FOR THE FIRST time in a generation, Scottish laws on insolvency have been brought together into one piece of legislation.
The new Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill 2016 was passed by the Scottish Parliament and means the bill encapsulates all the amendments made to the primary legislation governing bankruptcy in Scotland – the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 – as well as the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014, which went live in April 2015.
Blair Nimmo, UK Head of Restructuring at KPMG, said: “While certainly welcome, this consolidation bill shouldn’t lead to any changes in the way insolvency practitioners in Scotland operate, but it will undoubtedly make the legislation simpler to use.
“In recent years the numerous pieces of bankruptcy legislation had been amended with various regulations passed. This meant it became fragmented and challenging for practitioners to follow. This new Bill brings all applicable legislation together in one place for the benefit of the sector.”
The passing of the Stage 3 motion signals the completion of the parliamentary process and it is expected to come into force towards the end of 2016, together with updated accompanying subordinate legislation, subject to receiving Royal Assent.
Business minister, Fergus Ewing, said: “Policy officials from Accountant in Bankruptcy have worked with the Scottish Law Commission, which published a consultation paper on consolidating bankruptcy legislation in 2011 and has led the process of drafting the Bill, to bring these proposals before Parliament.
“The consolidation exercise has been warmly received by the money advice and insolvency industry.
“By consolidating all of the various elements of legislation in one place, the Bill will make bankruptcy policy more accessible, both for the money advice community and those experiencing financial difficulties.”
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New insolvency rules enter into effect on 6 April 2017. Caroline Sumner of R3 discusses what the changes mean for the insolvency profession