BDO is the current administrator working on the case, but BDO is believed to have submitted its intention to cease proceedings as administrator, instead hoping to become the liquidator of choice.
In a statement issued to the press, BDO confirmed speculation.
It said: "At a court hearing on Thursday 1 December 2011, BDO administrators applied for a petition to be issued to put Halliwells into compulsory liquidation.
"The petition will be heard on 12 January 2012."
In July 2011, BDO – as administrator – was granted an extension to complete proceedings until January 2012.
Halliwells stumbled into administration in the summer of 2010 with debts of over £17m to secured creditor Royal Bank of Scotland.
The amount due to unsecured creditors is far more significant, however, with the total believed to be in the region of £191m.
In BDO’s report of the administration, released in August, it detailed its charging rates for partners at £371 an hour, with directors working on the case charging £319 per hour.
Senior manager fees started at £271 for work done, while support staff and secretaries have been charged at £62 per hour.
By Joe McGrath