(i) Individuals who wish to act as Approved Liquidators or Judicial Managers upon commencement of IRDA

Under the IRDA, individuals who wish to act as a liquidator, JM or TIB are required to be registered as Insolvency Practitioners (IP) with the Ministry of Law for the purpose of undertaking new winding up, JM or TIB cases that are commenced on or after the IRDA comes into effect.  Accordingly, ACRA will not be accepting new applications to be ALs or JM-PAs when the IRDA comes into effect.  More information on the new regime for insolvency practitioners can be found at https://lripd.mlaw.gov.sg

(ii) ALs who are currently appointed as liquidators

Existing ALs who are appointed as liquidators for any winding up cases commenced under the Companies Act or Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) Act which have yet to be completed when the IRDA comes into effect will be allowed to continue as ALs until the conclusion of these cases.  These existing ALs will be declared by the Minister by way of order under section 9(1) of the Companies Act (1) to be a specified class of persons to continue as ALs for these cases until their conclusion.  Only persons in this class of ALs can be appointed as (a) liquidators of any winding up cases commenced under the Companies Act or LLP Act and outstanding at the time the IRDA comes into effect, including as replacement liquidators of such cases when the appointed liquidators resign or cease to be approved liquidators; and (b) liquidators of winding up cases in relation to Variable Capital Companies and its sub funds (VCC) during the interim period until the VCC Act has been updated to allow IPs to undertake such work.
These ALs need not renew their existing AL licence upon its expiry.  Unless the appointment as AL is cancelled voluntarily or revoked by ACRA on grounds such as bankruptcy etc, the AL licence will remain valid until the completion of the case.  Thereafter, the AL licence will lapse.

Existing ALs who are not appointed as liquidators of any winding up cases commenced under the Companies Act or LLP Act which are pending completion when the IRDA comes into effect, may retain their liquidator licence during a 6-month transitional period provided under the IRDA.  During this period, these ALs may act as liquidator for cases commenced under the IRDA while they apply to MinLaw to be registered as IPs.  Refer to the Transitional Period section for more details.

(iii) JM-PAs who are currently appointed as Judicial Managers

JM-PAs who are appointed as JMs or TIBs of companies placed under judicial management or a bankruptcy order before the commencement of the IRDA, for which the JM or TIB work is ongoing, will be allowed, upon application for renewal and subject to meeting renewal requirements, to renew their PA registration until the completion of these cases.  This is to avoid any disruption to these cases.

JM-PAs who are not appointed as JMs or TIBs of companies placed under judicial management or a bankruptcy order before the commencement of the IRDA will not be allowed to renew their registration as public accountants when their current certificate of registration expires.  They are required to be registered as IPs with MinLaw to undertake JM or TIB work that commenced under the IRDA.

Transition Period

The IRDA provides for a transitional period of 6 months from 30 Jul 2020 to 29 Jan 2021 (both dates inclusive), during which ALs and JM-PAs may act as liquidator or JM or TIB for cases commenced under the IRDA while they apply to MinLaw to be registered as IPs.  However, should their IP application be rejected, they will have to cease their appointment for these cases commenced under the IRDA. ALs and JM-PAs who have undertaken insolvency or JM or TIB appointments in cases commenced under the IRDA during the 6-month transitional period will be required to hold a valid IP licence in order to continue administering these cases after the transitional period.

Please refer to Table 1 and 2 below for a summary of the impact of IRDA on ALs and JM-PAs respectively.

ALs who are appointed as liquidators of companies or LLPs that were placed under winding up and such winding up is not completed before 30 July 2020 are known as ALs with pre-IRDA cases.  JM-PAs who are appointed as JM or TIB and for which the JM or TIB work is not completed before 30 July 2020 are known as JM-PAs with pre-IRDA cases. 

Table 1: Impact of IRDA on ALs

  ALs with Pre-IRDA cases  ALs without Pre-IRDA cases 
 Status of AL Licence Continue to be ALs until the last pre-IRDA case for the Companies Act (CA), Limited Liability Partnerships Act (LLP Act) or Variable Capital Companies Act (VCC Act) is completed, whichever is later. Continue to be ALs until the end of the 6-month transitional period or when the AL is approved as an IP, whichever is earlier.
 AL Licence to be revoked?  Yes – after the last pre-IRDA case for the CA, LLP Act or VCC Act is completed, whichever is later.  
Yes – after the 6-month transitional period.
 Renewal of AL Licence Not required Not applicable as AL licence will be revoked at the end of the 6-month transitional period.

Table 2: Impact of IRDA on JM-PAs

  JM-PA with Pre-IRDA cases  JM-PA without Pre-IRDA case 
Status of PA registration 

Subject to application for renewal, will continue to be registered as JM-PAs until the completion of the last pre-IRDA case.

Continue to be registered as JM-PAs until the expiry of the current certificate of registration as a PA.
 

PA Registration to be revoked?

No No
Renewal of PA Registration?

Yes – on a yearly basis in December.

Not allowed to renew. 

Timeline

The timeline for the implementation is as follows:
 Date ALs  JM-PAs
 30 July 2020  IRDA comes into effect
 On/After 30 July 2020
  • Individuals who wish to take up appointment as liquidators of companies or LLPs  that are placed under winding up on or after this date (post-IRDA cases) will have to apply to MinLaw for an IP licence.

  • ALs with uncompleted winding-up cases previously commenced under the CA or LLP Act can continue to be ALs until the completion of these cases. 
  • ALs who wish to take up appointment of liquidators of Variable Capital Companies and its sub funds (VCC) during the interim period until the VCC Act has been updated to allow IPs to undertake such work can do so.
  • AL licence will cease after the last pre-IRDA case for the CA, LLP Act or VCC Act is completed, whichever is later.
  • Individuals who wish to take up appointment as JM of a company that is placed under judicial management or as a TIB in relation to a bankruptcy order on or after this date (post-IRDA cases) will have to apply to MinLaw for an IP licence.

From 31 July 2020 to 30 January 2021 

Transitional Period

ALs/JM-PAs can take up post-IRDA cases during this period without holding an IP licence, while they apply to MinLaw to be IPs.

 

Should the application be rejected, ALs/JM-PAs will have to cease their appointment on post-IRDA cases.

 From 31 January 2021

Only individuals who are registered as IPs can act as liquidators for post-IRDA cases.


Only individuals who are registered as IPs can act as JMs or TIBs for post-IRDA cases.


1 – 31 March 2021   No renewal of AL licence is required.  N/A
1 – 31 December 2021  N/A 

JM-PAs with cases commenced before 30 July 2020 (i.e. pre-IRDA cases) that are yet to be completed may apply to renew their registration as a PA.

 

Resources

[1] Section 9(1) of the Companies Act states that “The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, declare that persons within a specified class of persons shall be approved liquidators for the purposes of this Act.
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