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  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
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Who Represents Who

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Pinsent Masons LLP is 'a preferred partner' for advice on a wide range of matters among banks and other financial institutions, corporates, directors,  accountants, and real estate and opportunity funds. Department head Claire Massie has more than 20 years of restructuring and insolvency experience, which spans sectors such as financial services, oil and gas, care, travel, leisure and renewable energy, among others. In 2017, Massie's work included acting for BDO LLP in the high-profile insolvency of Ness (Clothing) Limited, and separately, advising First Trust Bank and Deloitte LLP on the administration of Silentpride Limited.  Stacey Bairner and senior associate Jennifer McCormick are particularly knowledgeable about the trading and restructuring of distressed debt. Bairner, in particular, has been instrumental in the growth of the non-performing loan and non-bank lender restructuring practice. The team also has expertise in the acquisition and disposal of distressed businesses, and is also sought-after to advise on cross-border restructurings, among other matters. Ainslie Benzie and Natalie Colaluca are highly regarded senior associates. Michael Thomson departed for Burness Paull LLP.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's 'strength across the partner base exceeds that of many other firms', and its heavyweight team is led by Yvonne Brady, who 'sets the benchmark for the level of support an adviser can provide'. In addition to Brady, the other highly rated partners in the core restructuring and insolvency team are Fiona McKerrell, Gillian Carty and Hamish Patrick. The group provides advice on a comprehensive range of matters, such as loan portfolio acquisitions and disposals, turnarounds and workouts, administrations and liquidations, and contentious insolvency situations. Real estate partner John Gallacher is knowledgeable about the property-related aspects of insolvencies.  Allana Sweeney and Andrew Scott are notable senior associates in the team. In 2017, Brady, Gallacher and Sweeney acted for FRP Advisory LLP in the pre-pack disposal of Pagan Osborne Limited's business to Thorntons Law LLP. A team led by Patrick advised the holders of US private placement bonds on the Scottish schemes of arrangement relating to Premier Oil Plc and Premier Oil UK Limited. Another highlight involved assisting KPMG LLP with the administration of Arran Aromatics (now known as AAL Realisations Limited).

Addleshaw Goddard fields 'an impressive level of resource' in Scotland. Led by Jamie McIntosh, who 'offers wise counsel in difficult and complex situations', the group provides 'authoritative and expert support' on management and bank-led turnarounds and corporate restructurings, distressed real estate, debt portfolio transactions, and various other matters. The firm has built upon its merger with HBJ Gateley in 2017 by hiring associate Craig Falconer to its Aberdeen office, and also by winning work from clients such as HSBC, Sainsburys Bank and Close Brothers. McIntosh and Lynsey Walker represented Clipper Holdings in the high-profile case of Shear v Clipper Holdings; the matter concerned whether or not the client had title to enforce a security, following assignation of the security (as part of a portfolio transfer) from Allied Irish Bank. In another notable matter, Tim Cooper and managing associate Jamie Nellany are acting for Moorfields Advisory Limited as the administrators of three Jersey-registered SPV shopping centre companies. A separate team led by Spiers is advising the same client on the administration of the AWG group of companies. Cerberus, Bibby Financial Services and Carval Investors are among other clients. Addi Spiers is 'well-liked and well-respected by clients, particularly banks and acquirers of debt portfolios'.

Brodies LLP is 'one of the most capable firms in the Scottish insolvency field', and its team has 'broad experience and deep knowledge'. Practice head Rachel Grant 'identifies the relevant issues quickly'. Peter Kelly, managing associate Shirley Li-Ting (who joined from Gilson Gray in 2017, and is dual-qualified in English and Scottish law) and consultant Colin McIntosh are among other notable individuals. The group provides the full spectrum of advice on contentious and non-contentious matters pertaining to corporate restructurings and insolvencies, as well as personal insolvencies. Grant, McIntosh and associate Lucy McCann are acting for the liquidators of RFC 2012 Plc in a high-profile liquidation. In another matter a cross-practice team recently assisted Burntisland Fabrications Limited with negotiating a rescue package with the Scottish government to avoid a formal insolvency. Associate Louise Laing has experience of advising banks and other lenders on security enhancement and enforcement. Associate Amy McVey assists banks and borrowers with financial restructurings, and also advises insolvency practitioners on issues arising from formal insolvency appointments (corporate and personal).

Burness Paull LLP bolstered the restructuring and non-contentious insolvency side of its practice recently by hiring Michael Thomson from Pinsent Masons LLP. Thomson's arrival complements the existing team, which is led by Gary Moffat, and includes Alasdair Freeman. who is knowledegable about both the oil and gas industry (both the upstream and oilfield services sectors), and hotels and leisure arena. Gaenor Cassell has a first-hand knowledge of the London market, having previously worked in private practice there. Moffat's first-rate reputation in insolvency litigation has enabled him to develop a longstanding relationship with the Insolvency Service, for whom he (along with senior associate Steven Chesney) handles investigations into insolvent companies, public interest winding-up work and director disqualifications. In 2017, Moffat and Chesney assisted the client with obtaining a disqualification order against Kenny Moyes, the brother of former Everton manager David Moyes. In addition, Grant Stevenson, Moffat and others acted for Endless LLP in its acquisition from administration the business and assets of Arran Aromatics.

CMS' practice is headed up by Sian Aitken, who sits on the Accountant in Bankruptcy's Corporate Insolvency Working Group (in relation to the new Scottish Insolvency Rules), R3's Scottish Technical Committee and the Turnaround Management Association Scotland Board. Aitken is supported by senior associate Jennifer Antonelli. The dedicated restructuring and insolvency practice is also supported by practitioners active in ancillary areas, such as real estate, litigation and employment. The firm handles the entire ambit of corporate recovery, restructuring and insolvency matters for clients from sectors such as oil and gas, financial services, hotels and leisure, and aviation.  Aitken and Antonelli recently acted for aircraft lessors Air Lease Corporation and ELF Group, who were directly impacted by the administration of Monarch Airlines. In 2017, they were also part of a cross-practice team, which advised Mercer & Hole on the administration of Inside Biometrics, and also the subsequent sale of the business to Gluco Rx. The firm also recently acted for clients such as Nexen, BT and EDF Renewables.

On the domestic front, restructuring and insolvency boutique BBM Solicitors has a particularly strong track record of advising insolvency practitioners on corporate and property disposals, informal restructurings and workouts, and contentious insolvency matters. The firm also provides assistance with formal appointments in relation to administrations, liquidations and sequestrations. In addition to handling Scotland-centred matters across a range of sectors (with a particular strength in the oil and gas supply chain sector), it is also extremely active in cross-border matters; practice head Eric Baijal, who is 'rapidly becoming the go-to insolvency lawyer in Scotland', is well-known for advising foreign lawyers and office-holders on Scottish insolvency law issues. Baijal works with solicitor advocate Sheana Campbell, who is 'commercially and technically sound', and often advises English insolvency practitioners on the differences between English and Scottish insolvency law. Jennifer Simpson heads up the non-contentious restructuring practice. Active clients of the firm include Campbell Dallas, FRP Advisory LLP, French Duncan and RSM. 'The quality of advice and service is at a level one would expect from a much larger firm'.

Harper Macleod LLP has strong relationships with banks and insolvency practitioners; clients include BDO, KPMG, Campbell Dallas, Lloyds Banking Group Business Support Unit and Allied Irish Bank Financial Solutions Group. The firm also generates a significant amount of referral work from other firms based outside Scotland. In addition to advising clients on corporate insolvency issues,James Lloyd leads the personal insolvency side of the practice, where he has particular expertise in contentious matters. Practice head Gordon Hollerin acted for RSM in the administration of specialist sports turf contractor Souters Sports Limited, and was also the lead adviser to KPMG on the administration and sale of Sercon Support Services Limited. On the contentious side, Hollerin and others are representing Steven Shear as the pursuer in a high-profile case against Clipper Holdings, which concerns the effectiveness under Scottish law of block assignations of securities as part of a loan book portfolio sale. Lloyd and Hollerin together have more than 50 years of experience of the Scottish insolvency market. Andrew Hunter and solicitor Amber Le Main are among other key figures.

As a full-service firm, Morton Fraser is well-positioned to handle all types of complex contentious and non-contentious issues arising at every stage of insolvencies (personal and corporate) and restructurings. The practice was significantly strengthened in March 2018, when Alan Meek joined the firm from MacRoberts LLP. Meek has a wealth of experience of high-profile Scottish insolvencies, where he has acted for clients such as insolvency practitioners and banks. The firm also acts for directors, unsecured creditors and businesses, among other stakeholders. Iain Young leads a multidisciplinary team, whose insolvency law knowledge is complemented by its expertise in related areas, such as banking, litigation, commercial property, employment and financial crime. The practice excels in cross-border matters - Young and Nicola Ross are co-leading a cross-practice team, which is advising French Duncan on the liquidation of the BVI-registered company Scotsman (Edinburgh) Company Limited (which has a Jersey-registered parent company), which previously owned the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh (but which was sold by the liquidator to the G1 Group); the matter recently involved an attempt by the parent company to undo the liquidation, and then an attempt to obtain injunctive relief to prevent the hotel from being sold. Richard McMeeken and Andrew Meakin are acting for BDO LLP in the administration of Granite City Assets Limited. McMeeken's other recent work included acting for an insolvency practitioner in several HMRC-instigated liquidations.

Anderson Strathern's team is 'quick to respond' and demonstrates 'comprehensive knowledge and understanding of legislation', as well as 'a pragmatic approach' to a wide range of matters. Practice head Katrina Lumsdaine, associate Scott Flannigan and others are assisting Johnston Carmichael with handling the high-profile administration of Scottish cybersecurity firm Payfront Limited. Lumsdaine is also leading the firm's advice to RSM on the administration of Pihl UK Limited. Contentious insolvency matters are a core area of strength for the group; Lumsdaine and Flannigan recently defended an insolvency practitioner against an action brought in the Glasgow Sheriff Court over the client's alleged breach of duty in connection with his performance as Trustee in Sequestration. Associate Seonaid Sandham also undertakes contentious insolvency work.  Elsewhere, Lumsdaine's team assists clients with distressed conveyancing sales. and acquisitions and disposals of distressed businesses. Gillian Anderson assists funders with dealing with distressed assets and borrowers.

Blackadders LLP 'understands the field and gives good quality advice' on insolvency litigation, administrations, sequestrations, liquidations, CVAs and restructurings. Practice head Ryan Mckay, who is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and R3, acts for liquidators, administrators and trustees, as well as company directors.  Stephanie Carr, who is an accredited insolvency specialist, is particularly knowledgeable about personal insolvency law.

BTO Solicitors LLP's outstanding reputation in dispute resolution makes it a particularly strong choice for insolvency litigation, which includes cases involving allegations of misfeasance by company directors, personal liability and disqualification proceedings. Robin Macpherson and James Reekie acted for the liquidator of Denmore Investments in an appeal at the Sheriff Appeal Court, which related to the liquidator seeking to reduce a guarantee granted by the liquidated company on the basis that it constituted a gratuitous alienation under section 242 of the Insolvency Act 1986. On the non-contentious side, Alastair Dunn is experienced in insolvency-related corporate restructurings, while Andrew Sleigh (an accredited specialist in insolvency) has expertise in M&A transactions. Kirsteen Maclean, who acts for insolvency practitioners in personal and corporate insolvencies, holds the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (Scotland) qualification from the Insolvency Practitioners' Association. Grant Hunter is another name to note. Dorothy Hatfield and Dunn jointly head up the practice.

Gilson Gray's team head is solicitor advocate Steven Jansch, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an insolvency law specialist. Jansch works with members of the debt recovery, real estate and commercial litigation teams to assist clients with commercial litigation arising from insolvency-related events, the realisation of distressed real estate assets, restructurings, administrations and liquidations. Craig Darling has more than 20 years of experience of business restructuring and recoveries.  Murray Stewart and senior associate Keith Anderson are other key individuals in the group. In 2017, a highlight involved defending private clients at the Court of Session against an action by the office of the Accountant in Bankruptcy, which sought to reverse the transfer of a family home to the clients on the grounds of alleged gratuitous alienation. Campbell Dallas, EY, Stirling Park and Wylie & Bissett also instruct the firm.

Ledingham Chalmers LLP has a varied practice, which covers insolvency litigation, administrations and liquidations, and debt recovery, among various other matters. Experienced litigator Tim Thomas leads the team, which has a particular focus on acting for insolvency practitioners covering the North East of Scotland, Inverness and the wider Highlands and Islands region. It also generates mandates from other clients, including creditors, commercial landlord and company directors. Senior associate Rebecca Walker, who is experienced in both personal and corporate insolvency law matters, holds a Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency Law from the Insolvency Practitioners' Association. In addition, Walker was recently appointed to serve on the committee of R3: The Association of Business Recovery Professionals.

Lindsays has a strong capability in personal and corporate insolvencies, with its team handling all aspects of administrations, liquidations and sequestrations. Partners Douglas Millar, Brent Haywood, Paul Harper and John Bett all have expertise in undertaking contentious insolvency matters at the Sheriff Court and Court of Session. Another notable individual is director Iain Penman, whose experience includes actions involving issues of gratuitious alienation and unfairly preferential transactions, and wrongful sequestrations, among others. The firm also provides assistance with non-contentious matters by providing day to day advice on directors' duties, debt and company restructurings, and trust deeds. It also leverages its dedicated residential property and estate agency departments to assist clients with the disposal of residential properties in insolvency cases. Clients include individual debtors and companies, directors and insolvency practitioners.

MacRoberts LLP's Leon Breakey is recommended for his insolvency litigation experience, which spans both corporate and personal insolvency. In 2017, Breakey acted for the joint liquidators of S&M Livestock Limited in a dispute with a court reporter, which had arisen from the reporter going beyond his remit, which was to report on the reasonableness of the fee sought by the clients. Ian Bowie advises insolvency practitioners (and other clients) on property-related issues arising from insolvencies. Mazars, Begbies Traynor and Campbell Dallas are among the firm's clients. Alan Meek departed for Morton Fraser.

Rod Macphail leads Shoosmiths' insolvency sector recoveries unit, which covers all stages of the debt recovery process, from pre-litigation to post-litigation and enforcement. The firm also counts on the experience of practitioners in other areas to advise on insolvency issues, particularly those in real estate and corporate. Stuart Clubb, Stuart Murray, Andrew Foyle and associate Peter McGladrigan acted for the liquidators in the winding-up of Yolo For Men Limited in 2017. In an ongoing case, Foyle and McGladrigan are representing a retail bank in a circa £100,000 claim brought by a company over money deposited into a bank account, which was allegedly held on trust for the client by a (now insolvent) customer. In addition to acting for insolvency practitioners and lenders, other clients include distressed businesses and individuals.  Real estate partner Janette Speed is another key figure.

TLT's Alan Munro is active in both corporate and personal insolvency, with a particular strength in insolvency litigation. Munro's experience has seen him previously undertake cases concerning gratuitous alienation, misfeasance and unfairly preferential transactions, among other matters. Munro and others are currently acting for a private company (which was formerly part of a global entity) in a section 212 application against two liquidators - a former liquidator and the current liquidator - over their conduct in compromising a creditor claim at a time when they were acting as the joint liquidators of the company. Elsewhere, Munro advises local authorities on creditor petitions for the recovery of council tax and non-domestic rates. Another pillar of the practice is in secured property portfolio sales. Although the firm generates a particularly significant amount of work on matters connected with the construction and licensed trade sectors, it also handles mandates involving healthcare, renewable energy and financial services, among other areas.

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