Some thoughts on environmental claims in liquidation

01 April 2016

The purpose of this note is to establish if it is ever possible, after completion of the liquidation process, to recover the balance of a claim for damages not fully paid during the liquidation of an insolvent company. The focus is specifically on the situation where the activities of an insolvent company are found to have caused damage to the environment. Given the nature of this discussion, reference is made to the situation where an insolvent debtor is involved and is rehabilitated after the completion of the sequestration process. For the sake of completeness, reference is also made to the priority of the claims considered during the seques- tration/liquidation process. Also relevant to this topic (namely the enforcement of a claim for damages against the insolvent as a result of harm to the environ- ment) are the stay of legal proceedings after the issuing of the sequestration/ liquidation order; the effect that the dissolution of the insolvent company has on claims for damages that are not fully paid out during the liquidation process; and of the perpetrator’s latent environmental obligations