Winding Up and Insolvency: Need to Protect Customer Interests During Corporate Restructuring

Corporate restructuring and insolvency proceedings, while aimed at revitalizing struggling companies or settling debts, often overlook the critical interests of customers. This article delves into the need to prioritize customer protection during these processes, arguing for a stakeholder-centric approach that safeguards their rights and minimizes disruption. Drawing upon legal frameworks and international best practices, the article proposes concrete measures to ensure:

  1. Transparency and communication: Customer agreement and related data have to be kept up-to-date while the restructuring process, its exact repercussions on individual contracts, as well as data security patterns must be explained.
  2. Fair dealing: Contractual terms and termination clauses should be redrafted for fairness,  thus customers will be subjected to equitable treatment and have ways of getting redress.
  3. Data security: Data integrity protection means is significant to make personal data secure, avoid it’s leaking during migration or asset sales without authorization.
  4. Continuity of service: Every efforts should be made in order to minimize the disruption of services. Some of the options should be explored such as the transitional agreements or service continuation plans to maintain the value that can be realized.
  5. Representation and participation: The mechanism of customer representation and participation in the restructure process should be established to give them an opportunity to express their concerns and promote their interests accordingly.

The article concludes by urging regulators, policymakers, and restructuring professionals to adopt a customer-centric perspective, emphasizing the importance of integrating these measures into existing frameworks and best practices. Protecting customer interests not only fosters trust and confidence in the market but also contributes to the overall success of restructuring efforts.


Restructuring and insolvency among corporations have become more common factors in the continuously evolving business setting. The recapitalisation plans mainly help financially distressed enterprises or agree on debts with creditors, but often creditors and shareholders have the primary focus, and customer interests gets neglected. This paper emphasizes that customer protection should be highlighted throughout restructuring and insolvency proceedings, brought as a key element in the creation of a stakeholder–centric approach.


Existing legal frameworks most frequently promote creditors and shareholders at customers cost when restructuring. Though various regions impose such special rules for customer protection, these are not enough and often arbitrary.

For example, one requirement is that there must be a certain level of transparency on changes in the rules and conditions during mergers and acquisitions in some countries. Nevertheless, enforcement mechanisms might be weak, and there can be a limited number of customers who lack the resources or awareness to contest the unjust practices.

The claims of creditors in insolvency process are considered to be unsecured debts and hence, these creditors are treated as the creditors of low priority which are given the lowest priority than the secured creditors. The result is that clients oftentimes recover only a small portion of their population or do not receive anything at all.

Customers are typically passive participants in restructuring processes, lacking the bargaining power and legal resources of other stakeholders. This vulnerability exposes them to various risks, including:

  1. Contractual uncertainty: Restructuring is usually done by changing or cancelling contracts of customers leaving them not knowing their rights and duties.
  2. Data insecurity: The data breaches do very much concern every assets sale or migration of date causing customer sensitive data to get leaked.
  3. Service disruptions: Interruptions in service delivery can significantly impact customers, causing inconvenience and financial losses.
  4. Limited participation: Customers rarely have access to the avenues of raising concerns or influencing re-organization decisions, as a result, resulting in undesirable outcomes.


Prioritizing customer protection within restructuring processes offers several compelling benefits:

  1. Strengthening Legal Frameworks:
    • Devise customer protection regulations to apply in any restructuring scenario, rather than mechanized situations by sector.
    • Provide them the opportunity to be part of the proceedings and be heard.
    • Giving priority to the timely address of the impacts on customers as well as the transparent communication with them thereof is a very crucial issue to consider.
    • Put in place robust remedial mechanisms for customers’ redressal that will occur in rearrangement.
  2. Fostering a Culture of Customer Centricity:
    • Mobilize companies whereafter customer interests will be focused while restructuring is ongoing.
    • Take a step forward and analyse how clients will be affected in restructuring plans.
    • Provide the highest priority for continuation of essential services, especially upon utilities and healthcare.
    • Introduce data security mechanisms to protect customer data during transfers.
  3. Empowering Customers:
    • Raise awareness among customers about their rights during restructuring.
    • Make sure that customers have opportunities to understand more about products as well as how to get in touch with the company when any issue arises.
    • Encourage collective action through customer advocacy groups or Build a consumer action alliance.
  4. Beyond Legal Compliance:
    • Beyond legal mandates, companies should recognize the long-term benefits of prioritizing customer well-being during restructuring. By demonstrating commitment to customer interests, companies can build trust, foster brand loyalty, and mitigate reputational risks.
  5. Enhanced trust and confidence: Equity in customer relations produces credibility and perception of integrity in the markets which consequently results in returning and loyal customers.
  6. Improved business outcomes: Hence, the success prediction of the whole reform venture also depends on the customer satisfaction and customer retention.
  7. Reduced legal risks: Correct customer protection systems help avert disputes among customers and the decline of brand reputation.
  8. Sustainable practices: The engagement of the stakeholders promotes enterprises’ such long life term and positive business conduct.


In the course of being wound up a company enters liquidation and its sole focus becomes minimizing losses and creditors’ satisfaction. But clients, who are mostly neutral or the third party in this process, can be underestimated in their interests. This article gives the practical implementation of maintaining customer’s rights through corporate restructuring that provides a fairer and more open process for all parties involved.

  1. Early Communication and Transparency:
    • The company must engage with the customers beforehand and share any insight about their financial situation and possible reorientation.
    • An information hotline number or website for customers should be established where inquiries and updates can be obtained.
    • The communication should be clear and transparent, so do not use legal terms and phraseology.
  2. Order Completion and Prepayment Protection:
    • The focus should be on getting the work done that has already been contracted, even if teaming up with different companies is necessary.
    • A prepayment protection scheme is an example which should be created to reimburse customers who can’t receive their products or services.
    • This could be in the form of escrow accounts, insurance policies, or government-guarantees, respectively.
  3. Continuation of Warranties and Guarantees:
    • We have to negotiate with potential bidders or rescuers to confirm that they will honour warranties and guarantees.
    • Otherwise, if this is not possible, additional support options should be added to customers like extended warranties or repairs.
  4. Data Privacy and Security:
    • Stringent data protection procedures should be followed all through the insolvency process and if any privacy laws exist, compliance is a must.
    • Customers to be notified if their data is compromised, guides on how to remediate should be offered.
  5. Service Continuity and Minimizing Disruption:
    • It is necessary to have contingency plan in place to make sure the business remains running with uninterrupted essential services, even if operations stop.
    • Alternative service channels should be identified and customers should be informed via multiple channels in time if there is any disruption to service.

Additional Considerations:

  1. Customer representation: The creation of a customer representative committee within the insolvency process guarantees that they are heard, their issues are being considered, and their needs are being addressed.
  2. Independent oversight: Independent authority that supervising the insolvency process creates an environment of fairness and transparency among all the participants.
  3. Regulatory reforms: The responsibilities of the governments in this respect include the enactment of bills that would specially ensure the interests of the customers are considered during corporate restructuring.


It is not to be overemphasized that the legal and ethical obligation to protect the interest of the customers in the face of corporate restructuring and insolvency is paramount. Synergizing the above-mentioned measures with the existing models and ideals is a precursor to building confidence, attaining fairness and topping the success ladder in those activities. Businesses and legal practitioners can resolve difficult price situations without harming the customers, who in the final run, are responsible for their continued existence by main the focus on customer stakeholders.


i)This opinion/clarification note is based on the facts provided to us and the same is being issued without any knowledge of intent, prejudice, non-disclosure, misrepresentation, or concealment of facts if any.     

ii)We have not done investigation of correctness of facts and the limited opinion represents our understanding of the provisions of the law on the matter. The compliance mentioned above  is not exhaustive and other compliance may also be involved depending on case to case basis.    

iii)The conclusions reached and views expressed are matters of opinion based on our understanding of the related laws, rules, notifications, Citations, circulars, etc.    

iv)Pranav Kumar & Associates, Company Secretaries, its partners, associates, employees or staff shall not be held liable for any action/ consequence arising out of any contrary view(s) taken by any other party or statutory authority    

One Thought to “Winding Up and Insolvency: Need to Protect Customer Interests During Corporate Restructuring”

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