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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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Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking and finance clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Addleshaw Goddard fields a β€˜vastly knowledgeable’ and β€˜responsive’ six-partner team that advises borrowers and lenders on the full range of banking and finance matters, including corporate finance, leveraged finance, asset finance and real estate finance. Team head Martin O’Shea has a firm following among local lenders and North West-based borrowers, who regularly call on him to handle a range of leveraged, real estate and corporate financings; his recent borrower highlights include advising on a multi-currency revolving facility agreement to refinance an existing facility, assisting property developer Assura with a Β£100m unsecured private placement, and advised Bruntwood on the Β£115m refinancing of a portfolio of 12 properties. The firm also fields a two-partner asset finance team in Manchester led by Andrew Maskill and Rebecca Williams, who acts for funders, lessors, brokers and lessees on a diverse range of asset finance matters. Other key figures include Simon Prendergast, who is experienced in asset based lending and trade finance, Richard Oman, who specialises in corporate lending and leveraged acquisition finance as well as real estate finance and structured asset finance transactions; and Katie Ridehalgh, who leads on real estate finance matters. Prendergast, Oman and Williams advised HSBC Bank, Barclays Bank, Santander UK, HSBC Invoice Finance and HSBC Equipment Finance on a suite of facilities provided to Whitworth Bros in connection with its acquisition of Carr's Flour Mills and the refinancing of the group's existing banking facilities. Peel, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, Standard Life Investments, PZ Cussons and Investec Bank are also clients. Legal director Richard Chandler is also recommended, as are managing associates Caroline Gray and Ben Edwards.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s β€˜very able’ team is praised for its debt finance and asset based lending expertise, and for its track record in alternative and complex debt structures. The team acts for debt funds on a range of transactions, with particular expertise in cross-border asset based lending and back-to-back funding arrangements, and advises senior and mezzanine lenders and their borrowers on real estate finance transactions. Highlights included advising HSBC Bank on a syndicated receivables purchasing facility and assisting Tosca Debt Capital a a syndicated unitranche facility related to the merger of Air Energi and Swift Worldwide Resources. It also advised Conviviality on its funding arrangements for the acquisition of Bibendum PLB Group, and advised RBS, Barclays, Lloyds and Yorkshire Bank on the Β£195m refinancing of Betfred and acquisition financing facilities in order to acquire 300 betting shops from Ladbrokes. The β€˜exceptional’ Matthew Christmas heads the practice and is singled out for his expertise in debt finance, private equity buyouts and alternative credit structures. The β€˜first-rate’ Joseph Frew heads the asset based lending team; he is experienced in complex ABL transactions for lenders and borrowers and represents a number of real estate finance lenders. Associate Charles Weems is also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜excellent banking and finance department’ advises on a range of real estate finance, corporate lending, acquisition finance and asset based lending instructions. The lender-focused practice acts for a range of clearing banks and leverages its national and international network of offices to advise on cross-border transactions. Team head Matthew Morgan (who is β€˜well-respected in the North West legal market’) led advice for Select Property Group on the Β£169m development financing of three student accommodation schemes in Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle, which involved a Β£108m senior debt facility provided by Lloyds Bank and Wells Fargo, and Β£61m in junior debt provided by Pramerica. The team also advised a group of seven lenders on the Β£310m financing of The Hut Group, and assisted Equistone Partners Europe with the financing of its acquisition of Apogee Group which, which involved Β£95m of debt facilities provided by Alcentra and RBS. Investec Bank, Speedy Hire and Select Property Group are also clients. Other key figures include Samantha Rollason, who advises on real estate restructuring matters and is experienced in education finance; and senior associate Tim Fearn, who specialises in corporate financings, acquisition finance and asset based lending.

DWF has a β€˜strong’ borrower practice whose experience spans corporate banking, acquisition finance, public sector finance, and peer-to-peer lending. Paul Brown acts for both lenders and borrowers on public and private sector funding, and is advising the Greater Manchester Housing Fund on term loan facilities provided to residential developers as part of its 10-year investment to stimulate housing development in the Greater Manchester region. Also recommended are Helen Corner, whose expertise encompasses asset based lending, corporate lending, real estate finance, restructurings and secured lending; James Szerdy, who acts for banks and other financial institutions, as well as borrowers, on secured and unsecured lending; and Helen Johnston. Other clients include Mobica, Tosca Debt Capital, Secure Trust Bank and Nationwide Building Society. Alasdair Mackinnon joined Hill Dickinson LLP in 2017. Jonathan Edwards joined Browne Jacobson LLP in 2018.

The β€˜well-respected’ team at Hill Dickinson LLP provides β€˜a very high level of service’. Its expertise spans corporate and property finance transactions, and the team also handles asset based lending and private equity transactions. Highlights included advising Bibby Financial Services on a €65m facility to fund its Irish, Dutch and German operations; assisting Johnson Service Group with the increase and amendments to its existing banking facilities in connection with the acquisition of Portgrade and Chester Laundry; and assisting Betfred Group with a Β£95m refinancing to fund the purchase of more than 300 betting shops from Ladbrokes and Gala Coral. Santander Corporate Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, RBS, Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank and Hyde Park Finance are also clients. Key figures in Liverpool include β€˜outstanding’ department head Richard Capper, who advises on acquisition finance, property finance and general corporate lending; Beverley Bentley, who has expertise in project finance, real estate finance and acquisition finance; and legal director Helen Penfold. The Manchester-based team includes β€˜Proactive’ and β€˜extremely efficient’ real estate finance specialist Chris Johnston, and Alasdair Mackinnon, who joined from DWF in 2017.

Squire Patton Boggs has an β€˜outstanding’ reputation for real estate finance, as well as strong credentials in corporate lending, leveraged finance and asset based lending. The team, which attracts praise for its β€˜swift responses’, as well as its β€˜clear and concise guidance’, leverages its global office network to handle cross-border financing mandates. Highlights included advising Luceco on its pre-IPO receivables finance facilities with HSBC Invoice Finance (UK), and the refinancing of its revolving credit facilities with HSBC Bank; acting for K3 Business Technology Group on its refinancing; and assisting ECI Partners LLP with invoice financing facilities provided by HSBC Invoice Finance (UK) to part-finance the acquisition of MPM Products. Bank Leumi (UK), Close Invoice Finance, Findel, Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund and PNC Business Credit are also clients. Claire Shepherd is β€˜very knowledgeable, and has a very calm and considered approach to negotiation’; she leads a team that includes real estate finance specialist Debra Cooper, who is β€˜always responsive’ and β€˜a tireless worker who is very good at driving deals forward and sorting out issues’, and the β€˜first-class’ Matthew Ingram, who is β€˜excellent on transactional matters’. Recently promoted director Graham Ball is also recommended.

Brabners LLP fields a β€˜first-class’ team that is β€˜quick and efficient, and is supported by a good level of common sense’. It handles a wide portfolio of banking mandates, including acquisition finance, property investment and development finance, and bridging and mezzanine finance, with particular expertise in the housing and sports sectors. Headline matters included advising Restore on the increase of syndicated facilities provided by Barclays Bank and RBS, assisting Kingsway Asset Finance with Β£16.5m of revolving credit facilities provided by the British Business Bank, and advising National Westminster Bank on Β£10.1m in facilities provided to the Perspective Financial Group. It also advised Marlowe on its Β£12.5m term loan and revolving credit facilities from Lloyds Bank. Corporate finance specialist Tony Harper heads the team in Manchester, which includes Charlotte Round, who is β€˜extremely responsive’ and has β€˜strong attention to detail’; and senior associate Russel Forward, who heads the real estate finance and restructuring team, are recommended. Andrew O’Mahony is the name to note in Liverpool.

The β€˜responsive, knowledgeable and commercial’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP delivers β€˜timely and appropriate advice’ and β€˜really knows its stuff’. It has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ for advising corporate borrower clients, and is growing its profile in bank-side corporate banking transactions. The team is also active in real estate financing, private equity transactions and US private placements, with a focus on the education and renewables sectors. Highlights included advising Sovereign Capital on the acquisition of Xendo, with facilities from European Capital; acting for PH Homes on the financing of the acquisition and development at Alderley Park; and advising HSBC Bank on a Β£6.2m multi-currency revolving credit facility agreement for UP Global Sourcing Holdings and UP Sourcing UK. Aeriance Investments, Together Money, Christies International and Nationwide Building Society are also clients. The β€˜brilliant’ Taslima Salam (who is β€˜quick to respond and very commercial’) is recommended for real estate finance and corporate banking matters. Department head Jason Wurzal, who recently relocated to the Manchester office from Leeds, handles corporate banking and acquisition finance mandates.

Gateley Plc has a strong reputation for private equity and acquisition finance, and has an extensive real estate finance practice, acting for lenders, developers and investors. It acts for a range of UK-based high street banks, and also represents a number of asset based lenders and surety houses, mezzanine lenders and debt funds. The team also advises borrower clients including blue-chip companies, owner-managed businesses, and entrepreneurs. β€˜Exceptional’ Department head Richard Sealy has β€˜an excellent reputation’ in the region for banking and finance and led advice for RBS on the provision of a term loan and revolving credit facilities to PH Alderly Park for the purchase and development of three sites across Cheshire. Senior associate Richard Cowan advised Factory (M1) on a term loan for the development of an apartment building in the centre of Manchester. Beechbrook UK SME Credit, Cityblock Group, AIB Group (UK), Maven Capital Partners UK LLP, and NM Rothschild & Sons are also clients.

The β€˜well-managed’ department at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP β€˜punches above its weight’, and is commended for its β€˜collaborative approach’, as well as β€˜the breadth of its skillset’ and its ability to deliver advice in β€˜a very practical manner’. The team acts for property developers, investors and asset managers in the real estate and development finance sector, while its structured finance offering advises borrowers on the debt funding and security aspects of corporate acquisitions. General corporate banking and restructuring matters are an additional area of strength. Highlights included acting for RBS on a Β£2.2m loan for a development in Greater London; and advising Svenska Handelsbanken on a Β£2m development loan, to be released over six months to the borrower, for the acquisition of a retail park in West Yorkshire. Aldermore Bank, Santander UK, Lloyds Banking Group, Investec Bank and Allied Irish Bank Group (UK) are also clients. Department head George Macmillan is β€˜approachable, practical and supportive’ and β€˜goes the extra mile’. Managing partner Steve Eccleston is singled out for his β€˜insightful advice’; he β€˜really sets the tone of the whole practice’. Other key figures include David Marlor, who acts for banks and other lenders on property backed lending matters; recently promoted partner Alison Kellett, who is β€˜able to get to the heart of the matter quickly and allows transactions to progress smoothly whilst protecting the interests of the client’; and associate Meave O’Neill, who is β€˜thorough and will identify issues quickly’.

Shoosmiths LLP’s β€˜very commercial’ team handles acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, and asset based lending. Highlights included advising Select Property Group on the provision of Β£23m-worth of senior debt facilities from Barclays Bank and Β£5m mezzanine facilities provided by Europa. It also acted for Crown Golf Group on Β£19.5m of term facilities and a Β£5m working capital facility with RBS as arranger and agent, secured over a large portfolio of golf clubs; and advised Allied London on Β£20m of funding to acquire London Road Fire Station property in Manchester. Truworths International, Consilia Investments, Chase Templeton, Palatine Private Equity and Foresight Group are also on the firm’s client roster. Department head Liz Sweeney is an β€˜astute lawyer who has a depth and breadth of experience which means she can offer both challenge and support in equal measure’; she β€˜marshals her team well to ensure they deliver a high standard of work to often tight timeframes’. Former in-house counsel at RBS Tim McNamara joined the team in in April 2017.

gunnercooke LLP offers β€˜experienced partner engagement’ and β€˜a high level of responsiveness’ and its expertise spans corporate banking, real estate finance, leveraged finance, asset based lending and treasury transactions. It acted for Santander UK on the provision of increased loan facilities to Ground Rents Income Fund, and advised Skipton Building Society on its general treasury requirements; including advising on the annual update of its medium term note programme, PlaceFirst, RBS, Clydesdale Bank, Secure Trust Bank, Delek Group and Leeds Building Society are also clients. Rob Fawke is singled out for his β€˜responsiveness and experience’. Georgina Tripp is also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell’s expertise spans structured finance, asset based lending, acquisition finance, real estate and development finance and private equity funding. The team acts for banks and non-bank lender clients, and also advises borrower clients. Key work included advising The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund on the provision of a new Β£8.2m mezzanine term loan facility to Rowlinson Construction; advising Deutsche Hypothekenbank on a Β£53m loan facility for the financing of an acquisition of a retail park in Swansea; and assisting Kleinwort Benson with the provision of a Β£7m term loan facility to members of the Gresham Group, secured on three UK properties. Lloyds Bank, Select Property Group, Swansway Group and Zapf Creation are also clients of the team, which is headed by Dean Gormley, who has β€˜in-depth experience’. Associate Vanessa Rickard heads the firm’s North West real estate finance practice.

Noted for its β€˜strong expertise’ in public sector funding, the team at Weightmans LLP is commended for its β€˜rapid responses’ and for its ability to put β€˜advice in simple terms’. The team is experienced in advising local councils and European structural funds on European funding into the UK. It also acts for mainstream banks and borrower clients. The team is advising North West Fund (European Structural Fund) on its funding structure, and on the impact of Brexit in relation to its European Investment Bank funding. It also advised Liverpool City Council on its Β£12m investment into Liverpool Airport, and is advising Blue Sky Corporate Finance on the proposed Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Sertec Group, Newbridge Energy, AIB Bank and Merseytravel are also on the firm’s client roster. Liverpool-based team head Patricia Grinyer is praised for her β€˜vast experience’.

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency and corporate recovery clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Addleshaw Goddard’s business support and restructuring team delivers β€˜first-class responses’ and it β€˜takes the time to develop a relationship, and understand the client’. Its expertise spans complex restructuring and insolvency cases, distressed real estate work, insolvency litigation, and distressed acquisitions. The team is also carving out a reputation in the sale and purchase of distressed legal practices. Headline matters included advising EY as administrators of the Hewden Plant Hire Group, which has involved acting on eight separate sales; assisting HLD Group with its acquisition of D.N.C. Shopfitters; acting for BDO as administrators of Coates Engineering Group; and assisting with the pre-pack acquisition of Where Are You Now? from its administrators. The β€˜commercially aware’ Ged Barnes heads the team, which includes Andy Bates and legal directors Tim Taylor, who specialises in non-contentious cases; John Duffy, who advises on distressed property cases; and Jean Boldero, who advises on the contentious aspects of corporate restructuring and insolvency. Managing associate Sarah Foster is also recommended.

The β€˜responsive’ and β€˜very able’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP delivers β€˜practical advice’, tailored to the β€˜needs of the client’, and leverages the firm’s international network of offices, giving it the strength in depth to handle a range of complex cross-border restructurings. The team is advising Duff & Phelps as administrators of BHS, BHS Group, BHS Properties, and a number of other companies in the BHS Group. It is also acting for EY in its role as administrator of Outsourcery, and is acting for PwC as administrators on the sale of the business and assets of the Wire division of Caparo Steel Products, one of sixteen trading companies within the Caparo Group. The Co-operative Bank, Deloitte, HSBC, Lloyds Bank and RBS are also clients. Restructuring team head and retail-sector expert Robert Russell is β€˜very hands-on, technically strong, and understands client strategy, deliverables and timelines’. Recently promoted partner Christopher Roberts is also recommended, as is legal director Bethan Moore. Former team head Martin Keates retired in December 2016.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is noted for its lender-side restructuring practice, as well as its corporate debt advisory and β€˜strong’ real estate restructuring expertise. The team is advising BDO as administrators of Lewis’s Liverpool LLP, the developer of the Lewis’s Building in Liverpool, on the acquisition of surrounding land to enhance the value of the site. It is also advising FRP as administrators of Kay’s, one of the UK’s oldest soap manufacturers. The Co-operative Bank, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and Svenska Handelsbanken are also clients. Department head David Gray and senior associate Sarah Duignan are β€˜very pragmatic, with a can-do, deal focused attitude’.

Rated for its β€˜strong restructuring and insolvency knowledge’, Gateley Plc’s practice handles restructuring, turnaround, acquisition and disposal work for insolvency practitioners, private equity houses, banks, invoice financiers, law firms and corporate clients. It is also noted for its track record in cross-border fraud and big-ticket insolvency litigation. The team is advising AlixPartners, as the administrators, of two pub companies which owned 150 pubs across the North of England and the Midlands; it is also advising PwC as administrators of a leading fashion accessories supplier based in England. Andrew Buchanan (β€˜very experienced and has a pragmatic approach’) leads the team, which includes legal director Gavin Clarke, and senior associates Danielle Haston and Aneesh Prasad. Stuart Tait joined the team in May 2017 from the Hong Kong office of Hogan Lovells.

The β€˜first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP operates as part of the firm’s national team and advises on contentious and non-contentious matters for banks, asset based lenders, insolvency practitioners, corporates, directors, turnaround practitioners, private equity houses, distressed investors, pension trustees and clients in the public sector. The Manchester team is particularly noted for its expertise in the pensions sector; key mandates included advising Hilco Retail Services on a consultancy agreement with Duff & Phelps, the administrators of BHS. It is also advising FRP Advisory as administrators of Dean House, a supplier of fitted kitchens and bedrooms under the Betta Living brand, and advised DM Opco on its initial acquisition of New Earth's business and assets out of administration, which involved complex bond and EA permit issues, and new facilities from The Co-operative Bank. James Cameron is β€˜a strong all-rounder; he is responsive and adopts a commercial approach’, and is noted for his experience in pensions restructurings. The team was also instructed by the board of Somerfield to advise on its disposal by the Co-operative Group to Hilco. Senior associate Louise Kappes and associate Daniella Thompson are also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs handles complex cross-border restructuring matters for accountants, clearing banks and asset based lenders. The team, which acts on local, national and international mandates, is experienced in the asset based lending market, and is also noted for pensions-related insolvency work. Headline matters included advising Outsourcery and Piers Linney on its complex restructuring, which included advising on the appointment of administrators to the group, and on the sale of real estate. The team also advised Freight Transport Association (FTA) on its acquisition of the business and assets of Tachodisc from its administrators, and advised Arc Machines on the wind-down of Arc Machines UK. The β€˜first-rate’ Susan Kelly leads the firm’s UK and European practice, and co-chairs the cross-border restructuring group. Recently promoted director Mark Prior is also recommended.

The β€˜responsive’ team at DWF advises accountants, agents, and a number of banks, and is particularly recommended for property-related instructions, as well as complex contentious work. The team advised Speedy Hire on its bid to buy the business and assets of Lloyds British Testing in administration. The Insolvency Service, Williams & Glyn Bank, Begbies Traynor Group, EY, BDO and RSM Restructuring are also clients. Also recommended are the β€˜brilliant’ Katharine Lawrenson, who has expertise in personal insolvency, Sean McGrath, who is experienced in distressed property workouts and receivership appointments, and legal director Julie Agnew. Gavin Jones joined Hill Dickinson LLP.

Turner Parkinson LLP’s β€˜professional’ and β€˜experienced’ department attracts praise for its β€˜good response times’ and expertise in contentious and non-contentious work across corporate and personal insolvency. The team handles SME-related administration proceedings, bankruptcy cases, and advises on investigating and pursuing claims in corporate and personal insolvency cases. Highlights included advising Staywell Hospitality on the administration and subsequent acquisition of an investment property and hotel from administrators of Park Regis Birmingham LLP; and advising Ideal Corporate Solutions as administrator of Imperium Enterprises, which involved the subsequent sale of assets and properties to various third parties. The β€˜exceptionally good’ Mark Lund heads the department, which includes David Higgins, who specialises in corporate and personal contentious work, primarily on behalf of insolvency practitioners; the β€˜very astute’ Will Jones, and associate Laura Lucas, who is β€˜very thorough’ and has β€˜good technical knowledge’.

The β€˜experienced’ team at Aaron & Partners LLP advises companies and individuals in financial difficulty, and acts for insolvency practitioners, debtors and creditors, and shareholders and directors of insolvent companies. It handles antecedent transaction claims, both for insolvency office holders pursuing claims and individuals who are being pursued, and advises on IVAs, particularly for solicitors. The team also has a niche specialism in advising insolvent logistics companies on operator licences. Nick Clarke heads the dispute resolution and insolvency department and is noted for his experience in contentious matters. Also singled out are the β€˜brilliant’ Mark Davies, who is β€˜excellent’ on personal insolvency matters; Simon Edwards; Jan Chillery, who acts for corporate and private individuals; and litigator John Devoy.

As part of its wide-ranging insolvency practice, Bermans’s team also works closely with the firm’s asset based lending team to advise invoice finance companies and insolvency practitioners. Highlights included acting for Begbies Traynor as administrators of Park Regis Birmingham LLP, on the sale of the hotel and in litigation against various investors. It also acted for FRP Advisory as administrators of Cumberland and Dumfriesshire Farmers Marts in litigation against various debtors. Department head Phil Farrelly handles contentious and non-contentious corporate insolvency matters and is recommended alongside Dave Gledhill and newly recruited Joanne Culley, who joined the firm as a senior associate from JMW Solicitors LLP in November 2016.

Brabners LLP’s clients single out the firm’s β€˜clear, commercial advice in complex and time-critical situations’ and its β€˜very clear understanding of clients’ needs’. The team advises insolvency practitioners on formal insolvency matters, and advises directors and other stakeholders of distressed businesses. Recent work includes advising Martin McColls on the acquisition of the business and assets and two retail units of ML Convenience (in administration). Key figures in Manchester include Robert Turner, who β€˜always provides sound legal advice in a timely manner, is able to think laterally’ and has β€˜very good commercial acumen’; and senior associate Russel Forward, who heads the real estate finance and restructuring team in Manchester. In Liverpool, Paul Lunt is noted for his contentious insolvency expertise, and Adrian Rogers handles non-contentious insolvency matters. Senior associate Nicola Whittle joined the Preston office from Stephensons Solicitors LLP in December 2016.

The β€˜fantastic’ team at Freeths LLP advises on a range of contentious and non-contentious restructuring, corporate recovery and insolvency instructions. Highlights included advising the liquidator of Cre8atsea on its opposition to an application made by a former director of Cre8atsea to rescind a winding-up order. Begbies Traynor Group, KPMG, Crawfords Accountants, BDO and SFP Restructuring are also on the team’s client roster. β€˜Outstanding’ national head of restructuring and insolvency Joey Byrne focuses on contentious matters, and is experienced in in asset recovery. Kevin Pinkerton handles contentious and non-contentious work, and has niche expertise in advising clients in the entertainment industry. Senior associate Chris Ali advises insolvency practitioners and directors on real estate matters.

The β€˜excellent’ team at Gorvins Solicitors handles a range of contentious and non-contentious corporate and personal insolvency issues, acting for insolvency practitioners, businesses and individuals, as well as banks, receivers and directors. Begbies Traynor Group, FRP Advisory and RSM Restructuring Advisory are clients of the team, which is headed by Mark Deverell, who advises businesses, principal shareholders and directors, and also acts on behalf of a number of insolvency practitioners. Also recommended are David Guest, who specialises in both corporate and personal insolvency, and consultant Paul Lupton.

Hill Dickinson LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, including corporate recovery and restructuring, and high-value, complex litigation. The team acts on a high number of cross-border matters, leveraging expertise from its international network of offices. Highlights included advising a subsidiary of DC Norris & Co on its Β£1.25m acquisition of the business and assets of BCH and Coates Engineering, and advising Lloyd and Jones Engineering on the acquisition of the business and assets of SAL Abrasive Technologies Group. Department head Paul Spence (who is noted for his combination of β€˜high levels of technical knowledge and commercial approach’ has a growing focus on shipping-related restructuring mandates, and also advises on distressed real estate matters. Senior associate Richard Palmer, and legal director Kathryn Maclennan, who specialises in personal insolvency and joined from Stephensons Solicitors LLP in August 2016, are also recommended.

Hillyer McKeown β€˜consistently delivers a fantastic service’ on personal and corporate contentious insolvency matters. Its expertise covers asset recovery, restructuring, the winding-up of corporate entities, and personal bankruptcy. The team is advising CVR Global on matters relating to a French national’s bankruptcy, and is advising Grant Thornton on breach of trust, wrongful dealing in third party assets, disputed ownership claims, wrongful payments and void dispositions related to a company believed to have fraudulently dealt with trust monies. Other clients include KPMG, PCR, Finn Associates (Business Care), Leonard Curtis and Begbies Traynor. Team head Paul Marsh attracts praise for his β€˜technical knowledge, especially personal bankruptcy combined with his commercial and practical nous’. β€˜Excellent’ senior associate Jennifer Lockhart is β€˜one to watch for the future’.

The β€˜client-friendly’ team at Irwin Mitchell has a β€˜straightforward approach that is very business-like’ and attracts praise for providing advice β€˜delivered with sensitivity’. It handles a range of restructuring, insolvency and turnaround advice, and is acting for the liquidators of an IT company to pursue the former directors for fraudulent trading, breach of the former directors’ duties to the company and its creditors, and various other breaches. It is also advising a property development company on the administration and receivership of various connected companies. HSBC, RSM Restructuring & Advisory, BDO, KPMG and Begbies Traynor are also clients. Team head John Vickery has a β€˜depth of experience that makes him a very good judge of tactics’; he is rated for his ability to β€˜outline the legal issues and implications clearly’. Associate solicitor Rebecca O’Callaghan is also recommended.

JMW Solicitors LLP handles administrations, voluntary and compulsory liquidations, bankruptcy, IVAs, directors’ disqualifications and HMRC liability inquiries. The team is active across the retail, leisure, legal, transport, property, care home, and recruitment sectors. Highlights included advising KPMG as administrators of SAL Abrasive Technologies Group on the sale of its business and assets, and advising Duff & Phelps as administrators of CSG Asset Management in relation to the sale of its business and assets. It also advised HCL on insolvency options following an Environment Agency prosecution, which resulted in HCL ceasing to trade. Richard Wolff specialises in corporate and personal insolvency and heads the department, which includes the β€˜experienced’ Christopher Love, senior associate Vicky Burgess, and associate Antoniya MercerABAR check , who recently joined from Bermans. Joanne Culley recently left the firm to join Bermans.

The β€˜specialist’ practice at Mills & Reeve LLP focuses on insolvency litigation, and handles a range of corporate and personal insolvency cases. It is also experienced in matters concerning the administration of insolvent estates. Griffins, Grant Thornton UK and Alix Partners are also clients. Helen Fyles heads the team, which includes sports specialist Mark Hovell, and senior associate Laura Smith, who joined from Hamlins LLP in 2016, and is experienced in high-value, cross-border insolvency litigation.

Shoosmiths LLP advises a range of clients in the finance sector, including banks, building societies, asset based lenders, peer-to-peer lenders and private equity providers, on strategy, security reviews, enhancements, business sales, insolvency procedures and litigation. The team continues to act for Duff & Phelps as liquidators of national shoe retailer Barratts, and advised BDO as liquidators of D & D Wines International, which involved a claim in the Supreme Court. It is also advising Investec and its appointed receivers Duff & Phelps on the disposal of a department store in Sunderland, and is advising West Bromwich Commercial Finance on the receivership of a shopping centre. Restructuring and insolvency team head Sarah Teal β€˜takes a commercial approach’ and is β€˜very quick to respond’.

TLT is particularly active in mid-market restructuring and insolvency matters, and is noted for its expertise in lender-led restructuring work. It acted for FRP Advisory, as the administrators, on the disposal of a Β£20m-turnover food manufacturing business; and is advising Deloitte as administrators to companies that own and operate eight care homes trading under the Lifeline Nursing Services and Sycamore Care brands. Alastair Lomax is β€˜first-rate’ and is particularly experienced in pensions restructurings; she also has a growing reputation for matters in the private healthcare sector. Martin March acts for banks, asset based lenders and insolvency practitioners on all aspects of non-contentious insolvency matters, and also advises company directors on turnaround solutions. Andy Bell handles real estate insolvency matters.

Clients of DTM Legal LLP praise the firm’s β€˜excellent service’. It advises office holders, businesses and individuals on a range of insolvency-related instructions. In Chester, β€˜very experienced’ team head Richard Thomas is advising eight creditor clients the appointment of a fixed charge receiver over a Β£1.4m agricultural property, and is also representing four directors in disqualification proceedings relating to allegations of misfeasance and wrongful trading. In Liverpool, the β€˜very astute’ Kate Roberts is advising liquidator Opus Restructuring on the recovery of unpaid share capital, and is also acting for administrators Kreston Reeves on a number of antecedent transactions.

Based across its Manchester, Preston and Blackburn offices, the team at Farleys Solicitors LLP acts on behalf of administrators, receivers, liquidators and insolvency practitioners, and also advises on turnaround strategies for businesses in financial difficulties. Team head Ian Liddle is β€˜brilliant’ and β€˜highly recommended for transactional work’.

The β€˜outstanding’ team at Nexus Solicitors Limited handles all aspects of corporate rescue and insolvencies for insolvency practitioners, turnaround professionals, banks, corporate entities, and individual creditors. It continues to advise Blue Gate Capital on the failure and liquidation of the Connaught Investment Fund Series 1. Team head Andrew Tonge β€˜rolls his sleeves up and fights every inch for his clients’ and is β€˜a highly effective and clever litigator, who looks at every angle and has a knack for finding the best one’.

Pannone Corporate LLP handles a range of corporate recovery matters, from liquidations, CVAs, administrations and pre-pack sales to general restructuring matters, creditor services work, compulsory liquidation cases, and personal insolvency. It is also noted for its local government expertise, and advises on non-domestic rates and council tax recovery. Duff & Phelps, Leonard Curtis, Grant Thornton UK, Manchester City Council and Beever & Struthers are clients. The β€˜very experienced’ Dermot Preston heads the department, which includes senior associate Daniel Clarke, is particularly noted for contentious and personal insolvency matters.

SAS Daniels LLP handles contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency work, including asset recovery, pre-appointment administration matters, and sales of assets and businesses of insolvent compaies. Begbies Traynor, KPMG, Mazars, Beesley Corporate Solutions and DMC Corporate Recovery are clients. The β€˜pragmatic’ Paul Formby heads the corporate recovery and insolvency team, which includes associate Hannah Leese, and dispute resolution head Chris MacCafferty.

Taylors has a β€˜strong regional practice’ that provides β€˜technical and accurate advice on a timely basis’ and attracts praise for its β€˜personal service’. It handles a range of corporate and business restructurings, distressed M&A, company rescue, refinancings, debt restructuring, and formal insolvency matters, with an emphasis on SME-related mandates. Clients include asset based lenders, invoice finance providers, distressed debt providers, and business rescue funds. The team is also recommended for its contentious expertise. It is advising the BDO as administrators of the Leyton Health Care Group in connection with the disposal of nine nursing homes, and is advising RSM Restructuring Advisory as administrators of Central Catering Services. Andrew Livesey heads the team, which include James Haigh, who is β€˜knowledgeable, quick to respond’ and β€˜commercially minded’, and Grahame Love. Peter Crewe recently joined gunnercooke LLP.

Berg fields a β€˜strong team of commercial experts’ that acts for insolvency practitioners, companies and individuals in resolving complex banking and finance disputes, in addition to handling restructuring and refinance matters, often with an international element. It also advises on individual director disqualifications, IVAs and bankruptcies. Highlights included acting for international insolvency practitioners on the placing of a Β£54m company into administration, and assisting Mulberry Property (Hawks Road) with the prevention of the appointment of a fixed charge receiver over a commercial property. Chris McDuff recently joined from BCIA Recovery and Turnaround and heads the practice, which includes solicitor Edward Saidu, who β€˜offers clear, concise and jargon-free advice and always strives to go the extra mile for his clients’; β€˜his approachability is a breath of fresh air, as is his analytical mind and sound legal judgement’.

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