Courts refuse Injunction to prevent Winding-Up Petition

In the construction-related matter of Wilson and Sharp Investments Ltd v Harbourview Developments Ltd [2014] EWHC 2875 (Ch), the Court refused to grant an injunction preventing an unpaid party from presenting a winding-up petition for monies owing.

The winding-up petition was founded on four interim certificates totalling £1.2 million (of which some £902,500 remained outstanding), issued under two building contracts based on the JCT Intermediate Building Contract with contractor’s design, 2011 Edition.

Whilst the Judgment primarily considered the Court’s discretion regarding the restraint of winding-up petitions through injunctions, the Court notably also considered the issue of “substantial and genuine” cross-claims, which are particularly common in construction disputes.

Wilson having already acknowledged the existence of the debt to Harbourview, the Court was of the opinion that Wilson’s alleged cross-claim was a “put-up job” designed to prevent Harbourview from issuing a winding-up petition. Accordingly, Wilson’s injunction failed as the Court concluded that the debt arising under the interim certificates was not open to challenge and was payable.

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