As the nation watches Andy Murray losing to the irrepressible Roger Federer in another semi-final, and England starting to stumble in their promising second innings against “the Mighty Aussies” in the First Ashes Test in Cardiff I am put in mind of the old adage, “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” (the more things change, the more they stay the same). Once again, sport and the insolvency world mirror one another.
Wimbledon may now have been pushed back to later in June than it used to be to give players a longer breathing space after the French Open, but there has been no chance for the insolvency profession to catch its breath following my last insolvency briefing immediately following the General Election.
Did we expect a reprieve from the consultation bonanza which characterised the coalition administration? Perhaps not. The raft of new regulation which has hit the statute books in the past few weeks has been covered to death in the insolvency press and we all know there is plenty more coming in between now and the end of the year, including the first hike in the bankruptcy petition threshold since 1986. Even the Football League is getting in on the act with revisions which should largely address the unfair impact of the Football Creditors Rule. Further forward, we have the government’s review of debt administration and (speaking of “breathing space”) R3’s personal insolvency ’28 days for advice’ proposals, the long awaited new Insolvency Rules, a new EC Insolvency Regulation, and all sorts of other goodies on the horizon.
All that said, however, the insolvency regime has been continually tweaked on an annual basis for at least the last 12 years. The insolvency profession is resilient enough. Sure enough firms fail, team sizes wax and wane and we have more rebrands than you can shake a stick at, but at the end of the day we are still doing as we’ve always done. We will adapt and find ways to remain profitable, whilst continuing to serve the vital role highlighted by the ComRes survey of the profession published earlier this year, and tackling the effects of fraud and late payment which are priorities for the coming period.
So, whilst Andy goes away to lick his wounds – not that there is anything much he could have done about today’s result – and England regroup to try to bowl Australia out without their reaching 412 runs, so will I open my file list on Monday morning with continued optimism, secure in the knowledge that the economy needs the insolvency profession every bit as much as it needed a positive Budget from an attention-grabbing Chancellor!