Kevin faces bankruptcy today

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KEVIN Maxwell is today expected to be declared the UK's largest-ever bankrupt, with debts of over pounds 400m, writes Jason Nisse.

The bankruptcy petition, which is being presented by Robson Rhodes, the accountants attempting to trace nearly pounds 450m missing from the Maxwell pension funds, will be heard in the bankruptcy registrar's private rooms at the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand this afternoon.

Partners from BDO Binder Hamlyn, the accountancy firm, have been lined up as the trustee in bankruptcy and their job will be to trace Mr Maxwell's assets.

The bankruptcy hearing follows a summary judgment last month against Mr Maxwell, who is also facing charges of theft and fraud covering pounds 150m of missing money. Robson Rhodes was suing Mr Maxwell for recovery of pounds 407m of pensioners' money.

Mr Maxwell, who is represented by the law firm Peters & Peters, put in no defence and is expected not to put in a defence to the bankruptcy petition today.

Prior to the summary judgment, Mr Maxwell applied to the court for a voluntary scheme of arrangement that would give him 14 days to come to a deal with his creditors.

This followed the presentation of a tax demand that he said he could not pay.

However, Robson Rhodes objected to the scheme of arrangement, so blocking it, and then proceeded with accelerated bankruptcy proceedings.

The firm is also suing Mr Maxwell's brother, Ian, to recover missing funds.

Ian Maxwell is resisting the action and a hearing of the case is due next month.

(Photograph omitted)