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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

In the Cambridge office of Birketts LLP, Laurence Weeks leads a restructuring and insolvency practice that operates through all four of the firm's regional offices, and is a market leader in both litigation and non-contentious matters. Weeks has more than 15 years' experience and is also a fellow and council member of R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals. The firm counts many of the region's leading IPs among its clients, who also call upon corporate partner Greg Allan for advice on restructurings. Senior associate Maria Peyman is one to watch for the future.

Practice head(s):Laurence Weeks

Other key lawyers:Greg Allan; Maria Peyman

Testimonials

"We worked on a good project during the year whereby we sold a £10m business in a distressed scenario, with bank approval. Greg Allan was the lead adviser in this case and did a great job."

Key Clients

Price Bailey as liquidators of Colonial Capital (in liquidation)

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

McTear Wiliams & Wood

Privilege Finance

Ensors LLP

Price Waterhouse Coopers

FRP Advisory LLP

Bulley Davey

Peters Elworthy & Moore

Chantrey Vellacott

Work highlights

  • Acted for Price Bailey as liquidators of Colonial Capital in recovery of company assets.
  • Acted for a haulage company based in Essex on the purchase of a significant insolvent business.
  • Acted for a haulage company based in Essex on securing a Validation Order to facilitate re-financing.
  • Providing conduct advice to Price Bailey, the Administrators.
  • Advising Price Bailey, Administrators, on conduct including disposal.

Howes Percival LLP has a large insolvency practice across its office network, in which Norwich is a key hub. Morris Peacock leads the insolvency service group, which is on the government panel for insolvency matters, and conducts complex public interest winding-up matters, often involving large-scale frauds, and director disqualification work. The firm also undertakes complex insolvency litigation for regional and national IPs, as well as transactional and advisory insolvency matters including CVAs. Alison Kirby, newly promoted partner William Shirley,  associate Patrick Manning and, in Cambridge, experienced partner Michael Green are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Morris Peacock

Other key lawyers:Alison Kirby; Michael Green; William Shirley; Patrick Manning

Testimonials

"Excellent commercial litigators who are particularly well experienced in handling large and complex government litigation in the field of insolvency."

"They are tactically astute and very commercial in their approach. They have very good knowledge of insolvency matters seen from the perspective of the government's Insolvency Service, private clients and Insolvency Practitioners."

"Morris Peacock is adept at commercial litigation and is very tactically aware. He is always in tune with clients' considerations and can adapt his approach very effectively."

"William Shirley is an experienced commercial litigator. He is particularly skilled at drafting with a good eye for detail. He  has a very a client-focused and commercial approach."

"Patrick Manning is a very thorough litigator who is particularly adept in director disqualifications and has excellent knowledge of the law and the particular demands of litigation in that field."

"Excellent service. Michael Green is exceptional with his knowledge and practical experience."

Key Clients

The Insolvency Service

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Price Baily LLP

Kingston Smith & Partners LLP

McTear Williams & Wood

Ensors

BDO UK LLP

Mazars LLP

Larking Gowen

Willis Gambier UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented BDO UK LLP as trustee in bankruptcy of Sivakumar in Bankruptcy investigating and litigating transaction at undervalue claims worth £1.2 million.
  • Represented Mazars LLP (as Trustees in Bankruptcy of Edginton) in Bankruptcy investigating and recovering claims worth £500,000 which involved complex litigation, including two appeals to the Court of Appeal (reported cases).
  • Acting for Price Bailey LLP administrators on the sale of a distressed business worth £106,000.
  • Represented Patrick Ellward and Adrian Allen as the Joint Administrators of The Oven Door Bakery Limited and Joint Administrators of WT Endacott Limited (in Administration) on the sale of the distressed businesses for £100,000.
  • Represented Springfields Advisory LLP investigating and litigating claims worth £600,000 arising out of the directors causing the company to engage in tax avoidance schemes.

Specialist insolvency boutique Isadore Goldman has offices in London, Norwich and Portsmouth. In Norwich, it has one of the leading lights of the insolvency market in Frank Brumby, who advises office holders on all non-contentious and contentious issues, which a particular emphasis on the immediate issues they face in the initial phase of their appointment, including the sale of assets. Adam McCaw focuses on high-value contentious matters and is a key adviser to many of the region's largest IPs. Robert Pyke handles the property aspects of insolvency. Sian Leonard is the 'archetypal rising star and offers fantastic levels of client care'.  Simon Loome joined Francis Wilks & Jones.

Practice head(s):Frank Brumby; Adam McCaw

Other key lawyers:Robert Pyke; Sian Leonard

Testimonials

"We  worked with the team on a tricky case and it put forward good, solid work."

"Sian Leonard works tirelessly and Frank Brumby uses his knowledge and experience to ensure that we get the best advice."

"The team at Isadore Goldman is knowledgeable, well-researched and adaptive to any scenario, and it has a wide-ranging skill set that many competitors in the region struggle to match."

Key Clients

Aviva

McTear Williams & Wood Limited

Fleximize Limited

Larking Gowen

Ensors

CVR Global LLP

RSM

Menzies

Parker Andrews

SFP

Lovewell Blake

Price Bailey

Work highlights

  • Advising liquidators on claims against a betting company arising from the diverting of company monies to fund a director’s gambling habits.
  • Advising on validity of a debenture.
  • Advising Adrian Hyde as liquidator of Taylor D Enterprises Ltd on the misappropriation of company funds by a director.
  • Advising former directors on potential disqualification proceedings.
  • Advising liquidator on a number of claims of breach of duty/misfeasance against a director.

Mills & Reeve LLP handles the restructuring and sale of businesses and assets within insolvency processes, advises office holders in the UK and overseas on cross-border insolvencies, and undertakes asset recovery actions and other litigation for IPs. Practice head Jamie Wheatley is handling a growing workload of early stage strategic advice in connection with possible insolvency, as well as insolvency and restructuring work arising arising from outsourcing agreements between the public and private sectors. Lino Di Lorenzo specialises in cross-border insolvencies and high-value asset recovery actions.

Practice head(s):Jamie Wheatley

Other key lawyers:Lino Di Lorenzo

Key Clients

McTear Williams & Wood

Moorfields Corporate Recovery

Moore Stephens

Regulator for Social Housing

AIG

Griffins

PNC

Homes and Communities Agency

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending Adam Harris and Kevin Goldfarb (Griffins) as Trustee in Bankruptcy of David Harris in proceedings issued by the bankrupt, a former barrister charged with copyright infringement by the Motion Picture Association of America, in connection with the ownership of property in the estate.
  • Acting for Chris McKay and Andrew McTear as administrators of West Anglia Training Association on all aspects of the administration of West Anglia Training Association Limited, a company which provided apprenticeship programmes and other training programmes
  • Acting for Mrs Taylor in connection with claims threated against her by the trustee in bankruptcy of her former husband, Charles Taylor.
  • Advising Andrew McTear and Chris Williams as liquidators of SAG Solar UK Limited on the collection and realisation of assets and the quantification of all creditors’ claims following the liquidation of a UK solar farms owner, which gave rise to complex contract issues and major jurisdictional questions concerning  the interaction between the Brussels 1 Regulation and EU Insolvency Regulation .
  • Advising Simon Thomas and Geoff Carton-Kelly as liquidator of 1st Class Legal (IS) Limited on a court application on notice to all creditors made in respect of the proper destination of funds held by the company from the proceeds of legal proceedings in the US and its appropriate distribution among different classes of investors.

Taylor Vinters handles insolvency and restructuring matters for a growing client base in East Anglia, London and across the UK. Licensed Insolvency Practitioner and corporate partner Adam Bradley, who works between the London and Cambridge offices, is the lead partner and he works closely with James Slinger for the property aspects of insolvency, and litigator Luke Hibbert for contentious matters. Senior associate Jessica Boxford, who joined from Dentons, has extensive knowledge and experience in insolvency and restructuring matters, as well as a background in litigation.

Practice head(s):Adam Bradley

Other key lawyers:James Slinger; Jessica Boxford; Beth Price

Testimonials

"Jessica Boxford is an excellent solicitor who combines a highly analytical approach with lots of charm and good sense, which is a really good combination for her clients."

"I have always been impressed by Jessica Boxford's ability to see through to the key issues and remain calm under pressure. She is considerably more engaged with the substance of the case than some other solicitors I come across."

"Jesssica Boxford really seems to understand the legal and commercial framework of a matter, which makes her very effective for her clients."

Key Clients

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Carter Backer Winter LLP

Kingston Smith & Partners LLP

MHA Macintyre Hudson

Insolve Plus Ltd

Ensors

McTear, Williams & Wood

RSM

Deutsche Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Advising a Spanish engineering company in relation to insolvency options in a dispute with its joint venture UK company.
  • Appointment of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group as administrators and advising on the sale of a business.
  • Acting for Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group on a pre-pack sale.
  • Representing a large, Nasdaq-listed company in relation to a large value ROT claim against HMV.
  • Advising a commercial finance provider on various borrower defaults.

The business services department at Barker Gotelee provides specialist advice on insolvency and business recovery to insolvency practitioners, creditors and debtors, directors and stakeholders. Practice head John Bradshaw calls upon the services of litigator Dermott Thomas and Clare Richards, who leads on corporate and charity matters. The firm is noted for its advice on the technical insolvency issues faced by IPs, as well as the disposal of assets of insolvent entities, and both the instigation and defence of insolvency proceedings.

Practice head(s):John Bradshaw

Other key lawyers:Dermott Thomas; Clare Richards; Sarah Mower

Testimonials

"The firm has good in-depth knowledge of insolvency. John Bradshaw knows his stuff. He is commercial and practical, which is half the battle."

Key Clients

Ensors, Ipswich and Cambridge

McTear, Williams & Wood Limited, Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge

Price Bailey LLP, London and Norwich

CVR Global LLP, Colchester

Lovewell Blake LLP

RSM, Bury St Edmunds

Grant Thornton UK LLP, London and Manchester

PEM, Cambridge

Bulley Davey, Peterborough

Kingston Smith & Partners LLP

DCA Business Recovery LLP

Stephen M Rout & Company

Work highlights

  • Representing client in successfully defeating claims in relation to ownership of assets/proceeds of sale of assets sold by the client as part of an insolvent asset sale.
  • Representing client in their sale of an estate agency business via an insolvency.
  • Representing client in pursuing successful Insolvency Act claims on behalf of liquidators.
  • Representing client in Application to further extend period of Administration to preserve £8m potential claim.
  • Representing client in Application for Possession and Sale of deceased insolvent’s property.

'Extremely efficient' head of dispute resolution Rob Adam, who joined from Ashtons Legal in 2018, and senior partner Michael Batty at Greene & Greene, ensure that the firm has a strong presence in contentious insolvency matters. They draw upon the firm's strong commercial, employment, property and tax practices to assist IPs with pre-packs and other insolvency-related transactions. Corporate partner Mark Daly also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):Rob Adam; Michael Batty

Other key lawyers:Mark Daly; Sarah Western

Testimonials

"Rob Adam establishes an excellent rapport with clients who really trust him and his pragmatic approach. He knows exactly when he can and should do the work himself and when it is appropriate to instruct counsel."

"Rob Adam is a pleasure to work with on a case."

"A good growing team across East Anglia. Mark Daly and Rob Adam are serious players."

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in connection with the defence of a guarantee based claim for in excess of £1.5m and negotiating a settlement for a considerably lower sum.
  • Advising client in respect of a failed IVA and successfully negotiating a settlement resulting in the dismissal of the IVA Supervisor’s petition.
  • Acting for a client on an application to stay a bankruptcy, for permission to continue acting as director and on an urgent application to annul a Bankruptcy Order.
  • Representing a client on the sale of a business against a backdrop of a bankruptcy petition and successfully agreeing terms agreeable to all creditors.
  • Acting for a client on an application to annul his wife’s bankruptcy petition.

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough has a relatively large insolvency and corporate recovery team that handles pre-insolvency and strategic turnaround advice, the purchase of insolvent businesses and distressed assets, as well as asset recovery and protection work for office holders. The practice, led by litigator James Maxey, frequently advises IPs on in and out-of-court insolvency appointments, and creditors in the pursuit of compulsory liquidations and bankruptcy orders. The team includes senior associate Nick Porter who has a growing reputation for antecedent transactions claims and complex insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):James Maxey

Other key lawyers:Nick Porter

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP joins the ranking this year, as the Cambridge office handles insolvency work through respected corporate finance partner Helen Drayton. The firm has a large restructuring and insolvency practice across its UK office network, on which Drayton can draw to advise clients, many of which are in the technology and life sciences sectors. The firm hired experienced real estate litigator Andrea Nicholls from Greene & Greene, who has particular expertise in property-related insolvency disputes.

Other key lawyers:Helen Drayton; Andrea Nicholls

Key Clients

Photonic Science and Engineering Limited

Free Breeze Energy Limited

Former Director (Canadian Resident) and Free Breeze Energy Limited (Canada)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Photonic Science and Engineering Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scintacor Limited, on the acquisition of assets of Photonic Science Limited from the company in liquidation.
  • Acting for the joint administrations of iOra Software Limited, Simon Bonney and Andrew Andronikou of Quantuma, on the pre-pack sale of business and assets to a US-based buyer, as well as advising the administrators on a number of areas of concern in the administrator including the validity of the security taken by a related entity.
  • Acted for the former director of the UK subsidiary and Canadian Green Energy company, in defending a claim brought by the Liquidator for a payment to account for the value of a wind turbine said to be an asset of the UK subsidiary.

At Rogers and Norton, insolvency is a significant element in the commercial litigation practice, which saw a growing workload of contentious matters in 2018. Peter Hastings leads the practice and acts for individuals including company directors, as well as for local IPs on claims relating to misfeasance, wrongful trading and preferential transactions. Solicitor Elizabeth Gibson also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):Peter Hastings

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Gibson

Work highlights

  • Acting for Directors being pursued and current actions for a preferential claim for £100,000 together with several cases opposing winding up petitions.

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