lexlaw Solicitors and barristers bankruptcy petition defence opposing

Challenge a Bankruptcy Petition

We are leading experts specialising in Bankruptcy Petitions. We regularly assist with issuing petitions or setting aside statutory demands or defending petitions. We also specialise in making bankruptcy annulment applications.

If a creditor has served a bankruptcy petition upon you, seeking your bankruptcy to secure a debt that is allegedly owed by you, then there are potentially grounds where you can oppose the making of a bankruptcy order.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process by which a person declares voluntarily or is forced to declare by a creditor that they cannot repay their existing unsecured debts

Can I oppose a bankruptcy petition?

Yes. A bankruptcy petition may be challenged on the following grounds:

  • the debt alleged in the demand to be owing is genuinely disputed on substantial grounds by the debtor. If the debt is disputed, the petition will likely be dismissed by the court;
  • however, unsuccessful arguments presented in an attempt to set aside a statutory demand cannot be reheard by the Court at the bankruptcy petition hearing;
  • the Court can also dismiss the petition if it is satisfied that the debtor is able to pay all the debts to the creditor; or
  • the company has a genuine right of set-off against the creditor which exceeds the amount claimed in the demand.

How do I defend a bankruptcy petition?

A bankruptcy petition may be challenged if:

  1. the debt alleged is genuinely disputed on substantial grounds; or
  2. the debtor has a genuine right of set-off against the creditor.

What is the procedure to oppose a bankruptcy petition?

The procedure to oppose a bankruptcy petition is to file a witness statement in opposition in court not less than five business days before the date of the hearing of the petition (rule 4.18(1), Insolvency Rules). A copy of the evidence must also be sent to the petitioning creditor as soon as reasonably practicable (rule 4.18(2), Insolvency Rules).

What happens at a bankruptcy hearing?

The debtor is entitled to appear at the hearing of the petition and to oppose the making of a bankruptcy order. It is usual for the debtor to instruct solicitors and/or counsel to appear on his or her behalf at the hearing. If the debtor chooses not to instruct legal representatives, they can attend personally to represent themselves.

Discounted Fixed Fee Consultation

It is very important that you seek legal advice as soon as a bankruptcy petition is served upon you. To reduce failure risk, it is advised that you instruct specialist bankruptcy petition lawyers. Generally many solicitors are unfamiliar with the Insolvency Rules and the minutiae of the bankruptcy process, we are experts in dealing with matters surrounding individual insolvency.

Specialist City of London Bankruptcy Petition Solicitors

We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers operating from the only law firm based in the Middle Temple Inns of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice.  Our team have unparalleled experience at cancelling bankruptcy orders, liaising with the Official Receiver, providing a solicitor’s undertaking, representing you at any bankruptcy hearing at the Bankruptcy Court, at the Royal Courts of Justice (Rolls Building), or the relevant High Court District Registry or County Court with jurisdiction under the Insolvency Rules.

Optimal Legal Results.

Our litigators deliver advanced legal strategies.

We analyse and work out the legal merits of running your case to trial. We calculate and advise on legal risk factors and the litigation rules in England & Wales. We factor in your risk-appetite, costs sensitivity and determination. Together, we plan the best possible result.

You’ll receive strategic legal advice at your first meeting.


The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring litigation claims. Your legal rights will become irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action (or defend a claim on time). Therefore, you should seek specific legal advice about your legal dispute at the very first opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Failure to take advice or delay in taking action can be fatal to your prospects of success.