Turnaround on Walker's bankruptcy: Both sides reverse their positions

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The Independent Online
GEORGE Walker, the former Brent Walker chairman, yesterday told the High Court that he had changed his mind about wanting to be declared bankrupt over his pounds 180m of debts.

But the ex-boxer's volte-face may be pointless as Ray Hocking, of the accountants Stoy Hayward and the person who saved Mr Walker from bankruptcy last September, has also changed his mind and now wants Mr Walker to be made bankrupt.

Presented with this confusing scenario, Deputy Judge Mary Arden QC adjourned Mr Walker's bankruptcy hearing to 2 April. The changes follow more than six months of legal battles over whether Mr Walker should be made bankrupt.

Last September Mr Hocking presided over a creditors' meeting that narrowly agreed that Mr Walker should be allowed an Individual's Voluntary Arrangement with his creditors, avoiding bankruptcy.

A group of creditors, led by TSB Group, objected. The legal battles continued until two weeks ago when Mr Walker said he wanted to be declared bankrupt. If he was solvent, he could not receive legal aid to defend himself against charges of fraud and theft, covering pounds 12.5m, brought against him in January. Last week a magistrate overturned the ruling, saying Mr Walker could have legal aid if he continued with his IVA.

He is urging the High Court to let him continue with the voluntary arrangement, under which he pledged to pursue civil damages actions potentially worth pounds 14.7m to creditors.