After the court issues the winding-up order, an Official Receiver is appointed as liquidator.
At this point, the directors powers cease in order to allow the liquidator to take control of the company. They will then immediately begin the process of valuing, marketing and selling the company assets.
The primary objective of the Official Receiver, who is a civil servant and officer of the court, is to repay as much as possible to the creditors. Their main function is to investigate the directors’ conduct and take disqualification action against them where appropriate.
As the official receiver is not a licensed insolvency practitioner, they are generally unable to deal with complex asset realisations. They will generally therefore appoint another insolvency practitioner from the rota, or special manager to assist with the process.
This can create a pseudo administration process, allowing the company to trade whilst in liquidation to find a buyer. This is rarely done and only when it is in the public interest to do so.
Creditors can also nominate an insolvency practitioner if they feel particular investigations need to be carried out. If appointed, they will replace the official receiver as liquidator.