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Escheat and Disclaimer with the Official Receiver and the University of Liverpool – LBPCF

On the 18th April the LBPCF were joined by Justin Dione (Technical Director) and Jag Saroe (Special Situations, Chief Executive Division) of the Insolvency Service/Official Receiver and Dr. John Tribe of the University of Liverpool for a panel event on post disclaimer responsibility and escheat in the context of the Baglan Operations Ltd liquidation. Exchange Chambers kindly hosted the event at their Liverpool offices at One Derby Square. The panel session was entitled: The dangers of feudal escheat, being the two pipe problem of the Baglan Operations Ltd liquidation and post disclaimer responsibility.

The panel discussion was in three parts. First, Jag took us through the history and various issues arising from the Baglan Operations Ltd liquidation. In the second part of the session Justin explained the use and benefits of disclaimer of onerous property. The discussion then moved to an analysis of the doctrine of escheat and the issue of Crown Estate responsibility following disclaimer. John took us through this material including some interesting statistics on the frequency of escheat. The floor was then opened for a general discussion of issues arising from the paper.

This part of the session included some questions, including some from His Honour Judge Hodge KC, who had recently delivered his judgment in the Dixon decision (Dixon v The Crown Estate Commissioners [2022] EWHC 3256 (Ch) (22 December 2022)), a case on vesting, disclaimer and escheat. You can read this decision here.

In addition to our practitioner members there were four judges of the Business and Property Courts in attendance, members of the Insolvency Service policy team, and a number of students from the University of Liverpool. Drinks followed the fascinating session. It was great to have an event in real life and the LBPCF are grateful to those who attended.

In his closing remarks His Honour Judge Cadwallader thanked the panel and noted that this was another enjoyable and high quality event in the series of Liverpool Business and Property Court Forum events. The series continues into 2023 with more details on our Events pages.

Email Dr Tribe at if you would like a copy of the full paper.

The next LBPCF event will take place in May with Graeme Sellers of Atlantic Chambers, an LBPCF member. Graeme will be discussing ‘Fraud and developments in the Quincecare duty of care”.