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  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals

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Actons’ team advises directors as well as insolvency practitioners. Practice head Nicky Calthrop-Owen, Victoria Dunstall and new associate Annabel Whittaker, who joined from Fraser Brown, are acting for Grant Thornton as liquidator regarding claims against the liquidated company’s sole director and several third parties, arising from antecedent transactions in breach of the Insolvency Act. The trio is also pursuing preference and misfeasance claims for the same client against a sole director of a liquidated company. Calthrop-Owen assisted a trustee in bankruptcy with recovery of proceeds following a bankrupt’s death and advised BDO on the realisation of assets in bankruptcy cases in Ireland. Bates Weston, RSM Restructuring Advisory, KPMG, Elwell Watchorn & Saxton and John Harlow Insolvency & Corporate Recovery are also clients.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘market-leading’ team provides ‘exceptional’ level of service through its ‘excellent and readily available’ solicitors. With expertise in contentious insolvency fraud-related matters, the group acts for local authorities, household names and NHS trusts. On the non-contentious side, it supports company directors with pre-insolvency advice and company voluntary arrangements. On the contentious side, Dominic Offord, who brings ‘confidence-inspiring supervision, control, direction and client care’ to the case, is defending directors of a company in liquidation in proceedings brought by the government and pertaining to unauthorised withdrawal of funds by its former joint venture partner. The team is also acting for Irving Picard – the US Trustee of the consolidated SIPA liquidation of Bernard Madoff and Bernard Madoff Investment Securities – in a High Court insolvency case and international investigation involving individuals and corporations connected to feeder funds in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, BDO and Mazars are also clients.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises banks and insolvency practitioners during insolvency and restructuring proceedings spanning sectors ranging from transport and energy through to financial services, telecoms and education. The team also assists companies in liquidation with actions brought by the liquidator, claims arising under the Insolvency Act and general pre-insolvency strategy. Practice head Mark Wood led a team that assisted Deloitte with the voluntary liquidation of Reviss Services and associated sale of the liquidated company’s UK subsidiary to Nordion Group. In another instruction from Deloitte, the group is handling the recovery of assets in the long-running administration of Mark Group. Wood is also managing the restructuring and sale of the Notts County Football Club, including settling debt positions and handling winding up petitions filed by the previous owner. Principal associate Ian Gill and senior associate Douglas Highet are ‘highly respected in the market’.

Gateley Plc handles contentious and non-contentious matters for insolvency practitioners, lenders and corporates from accelerated sales and operational restructurings to drafting pre-insolvency strategy. The companies the firm has acted for include those in the healthcare, construction, retail, IT and logistics sectors, among others. Chris Radford assisted M1 Insolvency and Begbies Traynor with the voluntary liquidation of several companies part of a larger industrial group, while Su Garner is assisting PKF Cooper Parry as administrator with the pre-packaged sale of a company to its competitor and acting for BDO and Natwest in asset realisations, winding up petitions and customer claims filed against Whitwick Engineering (under administration). Lloyds Bank, Santander and RSM Restructuring Advisory are also clients.

The ‘excellent’ group at Nelsons Solicitors Limitedacts swiftly to get required solutions’, and is recommended for contentious matters, representing liquidators in claims against board members, sole traders and others. In a notable highlight, the team represented the joint liquidators of Robin Hood Centre at trial and on appeal in a case pertaining to wrongful trading claims under the Insolvency Act. The group is also acting for the liquidators of Duffin Slessor Dodd in a case arising under the Proceeds of Crime Act and involving a claim of unauthorised withdrawal of funds. In addition, Bridgewood Financial Solutions instructed the team to handle contentious bankruptcy matters related to issues of trustees’ interests in family homes. The ‘exceptionally knowledgeableKevin Modiriexcels in challenging bankruptcies’, ‘reliable all-rounderRachel McCahill has ‘a commercial approach and works doggedly to achieve results’, and Stewart Vandermark and Chris Adams are also noted. Deloitte, Smith Cooper, Kingsland Business Recoveries, Carter Backer Winter and Blades Insolvency are also clients.

Freeths LLP’ team has a solid track record assisting national and regional insolvency practitioners with insolvency, restructuring and corporate recovery matters. Complex investigations, asset realisations and anti-avoidance actions are areas of particular expertise. Simon Baigent and associate Charles Darby represent liquidators and administrators in claims arising from, for example, antecedent transactions, unlawful dividends and other financial irregularities. Clients have included Mazaras, CB Associates, BDO, KPMG and Deloitte.

Led by the ‘astute, commercial and hardworking’ Carl Miffin, Howes Percival LLP’s ‘excellent’ group acts for board members, liquidators, administrators and trustees in bankruptcy in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters; clients include The Insolvency Service, HMRC, Grant Thornton UK, Griffins and Mazars. The team defended a director against a six-figure breach of director duties claim, alleging inconsistencies with the Companies Act during a share buy-back agreement arranged by the client, and advised a trustee on the bankruptcy of members of a 1980s pop music band. It is also assisting the liquidators of County Developments (Northampton) with realising the real estate assets of the company.

The team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP handles corporate and individual insolvency and advises on restructuring, pre-insolvency strategy and other matters. It also assists clients such as KPMG, PwC, RSM and Bridgewood with litigation, including asset recovery and antecedent transaction claims. The ‘reliable’ Sean Moran ‘demonstrates a great deal of insolvency and recovery experience’ and is advising PKF Cooper Parry as administrators of Bikers Motorcycles on matters ranging from title retention claims to the surrender of leases. Deborah Jenkin-Jones is ‘tenacious’ and ‘particularly strong in complex cases’. Recent work also includes handling a complex bankruptcy with elements of financial fraud.

With expertise in both contentious and non-contentious work, Wilkin Chapman LLP handles matters involving investigations, asset realisations, property sales, wrongful trading claims and other claims against directors. Practice head Christopher Garwood is acting for a trustee in bankruptcy in a complex multi-party action arising from contested asset realisation and handling restructuring matters as an appointed liquidator for a company with assets in the UK and overseas. Matthew Dix specialises in personal insolvency.

Fraser Brown assists companies in liquidation, as well as their directors and insolvency practitioners, with a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters. Litigator Adrian Slater has experience handling liquidations, administrations, receiverships, voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies, including matters with aspects of fraud. The group is advising a trustee in bankruptcy on the estate’s interest in a jointly owned property subject to two independent trusts, and defending an individual against claims filed by a liquidator and pertaining to transactions made in his capacity as a company’s director. Associate Annabel Whittaker joined Actons.

Geldards LLP handles insolvency litigation and advisory matters, with client base of local and foreign accountancy firms, directors, individual creditors and financial institutions, such as RSM, PKF Cooper Parry and Bertelsmann SE & Co. It also has experience managing estates of deceased insolvents and matters involving local authorities. Nino Simone leads the practice, where the ‘first-class’ Ruth Thurland has ‘sound knowledge and the determination to quickly establish the merits of the case and its economic viability’. The firm recently advised a local authority on the regulatory aspects of a company’s liquidation, and drafted pre-insolvency and restructuring strategy for a limited company after its parent company went into receivership.

Contentious matters form the core of work at Langleys Solicitors LLP’s team, where the ‘efficient’ lawyers provide an ‘extremely good’ level of service. Practice head David Tonge, who ‘understands complex issues quickly and has a broad knowledge of law and business’, is assisting an insolvency practitioner of a bankrupt estate with claims pertaining to a transaction at undervalue and defrauding creditors, while Samantha Gray acted for the director of a company in administration in a court application to challenge administrators’ actions and their decision to dissolve the company. Other recent work included handling a misfeasance claim against directors for the supervisors of an individual voluntary arrangement and assisting fixed charge receivers with the challenge to the validity of their appointment. BDO, PKF Cooper Parry, Wilson Field, Geoffrey Martin & Co and Mazars are new client wins.

Smith Partnership acts for individuals and corporates in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. Ruth Ball represented a company in a court petition to dismiss a winding-up petition, and is pursuing wrongful trading claims against a local company’s directors for the company’s joint administrators. Other recent work included advising a shareholder on a deed of indemnity entered into with the liquidator, acting for a director in disqualification proceedings initiated by the Secretary of State, and assisting an individual with an application for a variation of an individual voluntary arrangement.


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