Supreme Court overturns Court of Appeal decision in Nortel and Lehman pensions cases
The Supreme Court in Re Nortel; Re Lehman  UKSC 52 has today overturned the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal. It has decided that liabilities imposed under financial support directions/contribution notices imposed by the Pensions Regulator on companies in administration are not administration expenses (which would have meant that they were paid in priority to floating charge holders, preferential creditors and other unsecured creditors). Instead such liabilities are provable debts which rank equally with the claims of other unsecured, non-preferential, creditors.
This decision, which will be welcomed by a wide range of stakeholders, is the latest in an on-going line of cases including Re Goldacre  EWHC 3389 (Ch) and Re Games Station Ltd  EWHC 2171 exploring what constitutes an administration expense.
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