“I think that seems a very sensible proposition.”

The administrator of the troubled Presbyterian Mutual Society had applied for a five year extension to his firm’s contract. But following arguments from lawyers representing some of the shareholders in the PMS – that “Some of them may die, some of them may not have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their savings” – the application was amended to a period of 12 months. Although whether the property market will have recovered sufficiently by then is another matter… And the amendment was made “on the understanding that if within that 12-month period there was a need for an extension, and that may arise, we would come back to court and ask for an extension”.