Personal story from the Official Assignee, Ireland

I have been a member of IAIR since 2009. I was appointed as Official Assignee in January of 2009 and was responsible for the administration of personal insolvency (bankruptcy and arrangements) until the establishment of the Insolvency Service of Ireland in 2013. I was introduced to IAIR by the then Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby and his number two Conor O'Mahony who were founding members of IAIR. When Ireland hosted the IAIR Conference in 2009 I started a relationship with my colleagues across the world from which I have personally enormously benefited as has the development of personal and corporate law and practice in Ireland. The benefits of being part of the network that IAIR is are obvious. You have access to:

  1. International best practice in insolvency law and practice – As a member of IAIR I annually get a Country Report briefly explaining the insolvency regime in each Member State and description of innovations and developments.
  2. Peers in each Insolvency Service for consultation on issues – I can ring / e-mail colleagues putting to them my problems and gaining their advice normally from their much wider and deeper experience given the volumes of cases they process compared to me in Ireland.
  3. International best practice in management of an insolvency agency – There are many challenges managing the agency itself that are unique in each Member State. The network allows sharing of experiences at local IAIR meetings, the AGM and throughout the year with colleagues assists greatly in dealing with issues and development of the agency to be more innovative and effective. Many of the innovations we have made in the development of our new insolvency processes of Debt Relief Notices, Debt Settlement Agreements and our Personal Insolvency Arrangements and modernisation of our bankruptcy processes is directly through direct assistance provided by our colleagues in IAIR. I would particularly single out Rosemary and her colleagues in Scotland, Dean Beale in England and colleagues in Northern Ireland and Australia as persons who greatly assisted in establishment of the Insolvency Service of Ireland and development of our insolvency processes.
  4. Conferences with presentations and workshops on all areas of relevance to members – The conferences provide a fantastic opportunity to meet agencies within and outside the strictly insolvency area that you will have little prospect of ever meeting in normal course. Presentations by the World Bank, the IMF, INSOLV as well as from other agencies and companies give you insights into developments and innovations that are really helpful in managing an insolvency agency and developing an insolvency regime.

Christopher Lehane
Official Assignee
Insolvency Service of Ireland

Christopher Lehane