Bankruptcy Law by Michael Forde And Daniel Simms

Date01 January 2010
AuthorJulie Murphy-O'Connor, Partner, Matheson Ormsby Prentice And Karen Reynolds, Assistant Solicitor, Matheson Ormsby Prentice
Thomson Round Hall, August 2009
ISBN 978–1–85800–534–8
Julie Murphy-O’Connor, Partner, Matheson Ormsby Prentice
Karen Reynolds, Assistant Solicitor, Matheson Ormsby Prentice
This text is a co mprehensive and accessi ble summary of developments in
bankruptcy law in Ireland over t he last 20 years. The authors’ preface to
Bankruptcy Law informs the reader that there have been no radical changes
to the law of bankruptcy since the first edition of this book, nearly twenty
years ago. The absence o f revolution or evolution is, of course, due in no
small part to the occasional manner in which the bankruptcy process was
utilised by creditors in Ireland. A number of factors contributed to the
infrequent use of the bankruptcy procedure; many years of a growth
economy coupled wit h widespread availability of finance and refina nce
created an environment where recourse to the courts to pursue debtors was
virtually unheard of. The economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, the
attendant illiquidity of finan cial institutions and the consequences of a
failing construction industry has spurred change – pursuing debtors under
threat of bankruptcy presents real potential to creditors seeking redress.
Set against this stark reality, the arrival of Forde & Simms’ Bankruptcy
Law is nothing short of timely. Legal, tax and accountancy practitioners are
experiencing unprecedented demand for expertise in both corp orate and
personal insolvency related areas. The authors have been afforded the
opportunity to provide a text that could become a practitioner’s handbook
in the area, and overall they have succeeded in so doing. The content of the
book is concise and provides a useful starting point for legal practitioners,
students, accountants, tax advisors and laypersons alike.
Forde and Si mms have pres ented their w ork in a logi cal and acces sible
manner. The introdu ctory chapter serves to contextualise the origins and
sources of the Bankruptcy Act, 1988 (“the Act”), the impetus for reform of
regimes which preceded the Act and the c oncerns and objectives of
bankruptcy law. The authors ’ discussion of the origins of bankruptcy law
is brief but insightful, and details how severe limitations and susceptibility
to abuse resulted in infrequent use of the pre-1988 regimes. The authors
note that the Act is more favourable to creditors than earlier regimes.
The central themes of the Act ar e identified by the au thors as be ing (i)
arrangements; (ii) petitions of ban kruptcy; (iii) adm inistration of the
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