This article offers a brief survey of causes of insolvency, some of the practical problems that arise in administering the affairs of insolvent companies and of the ways in which these may be tackled by a liquidator or receiver, or otherwise. It is intended to inform the interested but non-specialist reader and does not address in any substantive way the issues that are currently being considered in the Insolvency Law Review Committee. In the preparation of the article, advice was soughtfrom a number of banks, firms of chartered accountants and others who have had close experience of insolvency cases. Their help has been greatly appreciated and was the basis for the material that is incorporated in parts of the article. A brief appraisal concludes the article.