Since no regulator has been appointed to govern the business rescue industry, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has taken on the role of quasi regulator.
Periodically, the CIPC releases a list of licenced business rescue practitioners. These are the practitioners who are allowed to operate in the industry.
On 31 August, the CIPC released its new list of licenced BRPs. When comparing the new list with the list released in October 2020, we can see that there are some significant changes. Some of them are controversial and will no doubt see the CIPC inundated with enquiries.
Have you made the list?
When comparing the lists (August 2021 with October 2020), the CIPC has seemingly omitted 61 BRPs from the new list.
Turnaround Talk has heard from a BRP in the industry that he knows of at least two other BRP’s who have – to their knowledge – valid licences yet have been left off the 2021 list of practitioners. So there should be no reason to omit them from the list
According to the CIPC, the 61 BRPs that have been excluded from the August 2021 List of Licensed Practitioners have been excluded because their licenses have expired. Yet there has been no communication from the CIPC to these BRPs informing them of the impending expiration. Further, at least one of the BRPs with an expired license was recently appointed in a top position in the industry.
This is a major issue, and one wonders why they were left off the list if they have a licence and were not deemed unfit to practice.
Further, it has been pointed out to Turnaround Talk that there at least one BRP who was told by a court that they are unfit to practice, yet they have made the 2021 list of licenced practitioners.
New comers and promotions everywhere
There are three types of licenses available to BRPs:
- Experienced; and
A BRP enters into the industry as a junior and moves up the scale based on years experience in the industry or a motivation to the CIPC.
According to the August 2021 list, there are 66 new juniors in the industry. There are also a lot of promotions:
- Seven BRPs have been promoted from Junior Business Rescue Practitioners to Experienced Business Rescue Practitioners;
- Four BRPs have been promoted from Experienced Business Rescue Practitioners to Senior Business Rescue Practitioners; and
- Three BRPs have gone straight from being a Junior Business Rescue Practitioner to a Senior Business Rescue Practitioner.
Issues of contention
Following the publication of the August 2021 list of licensed practitioners, there are a few areas of concern that the CIPC should provide clarity on.
A Junior Business Rescue Practitioner can skip a promotion step and move straight to being a Senior Business Rescue Practitioner based on a motivation made to the CIPC. What does this motivation look like if a typical promotion up the ranks is based on years of experience in the industry?
There are some BRP who feel that with no regulator being appointed by Government, there are technically no laws and guidelines which have been set down that will stand up to a legal challenge.
BRPs are advised to access the following documents below to make sure that they are on the new list of licensed practitioners and that their licenses haven’t expired. They should then contact the CIPC as urgently as possible to clarify any discrepancies.