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Who Represents Who

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A&L Goodbody has an ‘excellent’ insolvency practice that has been particularly active in administrations and restructurings in the retail, construction and property sectors in 2016. The firm, which acts for the majority of the Big Four accountancy firms, including KPMG, Deloitte and PwC, is led by Michael Neill and includes associate Sam Corbett, who is noted for his ‘commercial and objective approach’. the team, led by Associate Ross Kane, advised Deloitte as the administrator of The Care Circle and Slemish Homes, on the sale of residential care homes owned and operated by the companies. In another key mandate, Neill is leading advice to the joint administrators of T&A Kernoghan (Holdings) on the sale of the company’s primary asset as well as litigation concerning the construction of a building in Glasgow. The firm is also advising banks including Bank of Ireland on the restructuring and sale of loans. Other clients include Cerberus Capital Management. Louise Bailey is another key partner in the team.

Construction, agri-food and property continue to be active areas for Arthur Cox Belfast’s insolvency team, which is continuing to advise insolvency practitioners and distressed companies in administrations and insolvency litigation. Practice head Kieran McGarrigle has an established reputation as an insolvency expert and has an extenstive track record of advice for the major accountancy firms, including KPMG, PwC and Ernst & Young. McGarrigle led the team advising the joint administrators of Adelie (Ireland) Limited on pre-and-post-administration matters, including challenges made by the landlord of property owned by Adelie concerning the ownership of company assets. In another high-profile matter, the firm advised the trustee in bankruptcy of Derek George Harrison on an ownership dispute concerning an Olympic gold medal winning dressage horse, which concluded in a favourable outcome for the bankruptcy estate.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s varied practice primarily acts for administrators, but also has a track record of advice to company directors and banks on a range of insolvency proceedings, including administrations, voluntary and involuntary bankruptcies, and the appointment of fixed charge receivers. In a major mandate Jeanette Donohoe, who leads the practice, is advising the joint administrators of Schivo, a Londonderry-based aerospace manufacturer and supplier to aircraft manufacturers; this is a high-stakes matter for the region due to the impact on possible redundancies if a buyer for the company is not found. Donohoe also has extensive experience in acting for funds on loan sales; she is leading the team acting for Engage Commercial in the winding up of loans acquired from AIB Bank. Other key clients for include McCambridge Duffy, which the firm is advising on its appointment as liquidator of Hassonzender Limited, owner of the world’s oldest independent department store; Keenan Corporate Finance, which the firm is advising on repossession proceedings arising from its role as trustee in bankruptcy; and Ulster Bank, which the firm is advising on the enforcement of security against a borrower company. Associate Caitriona Morgan is an experienced practitioner and has particular experience in distressed property sales.

Napier and Sons is highly regarded for its insolvency expertise and track record of advice to banks, insolvency practitioners and their respective accountancy firms, as well as individuals. 2016 saw the team advise on a range of corporate restructurings, voluntary and involuntary arrangements, personal insolvencies and cases concerning directors duties. The well-respected Maria Glover, who was appointed to partner in January 2017, has been advising the trustees in bankruptcy in a high-value personal bankruptcy in the agricultural sector, which was particularly complex as it involved the use of dawn raids. Senior partner and voluntary arrangement expert Brigid Napier is another key name. Managing partner John Gordon is best known for his experience in contentious insolvency cases and advice to high-net-worth individuals.

The insolvency team at Tughans attracts praise for its ‘pro-active and professional service’, which it provides to banks, accountancy firms, directors and insolvent companies. The team’s wide-ranging track record of advice covers the appointment of administrators, liquidation proceedings and voluntary insolvency, amongst other areas. Toby McMurray led the team advising Irish Bank Resolution Company on its successful bankruptcy petition against Peter Darragh Quinn, which involved the recovery of assets transferred to a number of jurisdictions around the world. McMurray also acted for Upstream Working Capital, and is now acting for the appointed administrator, in issues arising from the group restructuring of T&A Kernoghan, including advising the administrator on potential litigation. Other clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, KPMG and Bank of Ireland. McMurray jointly leads the practice with Fearghal O’Loan; both garner praise for being ‘attentive, capable, trustworthy and excellent to work with’.

Carson McDowell’s ‘efficient and professional’ team acts for a broad range of clients including accountancy firms (including longstanding client Grant Thornton), lenders (both traditional and alternative) and distressed companies. 2016 saw the firm act on a number high-profile administrations across the manufacturing, hotel and finance sectors. Key work included advising a working capital funder as qualifying floating charge holder, on administration proceedings brought against a Northern Ireland-registered corporate borrower. Other clients include BDO Northern Ireland and First Trust Bank. Sinead McGrath leads the team, which includes Darren Toombs, who is best known for his debt recovery expertise, and associate Graeme McKee, who is recommended for his experience in distressed property sales.

The highly-regarded insolvency team at DWF advises insolvency practitioners, fixed charge receivers and banks on proceedings across the construction and commercial and residential property sectors. Key clients include KPMG, which the firm advised as joint administrators on the administration of entertainment and leisure centre, Odyssey Pavilion in Belfast. The firm also acts for banks including First Trust Bank, Bank of Ireland and Danske Bank. Ken Rutherford is the main contact.

The insolvency team at John McKee Solicitors is well known for acting for banks in the appointment of administrators and advising administrators throughout the formal insolvency process. The firm also advises on the appointment of fixed charge receivers. The property and construction sectors, and the sale of distressed loans, continued to be a focus for the team in 2016. Avril McCammon and Alison Reid are the key partners. Associates Patrice Murphy and Jill Annett are also recommended.

Elliott Duffy Garrett has extensive experience advising administrators and banks on a range of insolvency proceedings, from liquidation to the appointment and of administrators and fixed charge receivers. Highlights for 2016 included acting for Keenan Corporate Finance on the administration of construction company David Patton & Sons; this has involved advising on the appointments of administrators and ongoing advice concerning redundancies and other insolvencies. Managing partner Michael Wilson leads the team, which includes Leo Brown and associate Ian McFarland.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP’s insolvency practice has been particularly active in the property and construction sectors, and has been advising on the appointment of administrators and fixed charge receivers, as well as liquidation processes. In a key mandate the firm acted for ASM Accountants on the administration of B Mullan & Sons (Contractors), which involved the sale of a large quarry in County Londonderry and complex litigation before the Commercial Court. Other clients include Duff & Phelps, Keenan Corporate Finance and Grant Thornton. Andrew Kerr and Simon Fleming are best known for acting on property-related insolvencies.

Mills Selig is well known for handling corporate and personal insolvency cases; clients include distressed companies, high-net-worth individuals and trustees in bankruptcy. The firm’s recent track record spans multimillion-pound liquidations, individual voluntary arrangements and corporate restructurings revolving around the construction, real estate and professional services sectors. Managing partner John Kearns leads the team and is well versed in insolvency and restructuring proceedings, in addition to being experienced with enforcement procedures. Associate Richard Craig is experienced in leading insolvency proceedings and has acted in multimillion-pound liquidations.

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