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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 Midlands > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

At Browne Jacobson LLP, which has a strong profile among domestic and international clients, recently promoted legal director Emma Taylor generates mandates from a broad base of corporate, public and private sector entities. The firm has a strong track record advising on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency matters. The scope of its work includes pre-appointment advice, appointments, investigations, antecedent recoveries and enforcement. Recent work includes Taylor, senior associate Chloe Poskitt and others working alongside KPMG LLP to assist the directors of The Quality Furniture Company Limited with its administration. Contentious insolvency expert Dominic Offord  left for Howard Kennedy LLP  in late 2018.

Practice head(s):Derek Bambury (London)

Other key lawyers:Emma Taylor; Chloe Poskitt

Testimonials

'The size and depth of the Browne Jacobson business in Nottingham is incredible. Emma Taylor's diligence and attention to detail are excellent. Also, her ability to identify risks and solutions makes her one of the best around'

'The team is knowledgeable, commercially astute and very easy to work with. Emma Taylor is a very impressive lawyer and a star. She produces very well-prepared instructions and draft applications, affidavits and witness statements. She demonstrates great attention to detail'

'The Browne Jacobson team explained the process in simple terms to enable us to make informed judgements at each stage of the process'

Key Clients

KPMG LLP

BDO LLP

Mazars LLP

PKF Cooper Parry Group Limited

SC Advisory Services Limited (t/a Smith Cooper)

Opus Restructuring LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Irving Picard – the US Trustee of the consolidated SIPA liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (US)

London Borough of Croydon

Derbyshire County Council

Work highlights

  • The firm is advising the directors of a fund and the security trustees on fraudulent activity connected with the fund, which has resulted in a potential liability of circa £50m.
  • The firm acted for the directors of 3aaa following the sudden withdrawal of its funding arrangement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
  • The firm is acting for the joint administrators on the administration of Burton Accountancy Services Limited (a local accountancy practice).
  • The firm acted for Opus Restructuring LLP on the administration of Grafton Services London Limited.
  • The firm acted for BDO LLP on the administration of Carter Design Group Limited .

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has an excellent reputation for its work on high-profile insolvencies and complex, multijurisdictional restructurings. Under the leadership of respected practice head Mark Wood, it has an outstanding track record in matters involving sectors such as retail, financial services, education, aerospace and leisure. Other areas of activity include energy, life sciences, diversified industrials and the public sector. Other key figures in Wood's group are principal associate Ian Gill , who is highly regarded for insolvency litigation and senior associate Douglas Highet, who handles both contentious and non-contentious assignments.

Practice head(s):Mark Wood

Testimonials

'Quality across the board, not only in terms of the technical side of things, but more importantly, personable, pragmatic and plain speaking'

'Mark Wood is technically and commercially first class. He is never flustered, incredibly personable and his advice is always spot on and straight to the point'

'The team is technically very strong, very well thought of in the local market and part of a regional and national offering. Three people have good market presence: Mark Wood, Ian Gill and Douglas Highet. They are very responsive, give good legal advice and are very well thought of by stakeholders in stress situations'

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

HSBC Bank Plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc

Santander UK Bank Plc

Handelsbanken

Allied Irish Bank

KPMG LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Deloitte LLP

Ernst & Young

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of Applied Composites Group on its restructuring plan and directors' duties over several months and in advance of administration and sale of the assets.
  • Advising debt collection agency Gibson Innovations on worldwide collection of the debt ledger of the group.
  • Advising Duff & Phelps as the administrators of Multi York Furniture, and specifically advising on administration trading and the disposal of assets.
  • Acting for Duff & Phelps as the administrators of the Feather & Black retail chain, with the work including advice on trading issues and the disposal of assets.
  • Acting for Deloitte on the long-running administration of Mark Group, one of the largest administration in the East Midlands over the last five years.

Gateley Plc has a sizeable footprint in the East Midlands, with Chris Radford and legal director Su Garner leading specialist teams in Nottingham and Leicester respectively. The firm also leverages the resources of its wider national network to deliver a cross-office service to clients, handling complex, multifaceted restructurings and insolvencies. Clients include major high street clearing banks and other national financiers, insolvency practitioners, interim managers and investors in distressed businesses. The firm has a particularly notable reputation in contentious insolvency matters, including those with an international dimension, but also excels in non-contentious work, including accelerated sales, and financial and operational restructuring assignments. Retail, construction, real estate and manufacturing are among the many sector strengths of the practice.

Practice head(s):Chris Radford (Nottingham); Su Garner (Leicester)

Testimonials

'Gateley in the East Midlands is very strong; Su Garner stands out in particular'

Key Clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Deloitte UK LLP

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Ernst & Young LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

KPMG LLP

FRP Advisory

Work highlights

  • Acted for KPMG as administrators of Emprise Services Limited, with the work including advice on the appointment, the sale of the business and assets, advice on the security and creating strategies to communicate with employees working at premises nationwide to manage the obligations under TUPE.
  • Acted for Countrywide Farmers Plc on the proposed restructuring of its retail, energy and property businesses. Also advised KPMG on the subsequent administration of the company
  • Acted for Lambert Smith Hampton as the receivers, and Duff & Phelps as the administrators, of Portable Floormaker Limited.
  • Acting for Grant Thornton UK LLP on the administration of a private school.

Led by practice head Annabel Whittaker, Actons attracts a varied portfolio of contentious and non-contentious work from lenders, companies and individuals. The firm also has a particularly strong profile among insolvency practitioners, handling regional mandates as well as work further afield. The team's credentials in the insolvency arena are underlined by the fact that Whittaker and director Nicky Calthrop-Owen are licensed insolvency practitioners. Victoria Dunstall joined Nottingham Trent University as a senior lecturer.

Practice head(s):Annabel Whittaker

Other key lawyers:Nicky Calthrop-Owen;

Key Clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

KPMG (UK) LLP

Payplan Partnership/ Payplan Bespoke Solutions

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

John Harlow Insolvency & Corporate Recovery

FRP Advisory LLP

Bates Weston LLP

BDO LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Harrisons Business Recovery and Insolvency Limited on all aspects of insolvency work and technical enquiries relating to both IVAs and bankruptcies.
  • Advising Payplan Partnership/Payplan Bespoke Solutions on all aspects of insolvency work and technical enquiries relating to both IVAs and bankruptcies.
  • Acting for a company director following the insolvency of his company group.
  • Acting for the liquidator of a company in a claim under s.127 Insolvency Act 1986.

Freeths LLP has a particularly strong focus on acting for regional and national insolvency practitioners, but it is also seen as a first port of call by trustees, directors and creditors, among others. On the non-contentious side, its team advises on the entire ambit of matters, including reorganisations and restructurings, administrations/receiverships/CVAs and acquisitions/disposals of distressed companies. It also provides assistance on the full range of contentious insolvency issues. Simon Baigent and Charles Darby (an expert in anti-avoidance and asset avoidance cases) are the main contacts in Leicester, while Graham Greenfield is the name to note in Nottingham.

Practice head(s):Simon Baigent (Leicester); Charles Darby (Leicester); Graham Greenfield (Nottingham)

Key Clients

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor LLP

CBA Business Solutions Limited

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Greenfield Recovery Limited

KPMG LLP

Mazars LLP

PKF Cooper Parry Limited

RSM

Howes Percival LLP's three-partner East Midlands team has a strong track record in government insolvency work, and retains a place on the Insolvency Service Panel; the scope of the firm's work includes public interest winding-up matters involving large-scale frauds and director disqualification proceedings, among other matters. In addition, the firm is also a supplier to the Government's Crown Commercial Service panel as part of a consortium, taking the lead on insolvency matters. Beyond government-related mandates, the team handles the gamut of contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency issues for insolvency practitioners, businesses (ranging in size from sole traders to listed companies) and business owners, as well as creditors. Leicester-based Carl Mifflin is the national head of the insolvency and restructuring practice. Deborah Nigh and Katie Summers are the lead partners in Northampton.

Practice head(s):Carl Mifflin

Other key lawyers:Deborah Nigh; Katie Summers

Testimonials

'Howes Percival's national coverage and depth of service gives them a market-leading offering.'

'The partner led client care approach is easy to work with, with a single port of call for any query and referral.'

'Carl Mifflin is one of the preeminent lawyers in the business recovery and Insolvency market, not only in the East Midlands but nationally.'

'Carl Mifflin is the finest insolvency lawyer that I have worked with. His approach is robust, assured and commercial. He is my go-to lawyer.'

Key Clients

Mazars LLP

BDO UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

SC Advisory Services Limited t/a Smith Cooper

KL Business Solutions Limited t/a Kingsland Business Recovery

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

ReSolve Partners LLP

The Insolvency Service

Blakethwaite Limited t/a Blades Insolvency Services

BRI (UK) Limited t/a BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency

Alexander Lawson Jacobs

Begbies Traynor

David Rubin & Partners

Bretts Business Recovery Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Elwell Watchorn & Saxton, as administrators of Ourspace Investments, on obtaining an administration order in the UK for a Maltese-registered multimillion-pound investment company
  • Assisted Kingsland Business Recovery on the appointment of administrators over a company whose sole asset was a high-value investment property, where the charge-holder had appointed receivers. Having appointed administrators, the firm compelled the receivers to vacate office allowing the property to be refinanced, creditors to be paid in full and the company to exit administration and successfully get back to solvency.
  • Advised a secured creditor on appointing administrators to a property developer LLP where the creditor had lost confidence in the members of the LLP.
  • Advised a secured creditor on winding up a company already in administration and obtaining the appointment of alternative office holders as liquidators.
  • Advised a trustee in bankruptcy of a tax adviser involved in tax avoidance schemes, where the tax adviser had transferred his assets whilst under investigation.

Active in both corporate and personal insolvency work, Nelsons Solicitors Limited has a strong profile in the East Midlands market, and fields insolvency and restructuring experts in each of its offices in Leicester, Nottingham and Derby. It also undertakes a significant amount of work for London-based clients. Rachel McCahill succeeded Simon Trees as practice head during 2018, with Trees maintaining an active practice, handling contentious matters for insolvency practitioners and trustees in bankruptcy. McCahill, who advises on administrations, liquidations, bankruptcies and misfeasance actions, has both defended and pursued actions against directors in connection with issues such as disguised remuneration and the recently introduced Loan Charge. Other practitioners to note are Chris Adams and Derby-based Kevin Modiri, with the latter highlighted for his expertise in complex bankruptcies.

Practice head(s):Rachel McCahill

Other key lawyers:Simon Trees; Chris Adams; Kevin Modiri

Testimonials

'The strength of the Nelsons team across the whole East Midlands places them as one of the top firms to work with.'

'Simon Trees and Rachel McCahill are true giants of the insolvency world in the East Midlands.'

'Simon Trees provides a high quality service, achieving consistent results.'

'Duncan Taylor is a pleasure to work with, his client service is of the highest standard.'

'Simon Trees and Rachel McCahilll command the stage and offer sage advice in a practical and commercially effective way.'

Key Clients

FRP Advisory LLP

Kennway Francis Limited

The MacDonald Partnership

Smith Cooper

Menzies LLP

Blades Insolvency

Bridgewood Financial Services Ltd

Dains

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

PKF Cooper Parry

Berley Chartered Accountants

Mazars LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for FRP Advisory LLP as the liquidator on the sale of assets from a company in liquidation, Malt Cross Limited.
  • Advised SC Advisory Services Limited as the liquidator on the recovery of perceived unlawful dividends made over a number of years to the shareholder/directors of the company at a time when the company did not have distributable reserves.
  • Advised a qualifying floating charge holder of a company on the appointment of administrators, as well as challenges to the validity of the appointment, and the purchase of the business by a party connected to the qualifying floating charge holder.
  • Acted for FRP Advisory LLP as the trustee in bankruptcy of a deceased bankrupt on the possession and sale of property owned by him.
  • Acting for SC Advisory Services Limited in relation to a fixed charge receivership.

Sean Moran, who is the main contact in Shakespeare Martineau LLP's Leicester office, has a varied portfolio of transactional, advisory and restructuring work. He is experienced in advising key stakeholders (such as insolvency practitioners and company directors) on accelerated M&A transactions and formal insolvency appointments, among other matters. On the contentious side, investigatory work is also a core part of his work, particularly in the context of antecedent transactions and asset recovery claims. Former partner Deborah Jenkin Jones left the firm in April 2018.

Practice head(s):Sean Moran

Key Clients

FRP Advisory

Deloitte LLP

Springfields Advisory

Mazars

BDO LLP

RSM

Grant Thornton

Smith Cooper

Horsfields

F A Simms and Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Deloitte in its capacity as administrators of Iresa Limited, one of an increasing number of energy suppliers whose licence to supply has been revoked by OFGEM.
  • Acting for Bridgewood Financial Solutions Ltd, the trustee in a complex personal bankruptcy dealing with the recovery of real estate assets valued at in excess of £1m.
  • Acting for the joint trustees in bankruptcy of a financial adviser in the recovery of assets for the bankruptcy estate. This matter has involved the repatriation of assets from the US and the sale of other assets there arising from the bankrupt’s dealings with UK investors’ money.
  • The firm acted for joint trustees in bankruptcy in relation to the administration of the bankruptcy estate of a serial fraudster.
  • The team acted for the joint trustees in bankruptcy on the recovery of real estate and other assets in the UK and the Canary Islands.

With experienced litigator Adrian Slater at the helm of the practice, Fraser Brown acts for a broad cross-section of clients on restructuring and corporate rescues, administrations, receiverships, liquidations, IVAs and CVAs, among many other areas. Slater is noted for his particular expertise in complex international fraud cases, global asset tracing and recovery, claims against directors and asset realisation. The firm also offers a bespoke debt recovery service to clients, enabling them to monitor the progress of files in real time, as well as the recovery rate for debts.

Practice head(s):Adrian Slater

Key Clients

Smith Cooper

FRP Advisory

Mazars

RSM

M1 Insolvency

Bates Weston

Springfields

BDO

Harlow Insolvency

Work highlights

  • Assisted the joint liquidators of Newbury Venture Capital Limited with obtaining an administration order against a connected company, Berkshire Homes (Northern) Limited.

Geldards LLP's newly promoted senior associate Ruth Thurland works closely with dispute resolution head Nino Simone and experienced corporate partner Jenny Chatten to support clients in all types of corporate and personal insolvency matters. The firm's diverse workload includes director disqualification proceedings, receiverships, CVAs and property-related insolvency work. The firm is increasingly handling cross-border insolvency work, particularly in the area of forum shopping, and is frequently sought-out by German banks and other creditors (as well as other overseas jurisdictions). On the domestic front, mandates from local authorities and other public bodies are another key workstream.

Practice head(s):Nino Simone

Other key lawyers:Ruth Thurland; Jenny Chatten

Testimonials

'Ruth Thurland has excellent knowledge and is practical in her approach; she is an absolute pleasure to deal with'

'Geldards is focused on providing a great client experience'

'Ruth Thurland represents all of the Geldards values, in terms of the quality of the support she provides and her know-how. She raises and answers the questions I did not think of'

Key Clients

PKF Cooper Parry

Smith Cooper

Blades Insolvency Services

Bridgewood Financial Solutions

Dains LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

CFS Restructuring LLP

Derby City Council

ReSolve Partners Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised the directors of the UK subsidiary of a US group of companies on Chapter 11 bankruptcy, particularly in relation to their options for dealing with the company and its assets.
  • Acted for a German company on the purchase out of administration of the assets of a UK retailer of electric motors.
  • Advised the administrators of a company specialising in the sale of electric motors on its appointment by the court, including applying to the court for the administrators’ release.
  • Advising a German bank on the enforcement of its security over property in Germany owned by a German national who has declared bankruptcy in England.
  • Advising the liquidators of a drinks manufacturer on the apparent transfer of the company’s intellectual property at a substantial undervalue.

Langleys Solicitors LLP's insolvency and corporate recovery practice is led out of its Lincoln office by David Tonge, who has more than 25 years of experience in this discipline. Since the inception of the practice in 2004, the firm has built up a significant client following among insolvency practitioners, secured and unsecured creditors, and debtors and their associates.

Practice head(s):David Tonge

Key Clients

RSM Restructuring and Advisory LLP

Begbies Traynor

BDO LLP

Dains LLP

Kingsbridge Corporate Solutions

John Harlow Insolvency

Work highlights

  • Acting for the trustee in bankruptcy on the recovery of his interest in a property in the Newcastle area involving setting aside significant transactions at an undervalue prior to the debtors’ bankruptcy.
  • Acting for the supervisor of a Company Voluntary Arrangement in advising upon complex issues concerning the validity of certain creditor claims.
  • Acting for Begbies Traynor as liquidator of a company in Creditors Voluntary Liquidation on the recovery of a disputed director’s loan due to the company, establishing liability and seeking structured payment proposals.
  • Advising the trustee in Bankruptcy on issues surrounding the dissipation of monies and property by the debtor in circumstances where there was a lack of cooperation.

Associate Ruth Ball has been instrumental in the growth of Smith Partnership's business and personal insolvency offering since joining the firm as practice head in 2013. The firm has become a notable player in the East Midlands market, as is evidenced by its strong flow of referral work. Ball, whose practice is split between Derby and Leicester, has more than 15 years of experience of insolvency litigation, although her workload is wide-ranging; areas of expertise include administrations, CVAs, members voluntary liquidations, creditors voluntary liquidations and compulsory liquidations. The firm's clients include insolvency practitioners, company directors and individual debtors.

Practice head(s):Ruth Ball

Key Clients

Smith Cooper

Moore Stephens

CFS Restructuring

CBA Business Solutions

PKF Cooper Parry

FRP Advisory

RSM Advisory

Mazars

Work highlights

  • Acted for the joint liquidators on the administration of Milward Construction (Belper) Limited.

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