It is unlawful for a business to trade unless it has the means to meet its outstanding liabilities. If it finds itself in this situation, it may take one of several courses of action: reaching a voluntary arrangement with its creditors; restructuring its liabilities and assets; having its affairs temporarily managed by a third-party professional acting as an administrator; or entering into formal liquidation, which sees a professional third party taking control and winding up the company according to an established court-based process. Many parties become involved in situations of insolvency, some with their own legal advisers, others sharing advisers. This is a familiar world for barristers, most of whom will recall spending their very earliest days in practice attending 'winding up' hearings. Some of the biggest insolvencies have billions of pounds at stake, so from time to time there will be lucrative work for even the most senior QCs.