Matthew Hodson was recently instructed in a case in the Chancery Division by a company seeking to restrain a winding-up petition. The case was advanced on the basis that there was a bona fide substantial dispute over the alleged debt.
By reference to Ross & Craig (A Firm) v Williamson  EWHC 880 (Ch) and Mann v Goldstein  1 WLR 1091 Matthew successfully argued that the company could raise a substantial defence to the debt claim and was entitled to defend that claim in ordinary civil proceedings without the threat of a winding-up petition hanging over its head.
Matthew also obtained costs of the application on the basis (following Re a company (No 0012209 of 1991)  2 All ER, per Hoffman J.) that use of a petition procedure in these circumstances was a high risk strategy for a creditor to adopt and amounted, where unjustified, to an abuse of process.
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