New Laws for Bankruptcy Applications

As part of The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 a new regime has been introduced for those wishing to apply for their own bankruptcy.  Here are the main changes:

Apply Online

From 6th April, an individual wishing to apply for their own bankruptcy will no longer have to issue a petition, but will complete an application process through an online portal.

The Ajudicator

The courts will no longer be involved in the majority of applications by individuals for their own bankruptcy. Instead, applications will be determined by an adjudicator who can ask for more information from the debtor, undertake verification checks and must make a determination within 28 days, (there can be an extension of 14 days if further information is requested.) The adjudicator will either make or refuse a bankruptcy order and any failure to make a determination within the prescribed period will be deemed a refusal.  There is an appeal process for such cases.


The fee for a bankruptcy application is £130, which is favourable when compared to the court fee for a debtor's bankruptcy petition of £180. A debtor wishing to make a bankruptcy application will still need to pay the official receiver's deposit of £525.

For more information, contact Neil Stewart -

Neil has 17 years’ post-qualification experience in commercial dispute resolution and contentious insolvency. Particular expertise in insolvency disputes relating to property and construction issues. Neil Stewart began his career in law after serving as an officer in the Royal Navy and then the Police Service. He trained and qualified in London before working for a number of the South’s top regional firms.

‘From the moment I decided to enter the legal profession, I knew litigation was for me,’ he says. ‘It is a fascinating area of the law. You need to be sensitive to the high emotions of clients who may be feeling vulnerable or frustrated, know how and when to be fierce in defending their interests, and in insolvency you have the added dimension of working with a clearly structured, codified body of law.’

Neil is a committee member of the Southern Region of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), has Higher Rights of Audience, is an accredited Mediator and an experienced trainer with the Open University, the Insolvency Service and Central Law Training.

When not enjoying time with his wife and three children, Neil can be found taking part in outdoor pursuits such as cycling and windsurfing.

Neil is a committee member of the Southern Branch of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), an accredited mediator and an experienced trainer with the Open University, Insolvency Service and Central Law Training.

  • Holds academic qualifications including BSc (First Class) in Systems & Management, MSc in Advanced Educational & Social Research, Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Distinction) and Legal Practice Course (Distinction).
  • Trained and qualified with London law firm Peter & Peters, with seats in commercial property, criminal litigation (fraud) and commercial litigation.
  • Moved to regional law firm Blake Lapthorn in 1998 to specialise in contentious construction and became the firm’s expert in adjudication proceedings.
  • Joined Lamport Bassit in 2003 where he became an insolvency specialist, was made an Associate in 2005 and became a Partner in 2007 before the merger with Pitmans in 2014.
  • Joined Verisona Law in 2015.

Neil has extensive experience of litigation in the following areas:

  • Corporate and personal insolvency
  • Construction
  • Property disputes
  • Inheritance Act claims



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