise.

Remember, the insolvency practitioner is the person who is in charge of the insolvency case. Therefore complaints against a case administrator or a case manager, for instance, should be taken up with the relevant insolvency practitioner.

Further information can be obtained from our guidance leaflet: How do I make a complaint against an insolvency practitioner.

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