Corporate Insolvency Law

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
09 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The module focuses on corporate insolvency law in England and Wales (the course does not deal with personal insolvency or bankruptcy law).
Insolvency law has become a central aspect of corporate practice. Changes in the way in which transactions are agreed (thanks to the internet and blockchain technologies), credit is granted (with the development of secondary and derivative financial markets) and statutory systems are assessed (IMF and World Bank 'Doing Business' Reports), have resulted in insolvency being at the forefront of the policy agenda. Public and private corporations, banks and financial institutions, governmental entities, law firms and accountancy enterprises are increasingly looking for graduates with expertise in the field. This module provides the successful attendees with the skills required by the job market and the ability to independently and critically appraise the current status quo in this area of law.

Module aims

The module is designed to introduce the learners to the principles, objectives and issues associated with corporate insolvency law in England and Wales. It aims to promote a more informed and nuanced understanding of some of the issues already covered in company/business law. More prominently, it promotes and develops the students’ ability to critically assess current cases, practices, reform proposals and ongoing issues in corporate insolvency practice.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module, the successful level 6 student will be able to:
• Identify and explain the visions, aims and underlying principles of corporate insolvency law.
• Understand how to ensure the enforcement of domestic judgments abroad. Understand the plight of creditors when insolvency hits. Describe the differences between creditors and their various rights.
• Apply the basic corporate insolvency principles to practical tasks, such as case studies and problem-solving situations. Predict the effects of admission to a formal or informal procedure on various stakeholders. Evaluate the effectiveness of the law.
• Be a responsible and active learner by attending and actively participating in classes as well as by submitting assignments on time.
• Ability to synthesise information using a range of advised materials, with limited guidance, on defined problems.
• Work effectively independently on individual assignments.

Module information

The module considers the history of corporate insolvency law in England and Wales, as well as the principles and benchmarks that underpin the law. It critically discusses the options available to distressed corporations and the impact that corporate choices have on stakeholders and third parties.

Particular attention is devoted to the analysis of the scope and relevance of the pari passu principle; the transactions that can be reviewed and voided; and the criminal and civil liability consequences arising from the stakeholders’ misconduct and fraudulent behaviour. The module also provides a basic introduction to international insolvency issues and explores the potential implications of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit).

The module is structured in nine (9) two-hour seminars. which will cover the following topics:

1. Introduction to Corporate Insolvency Law: Principles, Objectives and Regulation
2. The Financial & Institutional Context and Informal Procedures
3. Provable Debts, Proprietary Effects and Effects on Third Parties
4. Liquidation: Processes and Stakeholders
5. Liquidation: Gathering and Distributing the Assets
6. Reading week: Submission of Formative Assignment
7. Liquidation: Investigation and Suppression of Misconduct
8. Corporate Rescue: CVAs, Schemes of Arrangement and Receivership
9. Corporate Rescue: Administration and Pre-Packaged Procedures
10. Impact of Corporate Insolvency: Directors and Employees; Cross-Border Cases and Brexit

The plan above is indicative only. The precise content and order of delivery is subject to change.

Learning and teaching methods

The teaching is based on two-hour seminars supported by preliminary reading assignment. Seminars are followed by a revision class before the deadline for submitting the coursework.


  • Finch, Vanessa; Milman, David. (©2017) Corporate insolvency law: perspectives and principles, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
  • Keay, Andrew R.; Walton, Peter. (2017) Insolvency law: corporate and personal, Bristol: LexisNexis.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Participation 10%
Coursework Summative Assignment 90%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

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