Bona Vacantia Division
The Companies Group of the Bona Vacantia Division deals with the property and rights which were beneficially owned by dissolved companies. When a company is dissolved, its assets pass to the Crown under Section 654 of the Companies Act 1985. If the dissolved company's last registered office was in England or Wales, other than in the Duchies of Lancaster or Cornwall, the Treasury Solicitor is the Crown's nominee for dealing with such assets.
The Companies Group can deal with any assets that were held by a company at the date of dissolution, but most of their work is centred on cash balances, freehold and leasehold property, trademarks, copyright, internet domain names and mortgages.
Within the last couple of years, there has been a significant increase in the number of domain names being referred to the Companies Group. As with other assets dealt with by the Companies Group they seek to obtain open market value for domain names and in order to do this they have an auction facility for domain names.
The Treasury Solicitor can make discretionary payments to former members or former liquidators of dissolved companies from cash balances received by this office from banks and other financial institutions. If former members or liquidators wish to apply for a discretionary payment, they will have to meet the Treasury Solicitor's requirements which are outlined in their guidelines.
It should be pointed out that the Treasury Solicitor does not "step into the shoes" of a dissolved company and is not responsible for the company's debts or any other liabilities the company may have had.
Under Section 656 of the Companies Act 1985, the Treasury Solicitor has the power to disclaim assets that are vested in the Crown. As a matter of policy the Treasury Solicitor disclaims onerous property such as commercial leases at a rack rent, any land used in common such as private roads, amenity land, or common parts of an estate or flats. Property that is contaminated or has buildings, trees, or other items that are in a dangerous condition may also be disclaimed.
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