Friday, 10 October 2008

The Winders

I did read a very interesting tale about the 'Winders' on another blog, (Paranoid Pupil i think) describing the 'Winders' It is the Bankruptcy court dealing with winding up orders against companies. In a morning, always a Wednesday apparently, about 300 companies hit the skids.

This week I was observing. The High Court Judge deals with people's livelihoods in a very fast way. A certain amount of paperwork has to be submitted, in the correct order, and dealt with on the correct dates. The debtor serves a notice on the company, the application is advertised in the London Gazette, and a Certificate of Compliance with a list of creditors is sent to the court. The advert must be seven days or more after the service.

The court was packed with about 50 Junior Barristers with gowns and wigs. There were some members of the public who no doubt wanted to see the scumbags that owed them money declared dead and buried.

The clerk will call out, '56789 Dead Company Limited' Both parties, if they are there, rise. Usually there was just the one. 'I rise for the creditor and ask that if the paperwork is in order the usual order is given' The judge will check the paperwork (actually that had already been done so he had a series of ticks on a sheet) and said 'Yes, all in order, the usual order granted'

And that's the end of Dead Company Limited. Sum total, five seconds.

Half way through, with about 25% of cases not having the right paperwork, or the barrister making a complete tit of themselves in front of a gleeful audience, we got to '6789 Dead Scaffolding Company' The barrister rose, 'I rise for the creditor and ask that if the paperwork is in order the usual order is given'. The Judge began to say something but was interrupted by:

'NOOOOOOO....' Everyone looked round to see two of the biggest muscly men in history stood at the back demanding their day in court.

'Who are you?' asked the judge. 'We're Directors of the Scaffold Company and we don't wanna be wound up like. We managed to get the old bank manager to transfer £5000 this morning to clear the debt like'

The barrister looked a trifle concerned that the two guys would have words outside court if they didn't have their say, so he stumbled, muttered and tried to slide back into his chair.

'It aint our fault, the stoopid court froze the bank account so we cuddent pay the stoopid bill could we, but we done it today some'ow like'

The other director chipped in 'Yeah, our account is managed by the banking equivalent of Mr Bean'

Everyone looked at the judge. Possibly because these two guys looked as if they meant business and would beat up anyone who would disagree with them.

The judge looked up 'I am afraid that you will find that the whole British banking system is being run by the equivalent of Mr Bean!'

Judges, don't you just love 'em. Heart of gold he had, sense of humour, and top bloke.
The scaffold boys live to fight another day


barmaid said...

My experience of the Winders is soooo sad. Yeh I know some people spend money on wine, women and song and waste the rest, but there are some genuine cases out there and it's very tragic.
Guess there will be a few people at the Winders shortly, who would have scoffed at the idea a few months ago.
I'm old enough and (for once) wise enough to realise that it isn't always the baddies who hit hard times. Why I'm soooo old that I even remember Rolls Royce going bust, our neighbour followed suit shortly afterwards, he had a small engineering works and his main customer was RR. Now, I must go, my Worther's Originals and knitting are calling me.

Bar Boy said...

Brilliant. The Winders is to be experienced to be believed. I have always thought that there are too many innocents who get swept away by the system and give up; especially when it comes to the actions of the banks who, as recent times have evidenced, are nothing but self serving shits. Full marks to Dead Scaffold Limited for sticking up for themselves.