Kevin Maxwell's case adjourned

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THE HEARING that was due to make Kevin Maxwell the UK's largest ever bankrupt was yesterday adjourned until 1 September. The court accepted that there was no danger of the youngest son of the late Robert Maxwell transferring his assets out of the reach of accountants claiming pounds 407m from him.

Robson Rhodes, the accountants in charge of chasing an estimated pounds 450m of funds missing from the Maxwell pension funds, had asked for an expedited bankruptcy hearing after Mr Maxwell offered no defence to last month's summary judgment that he was liable for pounds 407m of the funds. Mr Maxwell's older brother, Ian, will appear in court next month to answer a similar claim.

Kevin Maxwell had previously applied to the court for a voluntary arrangement with his creditors because he said he could not pay a tax bill presented to him. Stephenson Harwood, the lawyers acting for Robson Rhodes, argued that as he admitted he could not pay his debts, there was no reason why he could not be made bankrupt immediately.

Mr Maxwell, looking pale and tired, appeared before Mr Registrar Buckley for the 1 1/4 -hour hearing yesterday. The bankruptcy registrar accepted the arguments of Mr Maxwell's lawyers, Peters and Peters, that there was no danger that Mr Maxwell would move any of his assets out of the reach of Robson Rhodes.

After the hearing Mr Maxwell, who is facing fraud and theft charges covering pounds 150m of missing money, said: 'No assets have been dissipated or will be dissipated. I have and will always conduct myself in compliance with court orders and for the benefit of all my creditors.'