Double win for a supplier in a bankruptcy case
Our client was a major supplier of one of the large retail chains that went bust in recent years. At the time that this retail chain was declared bankrupt, it still held a significant amount of unpaid and as yet unsold stock belonging to our client.
Hoens & Souren were engaged to achieve the best possible result for the supplier, i.e. the return of the delivered stocks or (better still) payment of the highest possible purchase price from the bankrupt estate or by a restarter.
Our law office deals with many liquidations, and we know the rules. Not only this: we also know many of the trustees in bankruptcy well. We made direct contact and invoked the agreed retention of title. We also sent a declaration in writing to the trustee in bankruptcy demanding the return of the supplied stock. In addition, we invoked the so-called right to claim back unpaid goods. This is a compelling right on the part of a seller of movable items which can also be enforced in case of bankruptcy. We announced that the client had prohibited the sale of the delivered stock and requested the trustee in bankruptcy to take a position in this respect as soon as possible. We made arrangements to ascertain what still remained of the bankrupt’s estate on the date of the liquidation.
Due to our efforts, a good price was paid for the delivered stock by the restarter as part of the liquidation process. Our client got paid after all, and in fact became a major supplier for the restarter. A double win indeed.