Defending Winding Up Petitions

We specialise in defending winding up petitions. A winding up petition can be brought against a company if it owes more than £750 and we routinely defend petitions presented against companies for unpaid tax by the HMRC. A defence to the winding up petition is to be filed 5 days before the hearing of the petition.

When a Defence is filed, the Court will give directions, i.e. set a timetable requiring a director of the company and the petitioning creditor to file witness statement evidence by a certain date.

When defending a petition, the company’s directors will be required to provide the following information:

  • The relationship between the company and the petitioning creditor;
  • Why the debt is disputed;
  • Any other grounds on which the petition is opposed;
  • Details of any other proceedings relating to the debt;
  • Evidence that the company is solvent including annexing management accounts and bank statements.



A company has 10 days from the date of the winding up petition to prevent this being advertised.  We can assist in delaying the advertisement of the petition to allow the company time to enter into negotiations with creditors.  Banks will trawl through legal press and freeze any of the company’s bank accounts if a winding up petition has been presented against the company.  The bank can also call in overdrafts as a result of the winding up petition having been advertised.

We can assist the company’s directors by obtaining a Validation Order from the Court to allow the directors to access funds or dispose of the company’s assets to restructure debt. We work with leaders in the turnaround and recovery industry to negotiate debt and find refinancing solutions.


Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA’s)

If a winding up petition has been presented against a company, the company cannot subsequently be placed into voluntary liquidation without the permission of the Court.  However, a CVA may be possible. This enables the company to continue trading without creditors being able to take it to Court.  We work closely with leading Insolvency Practitioners and advise directors of companies of their available options.

We are able to advise the company’s directors on defending winding up petitions, the options, refinancing and strategy.