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In a recent case in England and Wales the Charity Commission for England and Wales applied to the High Court for an order to wind up a charitable company Thrift Urban Housing Limited. This followed the opening of a statutory inquiry in August 2014. The Commission has the power under the Charities Act 2011 to petition the High Court to order the winding up of a charity under the Insolvency Act of 1986. This is in circumstances where a regulator is satisfied there has been misconduct or mismanagement or there is a need to protect the charity’s property. It is up to the High Court to decide whether to appoint an official receiver who would be responsible for applying any remaining assets as part of the winding up of the charity.

This is a power that is also open to the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland under the Charities Acts of 2008 in the context of a Northern Ireland charity.