Refusing a liquidator’s wrongful trading application

Restructuring & Insolvency analysis: David Bowden, solicitor-advocate of David Bowden Law, Andy Whelan, insolvency practitioner and partner at WSM Marks Bloom LLP, and David Oliver, consultant at Verisona Law (who acted for the successful directors), discuss the recent decision in Grant and another v Ralls and others.

Original news

Re Ralls Builders Ltd (in liquidation); Grant and another v Ralls and others [2016] EWHC 1812 (Ch), [2016] All ER (D) 113 (Jul)

The Chancery Division ruled that having found the joint liquidators’ application under section 214 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) for a contribution from the directors of a company on a wrongful trading claim had failed, it would not be appropriate to make the director’s pay a contribution to the assets of the company in respect of the joint liquidators’ fees and expenses in investigating and pursuing that unsuccessful claim.

To see more information, please click this link


Nick has become particularly known for dealing with insolvency disputes, insolvency investigations (particularly in a fraud context) and technical insolvency advice. 

In addition to acting for individuals and company directors (including defending insolvency related claims and disqualification proceedings), he has provided technical advice on insolvency-related matters to clients including insolvency practitioners, banks, local authorities, HM Revenue & Customs, landlords and trade creditors. Nick also has considerable experience in advising businesses in relation to complex asset and debt recovery issues.

Nick has dealt with a number of high profile bankruptcy and insolvency cases including acting for Michael Barrymore in relation to his bankruptcy, and advising the trustee in bankruptcy of Asil Nadir.

Originally from Portsmouth, he is a lifelong supporter of Portsmouth City FC and returned to the city in 2013 to join Verisona Law after 20 years of working in London. He is married and has two young sons. When not indulging their interests in cars and football, Nick likes to get out on boats in the Solent.


He has been ranked by Chambers and Partners ‘Client’s guide to the UK legal profession’ as a specialist in his field for a number of years. Chambers guide for 2015 referred to him as a practitioner with "a well-deserved reputation for contentious insolvency work."


Nick is a fellow of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), to whom he has also lectured, and was elected to R3’s Southern Region Committee in December 2013. He is also a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association.

  • Trained at a boutique insolvency and litigation firm, Moon Beever, in central London.
  • Qualified with Moon Beever in 1996 and made up to partner there in 2000.
  • Moved to Blake Lapthorn in London where he was made up to partner and latterly headed up the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery department. 
  • Headed up the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery department at Howes Percival from 2010 to 2013.
  • Joined Verisona in Portsmouth in 2013.

Individuals:

  • Financial and money advice
  • Enquiries and claims by trustees in bankruptcy, the Official Receiver, the Insolvency Service and liquidators (including possession action in relation to residential properties)
  • Personal guarantees, statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions and individual voluntary agreements (IVAs)

 Company directors:

  • Enquiries and claims by the Insolvency Service Official Receiver and liquidators
  • Directors duties
  • Actions under the Directors Disqualification Act

 Businesses:

  • Advice regarding rescue and refinancing options (including administration and CVAs)
  • Statutory demands and winding-up petitions
  • Insolvency related disputes and technical issues

 Insolvency Practitioners:

  • Technical insolvency advice
  • Insolvency related litigation and disputes
  • Applications to court under the provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency Rules 1986
  • Nick Oliver

    Nick Oliver

    Director, Head of Insolvency and Business Turnaround

    T: 023 9231 2050 or 07718 159136