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    The presentation of a winding up petition is extremely likely to put a company under extreme pressure, however, there are steps that you can take to prevent the presentation of the petition or stop the petition from being advertised.

    Upon receipt of a winding petition, you will firstly need to assess whether or not the debt claimed in disputed, or whether you have a genuine cross or counterclaim.

    If you genuinely dispute the debt claimed then the first step would be to write to the petitioning creditor setting out the grounds upon which the debt is disputed and/or details of any potential cross or counterclaim. The letter will also include a warning that if a petition is presented, you will make an application to the court to have the same struck out and have the petitioning creditor pay your costs of that application. To avoid the risk of you pursuing that course of action, you should seek an undertaking from the petitioning creditor to withdraw the petition or, at the very least, not to advertise the petition.

    If the petitioning creditor refuses to do either of the above then you have little option but to apply to the court for an injunction. The application will be supported by witness evidence which will include details of why the debt claimed is disputed and a financial summary of the company showing that it is not insolvent, as the petitioning creditor is claiming.

    If you are successful with your application for an injunction, it is likely that you will be awarded a proportion of your costs.

    This area of law can be complex and so it is extremely important, especially given the tight deadlines within which you will need to act, that you seek advice as quickly as possible.

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