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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 > North West > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

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

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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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Addleshaw Goddard handles complex restructuring and insolvency cases, distressed real estate work and contentious insolvency matters, in addition to acting for corporate clients on distressed acquisition work. The team is particularly experienced in advising on  matters relating to distressed legal practices. Highlights included advising Ernst & Young as administrators of the Hewden Plant Hire Group, acting for the Viscount of Jersey in her capacity as administrator of the estates en désastre of Orb, and advising Deloitte, as administrators of Angelic Interiors, on the sale of a portfolio of 400 mixed-use properties. HLD Group, Duff & Phelps, FRP Advisory and HSBC Bank are also clients. The ‘very experienced’ Ged Barnes heads the department, which includes the 'excellent' Andy Bates, who also operates from the Leeds office. Also recommended are legal directors Tim Taylor, who handles corporate insolvencies with a non-contentious focus; John Duffy, who is a specialist distressed property lawyer; Jean Boldero, who is ‘pragmatic, solutions-focused, and willing to stand her ground in the face of a challenge’; and Sarah Foster, who handles non-contentious insolvency work.

DLA Piper UK LLP has the ‘ability to combine a technical answer with commercial awareness’. The team handles numerous cross-border restructuring mandates and it ‘works well with its counterparts in other jurisdictions to provide a joined-up service’. The team acted for Ernst & Young on the pre-packaged sale of shares in the Help-Link group of companies to Homeserve and is instructed by BDO LLP as administrators of Float Glass Industries and its parent company Wright and Offland Holdings. The Co-operative Bank, Deloitte, Duff & Phelps and Endless LLP are also clients. Department head Robert Russell offers an ‘excellent partner-led service and ensures that his advice fully meets the needs of the client’ and is noted for his retail-sector work and cross-border expertise. Christopher Roberts ‘works to reach a commercial solution that works for all parties’ and is active on non-contentious restructuring, turnaround and insolvency mandates, and heads the restructuring asset-based lending practice. Legal director Bethan Moore regularly handles major financial and debt restructurings.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team is praised for its ‘depth of knowledge’ and ‘swift and accurate advice’. Key areas of expertise include the real estate, pensions, retail, professional services, energy, infrastructure, construction and further education sectors. The practice recently acted for KPMG as administrators of Entu, a listed supplier and installer of double glazing; advised RSM in its role as administrator on the sale of certain aspects of the business and assets of Debt Free Direct and Fairpoint Group. Lloyds Bank, The Co-operative Bank, RBS, Wellesley Finance and HSBC Bank are also clients. David Gray heads the team and advises lenders, insolvency practitioners and corporate clients on all aspects of debt and equity restructuring and is active across the real estate, industrial, retail and sports sectors. Principal associate Sarah Duignan  and senior associate James Williams are also recommended.

Gateley Plc's ‘very experienced and knowledgeable’ team regularly handles contentious insolvency work including provisional liquidations, corporate fraud, and offshore litigation. The team advised Specialist Print Services as buyer in the pre-packaged sale of SPS Print Group and advised Bilta (UK) and its liquidator Grant Thornton UK in long-running litigation in which Bilta claimed that its directors, in conspiracy with others, directed most of the money due to Bilta to other parties, leaving it insolvent.  Andrew Buchanan  heads the firm's national restructuring team, which includes Stuart Tait, who  ‘not only explores the necessary legal complexities of the situation but also keeps an eye on the best likely commercial view in terms of outcome’. Also recommended are legal director Gavin Clarke, who handles a range of restructuring mandates, senior associate Danielle Haston, who is active in complex project litigation, and Aneesh Prasad (also a senior associate), who advises on distressed transactional projects.

Praised for its ‘ability to think commercially’, Pinsent Masons LLP's team regularly acts for banks, asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners, corporates, directors, private equity houses, distressed investors, pension trustees and public sector clients on a range of restructuring mandates. The education, retail, energy, construction, financial services and charity sectors are key areas of focus. The team advised the independent director of VP Realisations, which went into liquidation to trigger the Hoover Pension Scheme's entry into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). It also advised Plexus Cotton on a company voluntary arrangement, acted for SEA Equity on its acquisition of Pyroban and Pyropress from Caterpillar, and advised PwC on its appointment as interim manager over the Park Charitable Trust. Department head James Cameron ‘comes up with commercial solutions to problems’ and is noted for his pensions restructuring expertise. Senior associate Louise Taylor and associate Daniella Thompson are also key members of the team.

Squire Patton Boggs regularly acts for accountants, clearing banks, international companies and asset-based lenders on complex cross-border restructuring matters. The retail, oil and gas, real estate, chemicals, manufacturing, construction and technology sectors are key areas of focus for the practice, which also has a strong track record in pensions-related insolvency work is a mainstay of the practice. The team acted for FRP Advisory as the administrators of Must Have Ltd, which entered administration with more than $100m in secured debt due to financiers across the UK and USA, and acted for FRP Advisory as administrators of Stevens Group Ltd and Dataprocess Stevens Ltd, which involved assisting with its appointment and on the sale of the business following the collapse of its Italian parent company. Additional highlights included advising CNG on its global restructuring which included in the sale of its UK subsidiaries. Key figures include Susan Kelly, who heads the restructuring practice for UK and Europe, and director Mark Prior, who is experienced in real estate related restructuring mandates.

Freeths LLP handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency mandates, acting for a number of national and regional insolvency practitioners. The team defended one of the three directors of Main Realisations Ltd (in liquidation) on a £2m wrongful trading claim against its liquidators and represented the liquidator of GP Aviation Group International who faced a £1.7m challenge from the company directors. The team also advised the joint administrators of Mellwood Construction. Begbies Traynor, KPMG, PwC, Crawfords Accountants and BDO are clients. Litigator and asset recovery specialist Joey Byrne heads the national restructuring and insolvency practice; he is ably supported by Kevin Pinkerton, who is experienced in restructuring, corporate recovery, bankruptcy and insolvency. Director Chris Ali handles transactional restructuring and insolvency matters and is experienced in insolvency-related real estate issues. Senior associate Henry Clappison is also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP's contentious and non-contentious insolvency expertise spans corporate recovery, restructuring and high-value litigation. Property-related insolvency, pension-related insolvencies and restructurings and asset-based lender-related insolvencies are key areas strength for the department, which acted for the liquidator of Enterprise Insurance Company, Grant Thornton (Gibraltar) on the UK aspects of its appointment as liquidator, and related issues with Ozon Solicitors. It also advised Duff & Phelps on the liquidation of GCC Management, which involved concerns about investment returns promised by GCC to investors, and acted for RSM as administrator of First4Skills.  Paul Spence, who focuses on shipping-related restructuring issues and distressed real estate, leads the team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of the ‘brilliant’ Gavin Jones  from DWF. Senior associate Richard Palmer and legal director Kathryn Maclennan, who handles personal insolvency matters, are also key members of the team.

Turner Parkinson LLP  regularly handles mandates relating to the administration of SMEs, acts in bankruptcy cases, and also advises business owners on turnaround matters. The team acted for the administrators of the pet retail chain, Just For Pets, on the sale of the business and assets for £1.5m, and advised the administrators of potato processing company M & F Ltd on the sale of assets. Other highlights included acting for Linwood Raker and Maltby Forman on the £3.2m pre-pack purchase of the business of Derbyshire packaging business, Charapak Ltd, from the administrators. Team head Mark Lund has a ‘wealth of experience’ and is ably supported by David Higgins, who specialises in contentious corporate and personal insolvency work. Also recommended are Will Jones, who is experienced in non-contentious corporate insolvency and advisory work; and associates Laura Lucas, Nikesh Patel, Sebastian Lang and Mark Hague, who was recently promoted. Legal director Martin March recently joined from TLT.

The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ department Aaron & Partners LLP ‘punches above its weight’. The practice regularly handles contentious insolvency mandates and is often engaged by insolvency practitioners in relation to insolvent solicitor practices; it also handles personal insolvency work. Development Bank Wales, KPMG, Menzies, Poppleton & Appleby and RSM are clients. Key figures include personal insolvency specialist Mark Davies, who regularly acts for office holders, individuals, directors and creditors; Simon Edwards, who handles cases for office holders, defendants and creditors, and often advises on IVAs for solicitors and other professional services clients as does Jan Chillery; and dispute resolution and insolvency department head Nick Clarke, who handles complex insolvency-related litigation.

Bermans is active across personal and corporate insolvency work, and is often instructed by insolvency practitioners, lenders, landlords and other creditors, companies and directors. The team also stands out for its experience in invoice and asset finance. It advised Leonard Curtis, as administrator, on the sale of the business and assets of Harbur Construction; advised RSM as administrators of the Bolton Textiles Group; and advised IGF Invoice Finance and KPMG on the administration of TT Express Haulage. Department head Phil Farrelly is recommended for his ‘commercial acumen’ and acted for FRP Advisory in relation to the sale of Cambrian Park and Leisure Homes to Sovereign Holdings. Also recommended are Dave Gledhill, who acts for asset-based lenders in distressed situations, and senior associate Joanne Culley, who specialises in corporate and personal insolvency and is experienced in contentious transactional mandates.

Brabners LLP is regularly called on to handle complex and high-value insolvency and restructuring matters for insolvency practitioners, banks, secondary lenders and corporate clients. The team acted for Versatile International Trading on the acquisition of the business and assets of Greenwoods Menswear from its administrators and advised RSM as the joint administrators of Glide Pharmaceutical Technologies. Manchester-based team head Robert Turner handles contentious and non-contentious matters for administrators, liquidators, banks and asset-based lenders. Preston-based senior associate Nicola Whittle acts for directors and administrators in contentious and non-contentious insolvency mandates.

DWF's team is noted for its ‘pragmatic and well-thought-through’ advice, and for its expertise in administrations involving substantial property assets, in addition to complex contentious insolvency instructions. Highlights included advising NMS Projects on the acquisition of the business and assets of Qualitycourse Ltd. Barclays Bank Restructuring and Recoveries Panel, Begbies Traynor, Ernst & Young and BDO are also clients. Liverpool-based Katharine Lawrenson is the firm’s national head of personal insolvency and co-heads the restructuring team with Manchester-based director Julie Agnew, who handles a range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency work. Other key figures include senior associate Alicia Renshaw, who specialises in distressed property-related mandates, and associate Amy Crighton. Sean McGrath left the firm in January 2018.

Gorvins Solicitors’ ‘brilliant team’ is active across corporate and personal insolvency mandates and advises insolvency practitioners, businesses and individuals on contentious and non-contentious matters. Acting for directors on personal liability and disqualification proceedings is also a key focus of the team. Begbies Traynor, Auker Rhodes, FRP Advisory, Currie Young and RSM are clients. Insolvency and corporate recovery team head David Guest specialises in corporate and personal insolvency. Other key figures include dispute resolution head Mark Deverell, who specialises in winding-up proceedings, and consultant Paul Lupton, who handles corporate restructuring and insolvency matters.

Hillyer McKeown’s ‘solid and reliable team is very attentive, commercial and produces good results’. It is particularly noted for its contentious insolvency expertise and the team handles corporate and personal insolvency, and personal bankruptcy. Asset recovery is also a key area of focus. Team head Paul Marsh (‘very knowledgeable in insolvency matters and great to deal with’) continued to advise CVR Global in relation to a French national who was made bankrupt in the UK, and acted for KPMG in relation to a bankrupt individual who claimed that they were not the bankrupt but a third party unconnected with the bankrupt. The ‘brilliant’ Jennifer Lockhart, who was recently promoted to partner, advised CVR Global in relation to an individual who was made bankrupt as a result of criminal activity; she also advised Leonard Curtis on the liquidation of a law firm. PCR (London), Begbies Traynor and Harper Macleod are also clients.

Irwin Mitchell is experienced in business restructurings in the manufacturing and construction sectors and is praised for its ‘commercial approach’. Recent work includes acting for the purchasers of the business and assets of a glass processor and manufacturer through a pre-pack sale in administration, and advising the joint administrators (Mazars) of J Bryan (Victoria) on a range of matters including environmental issues and the sale of property. Team head John Vickery is ‘technically excellent’, ‘responds quickly to queries and is able to turn matters around very quickly’. Rebecca O’Callaghan recently joined Addleshaw Goddard.

JMW Solicitors LLP’s department regularly advises on administrations, the acquisition of businesses and assets out of formal insolvency processes, voluntary and compulsory liquidations, bankruptcy, IVAs, directors’ disqualifications, HMRC liability inquiries and fraud investigations. The transport, retail, leisure, legal, recruitment and manufacturing sectors are all areas of expertise. Recent work includes acting for the joint administrators of Vickers Electronics, Duff & Phelps, which involved the transfer of certain IP rights and the formal surrender of leased premises, and advising Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency as administrators of Prestige Homes on the disposal of its property portfolio. The team also advised Bennett Verby Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Services as liquidator of Charles Owen and Company (Bow) and advised the management of the Viva Brazil chain of restaurants on the purchase of several restaurant businesses out of administration. The team is led by Richard Wolff, who specialises in corporate and personal insolvency, and includes the ‘excellent’ Christopher Love and associate Antoniya Mercer.

Mills & Reeve LLP s ‘polite, prompt and professional’ team has ‘excellent legal knowledge’. The team is noted for its corporate and personal insolvency litigation expertise and also advises on directors’ and officers’ liability as well as the administration of insolvent deceased estates. Department head Helen Fyles is praised for her ‘good knowledge and client skills’; her expertise encompasses complex advisory matters, investigations and contentious insolvency cases. Laura Smith recently joined Kennedys.

The team at Shoosmiths LLP works closely with its national network of offices to act for a client base comprising insolvency practitioners, banks, asset-based lenders and other distressed lenders. The team's expertise covers a range of restructuring and insolvency mandates, and acts for Santander in relation to distressed borrowers in the hotel, leisure, retail and care home sectors. Other clients include Aldermore Invoice Finance, for which it handles issues surrounding distressed customers, and Vital Pet Products, for which it handles the restructuring and acquisition of a distressed business, including the purchase of factory premises. Beyond Funding, Factor 21, Close Invoice Finance, BDO and RSM are also on the client roster. Sarah Teal leads the team in Manchester, which includes associate Hollie Wrigley.

TLT’s ‘strong’ team ‘benefits from full UK coverage’ and has ‘vast sector-specific knowledge’. The team acts for mid-market corporates and turnaround specialists undertaking restructurings and also advises private equity funds in relation to distressed businesses. Pension-related restructuring mandates are also a key area of focus for the team. It advised Latium Management Services and Latium Capital on the purchase of the business and assets of Entu (UK). The team has particular experience in advising clients on acquisitions, disposals and restructurings in the healthcare sector and advised Deloitte as administrators of a group of companies which owned and operated eight care homes and a block of flats. Clients also include BDO, Begbies Traynor, GVA, FRP Advisory and RBS. Alastair Lomax is ‘a great project manager’, is praised for his ‘sharp commercial mind’ and his ‘knowledge and contacts within the industry make difficult cases straightforward’. Andy Bell and Patrick Sheehan are active on real estate-related restructuring matters. Martin March recently joined Turner Parkinson LLP.

DTM Legal LLP's‘impressive’ team handles a range of insolvency-related mandates for individuals, businesses and office holder clients. Chester-based team head Richard Thomas (‘on the ball and very client focused’) advised four directors pursued by the Secretary of State in relation to £4m misfeasance and antecedent transaction claims. Kate Roberts, who is based in the firm’s Liverpool office, is ‘highly experienced, knowledgeable and really fights her client’s corner’; she is advising Begbies Traynor as administrators of a company which owns an occupied property on an alleged be a sham lease. Funding Circle, Grant Thornton, Opus Business Recovery and Edge Recovery are also clients.

Kennedys regularly advises insolvency practitioners, businesses, creditors and individuals on highly complex banking and finance disputes involving restructuring and insolvency. It also handles directors’ disqualifications, IVAs and bankruptcies for high-net-worth individuals. The team advised the insolvency practitioner ahead of placing a company, with £54m annual turnover, into administration and was instructed by an international property developer in a case relating to a disputed personal guarantee. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Laura Smith from Mills & Reeve LLP; she regularly advises on contentious and transactional mandates as well as personal insolvency, and is experienced in advising on insolvent deceased estates. Senior associate Chris McDuff heads the team and is experienced in cross-border insolvencies and restructurings.

The team at Nexus Solicitors Limited ‘punches above its weight’ and handles contentious, advisory and transactional insolvency and restructuring mandates.  It continued to advise Blue Gate Capital in relation to the failure and liquidation of the Connaught Investment Fund Series 1 and on the related FCA regulatory enforcement investigation. The team also advised the board of directors of a regional newspaper in relation to the administration of the newspaper business and advised Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery as administrators following the insolvency of an architectural practice. ‘Insolvency heavyweight’ Andrew Tonge is a ‘first-rate litigator with an excellent feel for the market’ and is ‘tough but canny and gets great results for his clients’.

Pannone Corporate LLP regularly acts for insolvency practitioners on corporate recovery matters, in addition to handling compulsory liquidation and personal insolvency cases, investigatory insolvency matters and businesses recovery and restructuring mandates. The team also has experience in advising on local government matters and is advising Manchester City Council in relation to an annulment and rescission application made by a debtor in respect of council tax debt. BDO, Beever & Struthers and Cheshire West & Chester Council are also clients. Dermot Preston  heads the department and advises on corporate restructuring and insolvency mandates including refinancing, administrations, receiverships and liquidations. Director Daniel Clarke is noted for contentious insolvency cases and handles council tax and non-domestic rates recovery and insolvency work on behalf of local authorities.

SAS Daniels LLP is active across contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency matters and is experienced in advising on insolvent deceased estates. Baker Tilly, Begbies Traynor, KPMG and Mazars are clients. Paul Formby heads the insolvency and corporate recovery team, which includes senior associate Hannah Leese. Chris MacCafferty recently retired.

The team at Taylors LLP is ‘technically excellent’ and delivers ‘pragmatic and commercial legal advice’. It is focused on the SME market and handles a range of insolvency and corporate recovery mandates for insolvency practitioners, businesses, lenders and individuals. The team advised the charity trustees of Lifeline Project on restructuring options for the business. It also advised RSM as administrator regarding the assets of Central Catering Services. Andrew Livesey is ‘prepared to roll his sleeves up and deal with the nitty gritty issues; he gets to grips with the key issues very quickly and focuses on the things that matter’. ‘ery organised’ associate Stuart Beatson is also recommended.

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