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  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
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Brodies LLP provides a full service to insolvency practitioners, funds, banks and public sector clients. Its expertise includes corporate and personal insolvencies, debt and equity restructurings, securities portfolio transactions, and insolvency litigation. Rachel Grant, who has more than 25 years’ experience, works with Colin McIntosh, who ‘truly understands the role of the insolvency practitioner’. David Whyte has retired.

Cool, calm and effective’ Gary Moffat leads the team at Burness Paull, which has a strong track record undertaking some of the most complex and high-value insolvency litigation in Scotland. Moffat and his group advise The Insolvency Service on public interest windings up, investigations into insolvent companies and directors’ disqualifications. Alasdair Freeman is recommended for oil and gas sector restructurings and insolvencies.

Pinsent Masons LLP advises a wide range of stakeholders in distressed businesses, including clearing banks, directors and distressed investors. Claire Massie and Ainslie Benzie acted for Clydesdale Bank as a secured lender to Specialist Subsea Services, and assisted KPMG with the company’s administration. In a separate matter, the pair provided restructuring advice to Fletcher Shipping. The group is also experienced in distressed loan portfolio transactions and high-value insolvency litigation.

Following its expansion in 2014, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s practice was further strengthened in 2016 through the hires of Yvonne Brady, Fiona McKerrell and John Gallacher from HBJ Gateley. Brady heads the team, which handles debt restructurings, workouts, large-scale loan portfolio transactions, litigation and formal insolvencies. Gillian Carty and Paul Hally are other names to note in the team. Notable clients include Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte.

Anderson Strathern acts for banks, insolvency practitioners and government agencies. Its work for the latter is particularly noted; HMRC and The Accountant in Bankruptcy are key clients. Katrina Lumsdaine’s team is acting for Baker Tilly in the administration of Pihl UK Ltd.

CMS handles all aspects of corporate recovery, insolvency and restructuring for major clearing banks, corporates and insolvency practitioners. The firm’s wide-ranging sector expertise includes oil and gas, renewables, hotels and leisure, and financial services. In 2015, Siân Aitken advised Wind Energy (Newfield)’s board of directors on its duties regarding the company’s insolvency and, ultimately, assisted it with the company’s liquidation. Grant Thornton, BDO, Deloitte and Finsbury Food Group are among its other clients.

HBJ Gateley undertakes restructuring and recovery work for clients such as banks, insolvency practitioners and funds. Other strengths of the practice include cross-border insolvencies and workouts following acquisitions of non-performing loans. Yvonne Brady, Fiona McKerrell and John Gallacher joined Shepherd and Wedderburn. Jamie McIntosh, who succeeded Brady as practice head, is recommended along with Tim Cooper. Recently promoted partner Addi Shamash relocated to the Aberdeen office.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team advises secured lenders on restructurings, turnarounds, debt portfolio transactions, formal insolvencies and managed exits. Other clients of the practice include insolvency practitioners, boards of directors and purchasers of distressed companies. Michael Hughes and Shirley Li-Ting acted for DNB Bank and FRP Advisory on the multi-jurisdictional administration of the X-Subsea group of companies.

Morton Fraser draws upon its strengths in areas such as real estate, litigation and corporate finance to deal with contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters. Its ‘user-friendly’ team, includes litigator Joel Conn and Iain Young, who is experienced in corporate restructurings. Richard McMeeken advises on a wide range of corporate recovery and personal insolvency issues. Begbies Traynor, RSM and Johnston Carmichael are among its clients.

Restructuring and insolvency boutique BBM Solicitors has a focus on acting for insolvency practitioners. Eric Baijal’s team handles contentious and non-contentious issues in personal and corporate insolvencies, pure restructuring work and distressed property disposals made by insolvency practitioners. Cross-border matters are a particular area of strength.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s Graeme Henry heads the team in Scotland, which undertakes complex and high-value non-contentious restructuring and formal insolvency work. The firm has a particularly strong reputation for acting for banks including HSBC, Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. A particular strength of the practice is in relation to large-scale loan portfolio transactions. Legal director Emma Widdowson relocated to Edinburgh from the Leeds office in 2015.

Harper Macleod LLP deals with contentious and non-contentious issues for banks and financial institutions, administrators, liquidators and distressed companies, among other clients. Gordon Hollerin successfully defended a petition in the Court of Session for the administrators of Playfair Investments to be replaced by alternative insolvency practitioners. The practice is particularly strong in sports-related mandates.

MacRoberts LLP’s Alan Meek provides corporate insolvency advice to insolvency practitioners, lenders and directors of distressed companies. Leon Breakey is recommended for commercial and personal insolvency disputes.

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