Wind up a limited company that owes you money

What happens at a winding-up hearing?


A winding-up hearing takes place if a Court decides to accept a winding-up petition from a creditor. If the Court finds that the company is unable to pay its debts or meet its liabilities, it can order it to go into compulsory liquidation.

All winding-up hearings take place in the High Court.

Hearings in the High Court

Your hearing will take place on the date marked - or endorsed - on the petition and copies returned to you by the Court.

For more information, see steps to serve a winding-up petition.

Hearings are presided over by the Master. You can appear in person or instruct a solicitor or barrister. Company creditors can be represented by one of their employees, if they choose, but must get the High Court's permission first.

The High Court will usually hear a large number of petitions on the same day as yours, and the time it begins may vary. You can confirm the time your hearing will begin by calling the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service Enquiry Line on Tel 0300 200 7812, the day before it is due to take place.

On the day, try to arrive at the High Court at least half an hour before the proceedings begin to give yourself time to familiarise yourself with the building's layout. The Court's officials will tell you which room to go to and you should ensure you are there before your slot begins.

During the hearing, the High Court can then:

  • make a winding-up order if your papers are in order
  • dismiss the petition, eg if the company has paid its debt to you or you have come to an agreement
  • adjourn the hearing if you have not been able to complete the documentation according to the Court's procedures or if you are still in negotiations with the company
  • make an interim order
  • make any other order it thinks fit

To find out more about the rules for completing your documentation, see completing a winding-up petition.

After considering the evidence, the High Court will decide whether or not to grant the order, and how costs should be awarded. If the order is granted, the registrar will appoint the Official Receiver to supervise the company's liquidation.

  • Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service Enquiry Line
    0300 200 7812
Developed with:
  • Department for the Economy