Statutory Demands

We specialise in setting aside statutory demands to prevent a bankruptcy petition being presented against you.  

A statutory demand is a formal request by a creditor for their debt to be paid in full or for you to provide satisfactory security for the debt. The statutory demand must be personally served upon you although if you go out of your way to avoid service, the creditors may apply to Court for an order to post the statutory demand through your letterbox. This is known as "substituted service" of the statutory demand.

If you do not pay or secure the debt within 21 days then the creditor can present a bankruptcy petition against you.

However, you may be able to set aside the statutory demand which will prevent the presentation of the petition. There are various grounds to challenge a statutory demand including:

  • That there is a substantial dispute as to whether the money is owed;
  • That you have a potential counterclaim;
  • That the creditor already holds security for the debt;
  • That the debtor has failed to properly complete the statutory demand;
  • That you have reduced the debt to below £5,000;
  • That this sum claimed is not a liquidated sum, i.e. that it is not yet legally payable.

The application to set aside must be made within 18 days of you receiving the statutory demand and the application must be supported by a witness statement. It is therefore important that you act quickly when faced with a statutory demand to prevent a petition being presented.

We are able to assist you in making an urgent application to set aside a statutory demand but you should contact us as soon as possible to maximise your chances of a successful outcome. If you lose your application to set aside the statutory demand you may have to pay adverse costs. You can still defend the bankruptcy petition even if you have not responded to the statutory demand.