Do I need a Witness Statement for a Winding Up Petition?
There are two instances when a witness statement will be required for a winding up petition. A witness statement MUST be provided by the petitioning creditor to verify the details included the winding up petition. If the debtor company (the recipient of the petition) intends to defend the company against the petition, they MUST also file a witness statement with the court to oppose the petition no less than five working days before the hearing.
Witness statement verifying the petition
The petitioning creditor must file a witness statement or statement of truth (form Comp 2) to verify the details contained in the petition. This should include details such as:
- The name and registered number of the company;
- The name of the petitioner;
- The court in which the petition will be presented.
Once the statement of truth has been completed, it should be filed with the petition at the appropriate court. The court will then set a date for the hearing and return the sealed and endorsed forms so they can be ‘served on’ (presented to) the company in question.
Statement to oppose the petition
If you want to oppose a winding up petition, you must file a witness statement no less than five working days before the hearing. The court will then send a copy of your statement onto the petitioning creditor. When defending a winding up petition, the company’s directors will have to provide the following information:
- The relationship between the company and the petitioning creditor;
- The grounds on which 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 based on bank statements and company accounts.
If a company chooses to oppose a winding up petition, it is common for a solicitor to represent the company in court. However, a company director can also make representations to the court as long as they have given the petitioning creditor prior notice of their intention to attend.
Who can make a witness statement?
- To verify a petition – A witness statement to verify a winding up petition can be made by the petitioning creditor themselves or a company director, secretary or officer with the necessary knowledge of the case. A statement to verify the petition can also be made by a solicitor or chartered accountant who is authorised to verify the petition and has sufficient knowledge of the case.
- To oppose a position – Equally, in the case of a witness statement to oppose a winding up petition, the statement can be made by a company director or officer. However, it may carry more weight if a statement to dispute the existence of debt were to be made by a chartered accountant, as this may carry more weight in court.
Want to know more?
Do you want help creating a witness statement in support or opposition of a winding up petition? For no-obligation, impartial advice, please call please call 08000 746 757 or email: [email protected] today.