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Who Represents Who

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Bermans has a β€˜first-class reputation for debt recovery matters’, and acts for businesses, individuals, discounters, insolvency practitioners, and leasing companies. Highlights included acting for Porter Capital (an Alabama Finance Company) in a $1.7m case against a London-based guarantor and indemnifier. Bibby Factors Northwest is also a client. Nick Harvey leads the collections and recoveries team, and Jonathan Berkson is experienced in commercial recovery work for asset based lenders.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s β€˜supportive and effective team’ is spread across its Liverpool and Manchester offices, and covers a range of debt recovery expertise such as factoring disputes and recoveries, restitution claims, enforcement of judgments and costs orders, and vehicle finance disputes. Key mandates included acting for Finance Wales in a loan recovery; acting for AWB Plastics in a claim against a Swedish Company for non-payment of goods and services; and advising The European Commission on the recovery of €1.8m from a limited company, which had recently been placed into liquidation. Bibby Factors, Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance and Myriad Genetics are also clients. Liverpool team head Phil Sheard β€˜shows great understanding’ as to the needs of the client, and β€˜tailors the approach of the team to ensure effective recovery, with proper sensitivity’. Recently promoted senior associate James Stephenson is also recommended. Legal director Sharon Williamson heads the Manchester-based team.

The β€˜superb’ department at Pannone Corporate LLP delivers β€˜quick responses’ to its commercial client base, which includes Bargain Booze, Exertis (UK), Hilti (GB), L’Oreal (UK), Berkeley Scott, Hydes Brewery and DHL International (UK) are clients. Practice head Karl Williams β€˜has an immense amount of patience’, β€˜a professional attitude’, and β€˜is willing to explain issues in a way that the client can understand’. Associate Denise Lamb is β€˜sensible, hardworking, very experienced’ and β€˜always has a sensible and appropriate assessment of cases’. Associate Darren Judge joined from Stripes Solicitors in September 2016 and is experienced in the SME market. Peter Swann retired in October 2016.

Weightmans LLP β€˜delivers an excellent level of service’ and is commended for its ability to β€˜keep clients up-to-date’. The team acts for a range of clients in the banking, debt purchaser, utilities and transport sectors, including Cabot Financial, HSBC Bank, The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, NWF Fuels, Credit Collections (UK), Specific & General Services and UK Fuels. The team has also experienced and uptick in public sector mandates. The β€˜superb’ Andrew Cox leads the national team, which includes consultant Mark Burch, who specialises in secured and unsecured public and private sector debt recovery, with particular expertise in the use of insolvency procedures to assist in the collection of debt.

Brabners LLP has a β€˜professional’ department that delivers a β€˜fantastic service’ and handles a range of high-value, complex debt recovery work. The team also provides a full recovery and enforcement service. Jacqui Lloyd heads the team in Liverpool, which includes legal executive Tony Foley, and advises on a range of secured and unsecured debt recovery work. Stuart Irons heads the team in Preston, and acts for banks, building societies and finance houses on secured and unsecured lending, as well as the recovery of commercial debt on behalf of companies and professional organisations.

Chandler Harris LLP’s β€˜efficient, tactful and professional’ department is β€˜quick to respond with good, professional advice’. It acts for clients across England and Wales on a range of debt recovery matters and has a practice dedicated to collecting residential service charges and ground rents on behalf of over 130 property clients. Associate Simon Stopher β€˜always explains the pros and cons of all scenarios’. David Harris and associate Philip Boulton, who acts for creditors in commercial debt recovery matters, are other key figures in the team.

The β€˜impressive’ team at Gorvins Solicitors handles debt and asset recovery for finance houses, claims on behalf of liquidators and administrators, and the collection of rent arrears and service charges. The team acts for finance houses, leasing companies, businesses and professionals, including Thorne Credit Union, Bibby Leasing, Bibby Asset Finance, E-Foods, Photo & General Finance and Oldham Credit Union. Dispute resolution head Mark Deverell leads the team, which includes Michael Morris, and senior associate Danielle Clements. Mark Fairclough joined Berg.

β€˜Specialist firm’ Greenhalgh Kerr deals exclusively with debt recovery and insolvency matters, as well as associated litigation. The β€˜persistent and diligent’ debt recovery team (whose β€˜technical and legislative knowledge is second to none’) regularly handles debt recovery matters related to the leasing and finance industry, and its growing local authority team handles complex recovery matters for 53 councils across England and Wales, including the collection of unpaid business rates. The team also has a strong track record in advising clients in the student accommodation sector. Key figures include department head Richard Kerr, who β€˜takes a hands-on approach’; and leasing team head Daniel Tate, who specialises in asset based finance and advises on debt collection, return of goods and breach of contract disputes. Also recommended are β€˜excellent communicator’ Steven Owens, who is β€˜an all-round performer’, and Warren Usden.

Jolliffe & Co LLP’s β€˜excellent’ debt recovery team advises SMEs, estate agents, auctioneers and private landlords throughout Cheshire and North Wales, as well as internationally. It also acts for letting agents and block management companies in obtaining possession, in addition to collecting rent and service charge arrears. The department also manages volume debt recovery work for Chester Cathedral. Dispute resolution head Andrew Bartley is recommended alongside senior debt recovery executive Kerry Davies, who joined in February 2017 from Knights Professional Services Limited to head the team.

Niche commercial law firm Mason Hayes Solicitors provides debt collection advice to a range of commercial clients. The firm has been appointed as provider for commercial debt recovery work by a major UK insurance company, a national car retailing chain, and one of the largest UK telecommunication reseller companies. Marcus Hayes is the key contact.

Shoosmiths LLP’s β€˜very responsive team’ β€˜works hard to deliver a seamless digital experience’ and β€˜pushes hard to ensure that the best possible value is achieved for customers’. The team utilises expertise across its national network of offices and provides debt recovery services to major banks, other lenders, debt purchasers and corporates across the UK. It handles all debt types including asset finance, consumer secured and unsecured lending, commercial and corporate secured and unsecured lending, invoice finance, mortgage shortfall, and B2B trade debt. Team head Sean Adams leads the mortgage shortfall recoveries team. Harold Brako joined Addleshaw Goddard in January 2017.

Stripes Solicitors’ β€˜keeps clients fully informed of progress throughout the process’ and continues to act for insolvency practitioners including KPMG, Leonard Curtis and Wilson Field, CRS, Chamberlain & Co and CLB. The team has recently been appointed to handle 100 debt recovery matters on behalf of a surveying practice specialising in business rate reductions, and has been retained to collect a Β£1.5m book ledger for a medical agency company. Tracey McIver joined from Thomas Higgins & Co in November 2016. Ian Hughes and the β€˜highly recommended’ Andrew Stripe are singled out.

The Keith Jones Partnership provides an β€˜excellent’ level of service and fields a β€˜fantastic’ team that specialises in business-to-business debt recovery, as well as commercial litigation, for a range of clients including sole traders and international plcs. Managing director Keith Jones is β€˜extremely efficient and knowledgeable’; β€˜his advice is always sound and commercially aware’. Brenda Li is also recommended.

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Legal Developments in North West for Debt recovery

  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was β€˜in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be β€˜recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

    - Macfarlanes

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