Practice Fee Recovery Policy

PRACTICE FEE RECOVERY POLICY FOR CRG INSOLVENCY & FINANCIAL RECOVERY

Introduction

This sheet explains the alternative fee bases allowed by the insolvency legislation when acting as office holder in insolvency appointments. The legislation allows different fee bases to be used for different tasks within the same appointment. The fee basis, or combination of bases, set for a particular appointment is/are subject to approval, generally by a committee if one is appointed by the creditors, failing which the creditors in general meeting, or the Court. The report accompanying the request to fix the basis of remuneration will indicate the basis, or bases, being requested in that particular case and will make it clear what work is to be undertaken in respect of each basis. 

Further information about creditors’ rights can be obtained by visiting the creditors’ information micro-site published by the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3) at http://www.creditorinsolvencyguide.co.uk/ 

Details about how an office holder’s fees may be approved for each case type are available in a series of guides issued with Statement of Insolvency Practice 9 (SIP 9) “Payments to Insolvency Office Holders and their Associates from an Estate” and can be accessed at https://www.r3.org.uk/technical-library/england-wales/technical-guidance/fees/

Statement of Insolvency Practice 9 notes can be accessed at https://www.r3.org.uk/technical-library/england-wales/sips/ 

Alternatively, a hard copy may be requested from CRG Insolvency & Financial Recovery of Alexandra Dock Business Centre, Fisherman’s Wharf, Grimsby, DN31 1UL. Please note that we have provided further details in this policy document.

SIP 9 also contains various requirements that the office holder has to comply with in connection with their remuneration, both when seeking approval and when reporting to creditors and other interested parties after approval. One of the matters that an office holder has to comply with is that they must also seek approval for any payments that could reasonably be perceived as representing a threat to the office holder’s objectivity or independence by virtue of a professional or personal relationship, including to an associate. Where it is anticipated that such payments will be made in a case they will be separately identified when seeking approval for the basis of the office holder’s remuneration.

Other than in respect of Voluntary Arrangements an office holder is required to record the time spent on casework in all cases, even if they are being remunerated for that work on a basis other than time costs. Time is recorded directly to the relevant case and the nature of the work undertaken is recorded at that time. The work is generally recorded under the following categories:

  • Case Administration (including statutory reporting).
  • Realisation of Assets.
  • Investigations
  • Creditors (claims and distributions).
  • Trading
  • Case specific matters.

In cases where we were appointed prior to 1 October 2015, most of our fees were recovered on a time costs basis and appropriate authority was obtained from the creditors or the committee as set down in the legislation.

Time cost basis

When charging fees on a time costs basis we use charge out rates appropriate to the skills and experience of a member of staff and the work that they perform.  This is combined with the amount of time that they work on each case, recorded in 6 minute units with supporting narrative to explain the work undertaken.

Chargeout Rates

Grade of staff

 

Charge-out rate per hour, effective from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2021

£

Partner – appointment taker Manager

225.00

Manager

175.00

Administrator

150.00

Cashier

100.00

Support Staff

100.00

Clerical

100.00

Grade of staff

 

Current charge-out rate per hour, effective from 1 April 2021

£

Partner – appointment taker

285.00

Manager

225.00

Administrator

175.00

Cashier

150.00

In cases where these staff undertake work, specific approval will be sought for the payment of the fees incurred.

These charge-out rates charged are reviewed on 1 April each year and are adjusted to take account of inflation and the firm’s overheads.

When we seek time costs approval, we have to set out a fees estimate. That estimate acts as a cap on our time costs so that we cannot draw fees of more than the estimated time costs without further approval from those who approved our fees. When seeking approval for our fees, we will disclose the work that we intend to undertake, the hourly rates we intend to charge for each part of the work, and the time that we think each part of the work will take. We will summarise that information in an average or “blended” rate for all of the work being carried out within the estimate, and by reference to each separate category of work. The blended rate is calculated as the prospective average cost per hour, based upon the estimated time to be expended by each grade of staff at their specific charge out rate. We will also say whether we anticipate needing to seek approval to exceed the estimate and, if so, the reasons that we think that may be necessary.

A report accompanying the request to fix the basis of remuneration will include the fees estimate, as well as details of the expenses that will be, or are likely to be, incurred. Further information about expenses is given in a separate section below.

The disclosure that we make should include sufficient information about the insolvency appointment to enable you to understand how the proposed fee reflects the complexity (or otherwise) of the case, any responsibility of an exceptional kind falling on the office holder, the effectiveness with which the office holder has carried out their functions, and the value and nature of the property with which the office holder has to deal.

If we subsequently need to seek authority to draw fees in excess of the estimate, we will say why we have exceeded, or are likely to exceed the estimate; any additional work undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken; the hourly rates proposed for each part of the work; and the time that the additional work is expected to take. As with the original estimate, we will summarise that information in an average or “blended” rate for all of the work being carried out within the estimate, and by reference to each separate category of work, and will also say whether we anticipate needing further approval and, if so, why we think it may be necessary to seek further approval.

Percentage basis

The legislation allows fees to be charged on a percentage of the value of the property with which the office holder has to deal (realisations and/or distributions). Different percentages can be used for different assets or types of assets. A report accompanying the request to fix the basis of remuneration will set out the potential assets in the case, the remuneration percentage proposed in respect of any realisations and the work covered by that remuneration, which may solely relate to work undertaken in connection with the realisation of the assets, but might also include other categories of work as listed above. The report will also include details of the expenses that will be, or are likely to be, incurred. Further information about expenses is given in a separate section below.

The percentage approved in respect of realisations will be charged against the assets realised, and where approval is obtained on a mixture of bases, any fixed fee and time costs will then be charged against the funds remaining in the liquidation after the realisation percentage has been deducted. 

A percentage of distributions made to unsecured creditors may also be requested, in order to cover the work associated with the agreement of claims and making the distribution.  

The disclosure that we make will include sufficient information about the insolvency appointment to enable you to understand how the proposed fee reflects the complexity (or otherwise) of the case, any responsibility of an exceptional kind falling on the office holder, the effectiveness with which the office holder has carried out their functions, and the value and nature of the property with which the office holder has to deal. In order to meet the requirements of SIP 9 it will also explain why the basis requested is expected to produce a fair and reasonable reflection of the work that we anticipate will be undertaken on the case.

If the basis of remuneration has been approved on a percentage basis then an increase in the amount of the percentage applied can only be approved by the committee or creditors (depending upon who approved the basis of remuneration) in cases where there has been a material and substantial change in the circumstances that were taken into account when fixing the original level of the percentage applied. If there has not been a material and substantial change in the circumstances, then an increase can only be approved by the Court.

Fixed fee

The legislation allows fees to be charged at a set amount. Different set amounts can be used for different tasks. A report accompanying the request to fix the basis of remuneration will set out the set fee that we proposed to charge and the work covered by that remuneration, as well as details of the expenses that will be, or are likely to be, incurred. Further information about expenses is given in a separate section below.

The disclosure that we make will include sufficient information about the insolvency appointment to enable you to understand how the proposed fee reflects the complexity (or otherwise) of the case, any responsibility of an exceptional kind falling on the office holder, the effectiveness with which the office holder has carried out their functions, and the value and nature of the property with which the office holder has to deal. In order to meet the requirements of SIP 9 we will also explain why the basis requested is expected to produce a fair and reasonable reflection of the work that we anticipate will be undertaken on the case.

If the basis of remuneration has been approved on a fixed fee basis then an increase in the amount of the fixed fee can only be approved by the committee or creditors (depending upon who approved the basis of remuneration) in cases where there has been a material and substantial change in the circumstances that were taken into account when fixing the original level of the fixed fee. If there has not been a material and substantial change in the circumstances, then an increase can only be approved by the Court.

Direct Costs

Where we seek approval on a percentage and/or fixed fee basis, in order to meet the requirements of SIP 9 we also have to disclose the direct costs that are included within the remuneration that will be charged on those bases in respect of the work undertaken. The following are direct costs that will be included in respect of work undertaken in respect of each of the standard categories of work where the office holder is to be remunerated for such work on either a percentage or fixed fee basis:

  • Case Administration (including statutory reporting) – staff costs, costs of case management system.
  • Realisation of Assets – staff costs, costs of case management system.
  • Investigations – staff costs, costs of case management system.
  • Creditors (claims and distributions) – staff costs, costs of case management system.
  • Trading – staff costs, costs of case management system, costs of accounting software.

Mixed Bases

If remuneration is to be sought on a mixed basis, we will make it clear in the report accompanying the request to fix the basis of remuneration which basis will be charged for each category of work that is to be undertaken on the case.

Members’ voluntary liquidations and Voluntary Arrangements

The legislation is different for members’ voluntary liquidations (MVL), Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA). In MVLs, the company’s members set the fee basis, often as a fixed fee, and SIP 9 does not apply unless the members specifically request it. In CVAs and IVAs, the fee basis is set out in the proposals and creditors approve the fee basis when they approve the arrangement. 

All Fee Bases

With the exception of IVAs and CVAs, which are usually VAT exempt, the office holder’s remuneration invoiced to the insolvent estate will be subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

Expenses

As already indicated, a report will accompany the request to fix the basis of remuneration and that will include details of expenses to be incurred, or likely to be incurred. When reporting to the committee and creditors during the course of the insolvency appointment the actual expenses incurred will be compared with the original estimate provided.

 Expenses are any payments from the insolvent estate that are neither an office holder’s remuneration nor a distribution to a creditor, or a member. Expenses also include disbursements. Disbursements are payments that are first paid by the office holder and then reimbursed from the insolvent estate. Expenses are divided into those that do not need approval before they are charged to the estate (Category 1) and those that do (Category 2).

Category 1 expenses are payments to persons providing the service to which the expense relates who are not an associate of the office holder. They can be paid by the office holder without obtaining prior approval. . Examples of costs that may amount to Category 1 expenses are professional advisors (who are not associates), statutory advertising, external meeting room hire (where the room is only hired for that meeting), external storage, specific penalty bond insurance, insolvency case management software fees charged on a per case basis, and Company search fees.

Category 2 expenses are either payments to associates, or payments in respect of expenses that have an element of shared costs, such as photocopying and mileage. Category 2 expenses require approval in the same manner as an office holder’s remuneration before they can be paid.

The practice intends to seek approval to recover the following Category 2 expenses that include an element of shared costs:

Mileage                                                               45p per mile

Photocopying                                                       10p per sheet

Internal storage                                                         £1 per box per month

Professional advisors may be instructed to assist the office holder on the case where they consider that such assistance is necessary to enable them to appropriately administer the case. The fees charged by any professional advisors used will be recharged at cost to the case. Where the professional advisor is not an associate of the office holder it will be for the office holder to agree the basis of their fees. Where the professional advisor is an associate of the office holder it will be for those responsible for fixing the basis of the office holder’s remuneration to approve payments to them. The fees of any professional advisors are subject to the rights of creditors to seek further information about them or challenge them as summarised below. Professional advisors that may be instructed on a case include:

  • Solicitors/Legal Advisors;
  • Auctioneers/Valuers;
  • Accountants;
  • Quantity Surveyors;
  • Estate Agents;
  • Pension specialists;
  • Employment Claims specialists; and
  • GDPR/Cyber Security specialists.

Reporting and rights to challenge

Once the basis of the office holder’s remuneration has been approved, a periodic report will be provided to any committee and also to each creditor. The report will provide a breakdown of the remuneration charged by the office holder in the period covered by the report, i.e., the amount that the office holder is entitled to draw, together with the amount of remuneration actually drawn. If approval has been obtained for remuneration on a time costs basis, the time costs incurred will also be disclosed, whether drawn or not, together with the “blended” rates of such costs. The report will also compare the actual time costs incurred with those included in the fees estimate prepared when fixing the basis of the remuneration, and indicate whether the fees estimate is likely to be exceeded. If the fees estimate has been exceeded, or is likely to be exceeded, the report will explain why that is the case.

The report will also provide information about expenses incurred in the period covered by the report, together with those actually paid, together with a comparison with the estimated expenses. If the expenses incurred, or anticipated to be incurred, have exceeded the estimate provided the report will explain why that is the case.

Under the insolvency legislation the report must also include a statement of the legislative rights of creditors to request further information about the remuneration charged and expenses incurred in the period covered by the report, or to challenge them on the grounds that they are excessive. Extracts of the relevant insolvency rules dealing with these rights are set out below. Once the time period to seek further information about the office holder’s remuneration and/or expenses for the period covered by the report has elapsed, then a Court Order is required to compel the office holder to provide further information about the remuneration and expenses. A Court order is required to challenge the office holder’s remuneration and/or expenses for the period covered by the report. Once that period has elapsed, then a separate Court Order is required to allow an application out of time.

Under rule 18.9 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2006, an unsecured creditor may, with the permission of the court or with the concurrence of 5% in value of the unsecured creditors (including the creditor in question) request further details of the office holder’s remuneration and expenses, within 21 days of receipt of any report for the period. Any secured creditor may request the same details in the same time limit.

Under rule 18.34, an unsecured creditor may, with the permission of the court or with the concurrence of 10% in value of the unsecured creditors (including the creditor in question), apply to court to challenge the amount and/or basis of the office holder’s fees and the amount of any proposed expenses or expenses already incurred, within 8 weeks of receipt of any report for the period. Any secured creditor may make a similar application to court within the same time limit.

Under some old legislation, which still applies for insolvency appointments commenced before 6 April 2010, there is no equivalent mechanism for fees to be challenged.

PROVISION OF SERVICES REGULATIONS SUMMARY SHEET FOR CRG INSOLVENCY & FINANCIAL RECOVERY

The following information is designed to draw the attention of interested parties to the information required to be disclosed by the Provision of Services Regulations 2009. 

Licensing Body

Charles Howard Ranby-Gorwood is licensed to act as an Insolvency Practitioner in the United Kingdom by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.

Rules Governing Actions

All IPs are bound by the rules of their professional body, including any that relate specifically to insolvency.  The rules of the professional body that licences Charles Howard Ranby-Gorwood can be found at http://www.insolvency-practitioners.org.uk/.  In addition, IPs are bound by the Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs), details of which can be found at https://www.r3.org.uk/what-we-do/publications/professional/statements-of-insolvency-practice/e-and-w

Ethics

All IPs are required to comply with the Insolvency Code of Ethics and a copy of the Code for the IPA can be found at http://www.insolvency-practitioners.org.uk/regulation-and-guidance/a-guide-to-the-ipa-ethics-code  

Complaints

At CRG Insolvency & Financial Recovery we always strive to provide a professional and efficient service. However, we recognise that it is in the nature of insolvency proceedings for disputes to arise from time to time.  As such, should you have any comments or complaints regarding the administration of a particular case then in the first instance you should contact the IP acting as office holder.  

If you consider that the IP has not dealt with your comments or complaint appropriately you should then put details of your concerns in writing to our complaints officer Sally Cribb at CRG Insolvency & Financial Recovery, Alexandra Dock Business Centre, Fisherman’s Wharf, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire DN31 1UL.  This will then formally invoke our complaints procedure and we will endeavour to deal with your complaint. 

Most disputes can be resolved amicably either through the provision of further information or following negotiations.  However, in the event that you have exhausted our complaints procedure and you are not satisfied that your complaint has been resolved or dealt with appropriately, you may complain to the regulatory body that licences the insolvency practitioner concerned.  Any such complaints should be addressed to The Insolvency Service, IP Complaints, 3rd Floor, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DA, and you can make a submission using an on-line form available at www.gov.uk/complain-about-insolvency-practitioner; or you can email insolvency.enquiryline@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk; or you may phone 0300 678 0015 – calls are charged at up to 12p per minute from a land line, or for mobiles, between 3p and 45p per minute if you’re calling from the UK.

The Insolvency Practitioners Association holds a Consumer Credit Licence which covers members.

Complaints relating to matters under their Consumer Credit Licence can be referred to The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR and you may be able to access their Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system.  More information can be found at http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumer/complaints.htm

Professional Indemnity Insurance

CRG Insolvency & Financial Recovery’s Professional Indemnity Insurance is provided by Barbican Protect Limited, c/o BLM, King’s House, 42 King Street West, Manchester M3 2NU. This professional indemnity insurance provides worldwide coverage, excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada, and any action for a claim brought in any court in the United States of America or Canada. 

VAT

CRG Insolvency & Financial Recovery is registered for VAT under registration no. 814 3091 55.