Company Restoration – Bona Vacantia
This is something we would be able to assist with, and typically it would require a letter to the IOM Treasury setting out a detailed background and applying for a discretionary grant from bona vacantia assets. My understanding is that Treasury will only consider applications from former shareholders or liquidators of the company and so you would need to consider whether the potential client falls within this bracket. In our experience applications of this nature can often be hard to succeed with as you are taking money away from the Crown which it would otherwise be entitled to in accordance with IOM law and so we could give no guarantee of success.
I`m not sure a disclaimer would work in the below situation as this means that the Crown “disclaims” (i.e. gives up) any interest in bona vacantia. However, in the event that the asset would be otherwise held by the company which cannot be restored (as it is outside of the 12-year period) then I don’t see this would get the client anywhere and it would seem to me on the limited information below that applying for a discretionary grant would be the more appropriate process.
I hope the above is helpful. Roughly I would expect fees in the region of £1-1.5k plus VAT (dependent upon the complexity of the issue and amount of background) for us to draft the letter application as outlined above. If this is something the client wishes to pursue with further please do let me know (with details of the parties involved and a summary of the background) and I`d be happy to progress this and would bring in a junior to assist to keep costs down.
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We have been contacted on a very preliminary basis at this stage about a situation where an Isle of Man 1931 Act company applied for and was dissolved more than 12 years ago and the company still has some assets (we don’t know what, but suspect it may be UK property).
We therefore think (we have not seen this happen before) that there will be an Isle of Man process where an application for a discretionary grant of bona vacantia would be needed, in circumstances where the dissolved company cannot be restored.
There is also a UK process for this type of issue and we think an Isle of Man process would be along similar lines, albeit with local nuances. The UK link is here Apply for a discretionary grant (company can’t be restored) (CB3) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) so we therefore expect limitations in who can apply and the circumstances in which it can apply.
In the Isle of Man, section 274A refers to a situation where property of a dissolved company has vested in the Isle of Man Treasury as Bona Vacantia, there seems to be a provision where the Treasury’s title may be disclaimed by a notice by the Treasury: https://www.isleofman-companies.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/coact1931.pdf
So any thoughts of the top of your head, and are these circumstances where subject to formal engagement process you are likely to be willing to act and in order to do so what would your requirements and fee estimate be?
I will then feed that back to the contact (who has successfully introduced other business to us in the past) as I have told them of the above situation and that I suspect IOM legal advice is desirable before any formal approach to IOM Govt.