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Case Study: Are We Being Served?!

In the case of Morby v Gate Gourmet Luxembourg IV Sarl Specialist Airport Services Limited [2016] the High Court considered whether service of a Petition to a debtor, who physically refused to take the document, was valid.


In 2007, Gary Moby ("the Debtor”) arranged to meet with a process server in order to receive service of a Bankruptcy Petition.  The Debtor was aware of the reasoning for the meeting and attended with an associate.  At the meeting, the Debtor refused to accept the Petition.  The process server gave the Petition to the Debtor’s associate who immediately put the Petition in the bin!  Following this meeting, the Debtor was duly made Bankrupt.

The Claim

The Debtor challenged the validity of the Bankruptcy Order on the basis that he had not been personally served in accordance with IR 6.14.  The Court therefore considered whether the Debtor had been personally served despite him not physically receiving the Petition.

The Ruling

The Court considered the Debtor’s application.  Reference was made to the case of Kenneth Allison Ltd (in Liquidation) v AE Limehouse & Co [1992] where it was ruled that where a person refuses service, the Petition is still deemed to be validly served if:

  • the Debtor has been told about the contents of the Petition, and
  • the Petition is left with, or near to, the Debtor.

The Debtor had been told about the contents of the Petition and it had been left near him, albeit in the bin!  As a result, the application was dismissed and it was held that the service of the Petition was valid. 

Posted: 29.09.2017
Tags:  archive

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