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Michelle Thorp, CEO

Hi everyone and welcome to July’s newsletter. I want to start by mentioning that, in response to the challenges that Covid-19 has presented us with, it is our goal to help you, our members, to respond to the crisis as best that you can, as well as learn from it. With this in mind, we are focusing on developing learning opportunities through webinars, training and workshops, and responding to the challenge of the rise in fraud and scams following the lockdown measures. 

The new insolvency legislative measures received Royal Assent on 25th June, thus forming the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act. Since the measures were introduced, myself and others from the IPA had the pleasure of helping to organise two webinars on the measures, facilitated by R3, the trade association of the insolvency and restructuring profession, with whom we collaborated to deliver the webinars for the benefit of our members.

If you missed the chance to attend either or both of these webinars, they are available to view on demand on our website.

The first webinar, held on 30th June 2020, was a discussion of the corporate governance changes introduced by the Act and was led by Nick Skates, Head of Corporate Transparency at the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at the Chartered Governance Institute, and Mike Metcalf of KPMG.

The second was held on 7th July with Paul Bannister, Head of Policy at the Insolvency Service, who explained policy intentions behind the new insolvency measures. IPA Chief Inspector David Holland, as well as representatives from the other Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs), put questions to Paul for the benefit of our members.

IPA workshops on the Act

Recognising the extra considerations that Insolvency Practitioners will need to take as a result of certain aspects of the Act, for example the moratorium, I’m pleased to say that the IPA has brought out two workshops to help our members understand the new measures and how they work in practice, details of which we recently communicated to you.

The first workshop will be held on Tuesday 28th July, 10-11:30 am, and is dedicated to the moratorium. The session will examine areas including the appointment, role and responsibilities of the Monitor; extension and cessation of the moratorium; succeeding appointments; Monitor’s fees and more. The session will be taken by Alison Curry, LLB Hons MIPA MABRP, Director of Insolvency Support Services, and David Holland, IPA Chief Inspector.

Workshop two, on Wednesday 5th August, 10-11:30 am, looks at Arrangements and Reconstructions for companies in financial difficulty, again with Chief Inspector David Holland and Eileen Maclean, MA Hons MIPA MABRP MBA, Director of Insolvency Support Services. Areas covered will include the principles of Arrangements and Reconstructions; completion and exit; the distinction between s26 Scheme of Arrangement and the new s26A Reconstruction; and key regulatory issues and guidance on approach.

Each session is worth 1.5 hours’ CPD, and we are offering a discounted rate for attending both webinars. Find out more and book here.

Turning to our virtual Roadshows for a moment, I’m delighted to say that we have further details on these events in this issue. We have designed the Roadshows with creativity and innovation in mind, and I hope that you will be pleased with the results. Click here to read the article.

In this issue you will also find a mention of external ‘In Conversation’ events run by Arden Strategies. The events are business and economy focused, and mainly examine the impact of Covid-19. They are free to attend and are each led by a high-profile speaker, including Laura Kuenssberg, BBC Political Editor; Rt Hon. George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Rt Hon. David Miliband, former Foreign Secretary. Find out more and book your place here.

Recently and on behalf of the IPA, our Immediate Past President Carrie James delivered a webinar, titled The Moratorium and Scheme of Arrangement, to the Insolvency Professional Agency of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (IPA ICAI). This is part of our drive to make the IPA into a more international organisation with reach into new markets and collaboration with new Insolvency Practitioners as they develop and professionalise in other markets – also in the hope of making new contacts for members to potentially forge new business relationships.

This is the start of a hopefully long collaboration with the IPA ICAI, and we are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with them that sets out a plan for future collaboration for the benefit of members of both organisations.

As a final point on events, much like we ask members to offer any feedback you think helpful on our communications, the same applies for the events we put on. If, for example, there are topics and/or areas of insolvency that you think it would be useful for us to cover, do get in touch on [email protected]. As a membership organisation, your feedback is invaluable to us.

With all the recent activity, I also wanted to mention the Black Lives Matter movement and that we at the IPA are working to make sure that we always operate in a way that promotes diversity. We are looking to recruit new Committee members at the moment, and I want to make clear how much our Committees depend on a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Do get in touch with us if you are interested – you can read more about this in our President Kevin Hellard’s newsletter article.

Alerts on fraud

We have an alert for members on pension liberation fraud from the Accountancy Affinity Group in the issue, as part of our usual vigilance and updates to members on Anti-Money Laundering. We also have been alerted to serious fraud relating to the use of an Insolvency Practitioner’s details, and we have information on fraudulent advertising after an enquiry with The Gazette – both of which you will find in this issue.

Elsewhere in this issue, we have announcements on the IPA’s new Vulnerable Insolvency Practitioner Policy and the Breathing Space scheme, a guest article on the new Act, an exciting update on our work for Crisis, our Charity of the Year, and interesting slots with a member of the IPA Secretariat and Finance and Risk Committee.

I hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue and that you have an enjoyable remainder of the month. I look forward to updating you on our activity in August.