The government will push through the Insolvency Bill introducing a moratorium to small company voluntary arrangements in the next few weeks, despite the serious concerns of practitioners. Insolvency Service deputy inspector general Desmond Flynn said a draft Bill will probably have a second reading before Christmas. 'There may be some minor changes but we do not plan that it should be substantially different,' he said. The news will anger insolvency specialists who have supported a moratorium but feel let down by the Bill - introduced before the conclusion of a wider review of corporate rescue. Society of Practitioners of Insolvency president and Ernst & Young partner Alan Bloom said: 'We are not wild about the piecemeal aspect of it but we will try to do our best with it.' The Limited Liability Bill, also announced in the Queen's speech and launched yesterday in the House of Lords, also drew only qualified support from the profession. The English ICA said it wanted to see changes in two areas. Institute deputy president Graham Ward said proposed rules on insolvency should be changed to make it easier for LLPs to trade out of trouble. Partnership law should be made applicable to LLPs, to avoid the possibility that partners could be treated as employees or directors. 'We fear that without a change to the proposed rules on insolvency, LLPs will be tempted to liquidate rather than trade out of trouble,' he said. The Scots ICA warned the legislation, as drafted, could make it 'inaccessible' to anyone other than technical users. PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young welcomed the Bill. PwC operations director Gordon Horsfield said the firm would consider whether to adopt LLP status once the legislation is enacted. Queen's speech, page 14.
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