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Brodies LLP’s clients value the firm’s ‘strength in depth’ and ‘full range of services’, opining that ‘it can handle any query’. The team manages all contentious and non-contentious aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, as well as corporate restructuring, representing a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including individuals, directors, insolvency practitioners, Scottish and non-Scottish banks and private equity/fund clients, companies and government departments. In 2016, the ‘very personable and responsiveColin McIntosh worked alongside associate Louise Laing to advise PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (as joint administrators of Fletcher Shipping) on what is believed to be Scotland’s first assignation of potential rights to a claim under sections 246ZA and 246ZB of the Insolvency Act. Another highlight involved acting for Blackfriars Hotel (UK) Holdings in its acquisition of the business and assets of Fontenhall (Scotland) Limited (in administration). Other notable clients include Whyte & MacKay, Ernst & Young, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Tennent Caledonian Breweries. McIntosh jointly heads the practice with Rachel Grant, who has more than 25 years’ experience of personal and corporate insolvency work and corporate recovery matters. Lucy McCann and Amy McVey are highly regarded associates, and senior solicitor Laura Borland is also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘responsive and focused on the end outcomes’, and has an outstanding reputation in high-value, complex Scottish and UK work, as well as cross-border matters. The team excels in the trading and restructuring of distressed loan portfolios, acquisitions and sales of individual distressed businesses and cross-border corporate restructurings. It also undertakes advisory work to corporates and directors. The firm’s strong offering sees it generate work from clients in a variety of sectors, particularly charities, construction, energy and financial services. Practice head Claire Massiegets to the point quickly, is client-focused and is a joy to work with’. In 2016, she and senior associate Michael Thomson acted for CPL Industries in its acquisition of Fergusson Coal out of administration via a pre-pack sale. Another highlight for the firm involved handling the restructuring of the Trinity Exploration & Production group of companies, which included a UK private placement to provide funding for the restructuring. Lone Star Funds, First Oil and KPMG are other notable clients. Stacey Bairner has played a key role in growing the firm’s non-bank lender and non-performing loan work. Ainslie Benzie, Jen Marshall and Natalie Colaluca are other key individuals at senior associate level.

At the very top end in Scotland’, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s practice covers a wide ambit of matters, such as distressed debt portfolio transactions, administrations and liquidations, workouts, and disposals of distressed commercial and residential property portfolios and strategic advice to distressed businesses. The heavyweight team includes Gillian Carty, the ‘commercial and dedicatedFiona McKerrell and Paul Hally, who are all licensed insolvency practitioners. John Gallacher is knowledgeable about property-related issues in insolvencies. Yvonne Brady, who is ‘highly respected in the Scottish market’, is ‘able to cut through complexity and manage a variety of demanding stakeholders’; ‘under her leadership of the practice, the firm is well placed to command the market by leveraging on her experience and renowned reputation’. In 2016, McKerrell, Gallacher and ‘extremely bright’ senior associate Allana Sweeney acted for Ernst and Young in the administration of Galloway Group and its subsidiary Ductmate (Europe) Limited. Wells Fargo, Deloitte and Johnston Carmichael are also clients. Hamish Patrick has been consulted by the Scottish and UK governments on changes to receivership, floating charge, charge registration and financial collateral legislation. Senior associate Andrew Scott specialises in contentious insolvency matters and associated litigation.

Addleshaw Goddard has a strong track record in complex and large-scale, high-profile restructuring and insolvency matters, where it acts for clients such as insolvency practitioners, asset-based lenders and corporates, among others. Its banking client roster is particularly impressive, with the firm acting for institutions such as Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Clydesdale Bank and Santander. Jamie McIntosh, Tim Cooper and senior associate Emma Widdowson (a recent hire from DLA Piper Scotland LLP) acted for Bank of Ireland and CBRE Limited (the latter as fixed charge receivers) in the £90m restructuring and insolvency of M&F Finance Property Unit Trust. Tim Cooper, who ‘takes great pride in his work’, was the lead adviser to KPMG in the high-profile administration of Hawick Knitwear. Aberdeen-based Addi Shamash provides ‘an excellent balance of commerciality and legal advice’; she worked with Lynsey Walker and senior associate Jamie Nellany to handle the administration and sale of Impact Trading Limited for Lloyds Commercial Finance and FRP Advisory LLP. The matter also involved challenging several transactions in the run-up to the insolvency. Joan Devine recently joined from Anderson Strathern.

Burness Paull LLP has full-service capabilities in contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters, and its diverse workload includes work as varied as large-scale loan portfolio sales, insolvency litigation and pension advice in the context of distressed situations. In Aberdeen, under the stewardship of Alasdair Freeman, its team is particularly active in oil and gas sector insolvencies and restructurings (both in the upstream and oilfield services sectors), as well as matters connected with the hotels and leisure arena, among others. In 2016, Freeman worked with members of the banking and corporate teams to advise Calgary-based Sterling Resources Limited on a recapitalisation agreement with subsidiary Sterling Resources (UK) Limited and Nordic Trustee ASA. Elsewhere, Glasgow-based Gary Moffat, senior associate Steven Chesney and others undertake a significant amount of work for The Insolvency Service, which includes carrying out investigations into insolvent companies, bringing disqualification actions against company directors and handling public interest winding up proceedings. Other clients of the practice include Norsk Gjenvinning Offshore, Amicus Finance Plc and Santander. In Edinburgh, Gaenor Cassell is able to leverage prior experience in-house at various banks into her work on loan portfolio sales.

CMS handles all aspects of corporate recovery, restructuring and insolvency for clients from a wide variety of sectors, with particular expertise in the energy and financial services industries. In addition to drawing on its core insolvency expertise, the firm’s full-service capabilities mean it is also able to advise clients on ancillary areas connected with insolvencies, such as employment and shipping law. In the oil and gas arena, Sian Aitken and Frank Fowlie jointly led a multidisciplinary team that handled First Oil’s restructuring and entry into administration (acting for First Oil prior to the administration, and then for KPMG as administrator). Another highlight involved advising the administrators of Iona Energy on a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). The firm has also recently handled insolvencies of oil and gas service companies. Greig Williamson specialises in restructuring matters, where he acts for clearing banks, corporates and equity houses. Senior associate Jennifer Antonelli is also recommended.

At BBM Solicitors, ‘the quality of people, service, breadth of knowledge and expertise enables it to compete with much larger, better-resourced firms’. Eric Baijal, who heads the practice, has ‘his finger on the pulse in relation to current developments’, has ‘comprehensive knowledge of insolvency legislation and practice’ and is ‘always available’. On domestic matters, the firm is particularly renowned for acting for insolvency practitioners, with the work including corporate and property disposals, as well as contentious work, and informal restructurings and workouts. It is also active in cross-border insolvency work, advising foreign office-holders and lawyers on Scottish insolvency law. Sheana Campbell, who made principal in 2016, is recommended for her personal insolvency expertise. Alasdair Baijal now practises as a consultant.

Harper Macleod LLP undertakes personal insolvency work, and also handles all aspects of corporate restructurings and insolvencies, including bank-led restructurings and refinances, CVAs, administrations and liquidations. Other areas of expertise include distressed M&A, distressed debt trading and non-performing loan transactions. The firm acts for a significant number of insolvency practitioners, including KPMG, BDO and Campbell Dallas. In addition, it also acts for key banking clients such as Lloyds Banking Group and Clydesdale Bank, as well as corporates. Gordon Hollerin led the advice to the Scottish Football League (as the entity being wound up) and the Scottish Professional Football League (as the new entity) on the merger between the Scottish Football League and Scottish Premier League. Hollerin is also acting for the liquidators of Glasgow 2014 Limited. James Lloyd, who heads the personal insolvency practice, and Andrew Hunter are also names to note.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team utilises its knowledge of contentious and non-contentious issues to cover all aspects of restructurings, turnarounds and insolvencies (formal and informal). Practice head Michael Hughes, whose experience in this space dates back 15 years, is ‘technically sound, highly commercial and straightforward to deal with’. Hughes was the lead adviser to BDO LLP in the winding-up of Aquamarine Power Limited, a matter which involved commercial contract reviews, employment issues and the sale of intellectual property assets. In another matter, Hughes worked with Douglas Blyth and Craig Kennedy to represent Hooley Limited and its administrators in the landmark Court of Session case Hooley Limited v The Victoria Jute Company, in which it was held that the principle of modified universalism should be recognised by Scottish law, and that foreign insolvencies are ancillary to Scottish administration proceedings. Stuart Fitzsimmons, Susan Kelly, Tim Edward and Derek McCombe are other key contacts.

MacRoberts LLP’s ‘very relationship-driven’ practice is ‘focused on getting the right result for clients’. The team acts for some of the leading insolvency practitioners in Scotland, as well as banks, asset-backed lenders and company directors. On the non-contentious side, the team handles a wide range of matters, including corporate restructurings, CVAs, administrations and liquidations. Another cornerstone of the practice is personal and corporate insolvency litigation, wherein Leon Breakey is a name to note. Ian Bowie is an expert in the property aspects of insolvencies. Alan Meek leads the practice, which acts for clients such as KPMG, WRI Associates, Alix Partners and Begbies Traynor.

A hallmark of Morton Fraser’s practice is its breadth, with its team handling the contentious and non-contentious aspects of personal or corporate insolvencies and corporate restructurings for banks, insolvency practitioners, creditors, directors and businesses. In 2016, practice head Iain Young led a team, which included recently promoted partner Nicola Ross and members of other disciplines, in the advice to creditor Leumi ABL and FRP Advisory LLP on the administration of Johnstone’s Just Desserts Limited, as well as its eventual sale to Finsbury Foods. In another matter, Young acted for a specialist purchaser and reseller of heavy machinery in its acquisition of certain assets from KPMG, the administrators of Tullis Russell Papermakers. Richard McMeeken is another key contact. A particular area of strength for the firm is in the interplay between insolvency and financial crime, where the firm’s membership of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Fraudnet is a key generator of work. Joel Conn joined Mitchells Roberton.

Anderson Strathern draws upon its strengths in areas such as commercial litigation, banking and finance, and commercial property to cover a wide range of restructuring and insolvency issues for clients. The firm is particularly active in contentious insolvency work, wherein practice head Katrina Lumsdaine, Karyn Watt, John Kerr and associate Seonaid Sandham have been representing Baker Tilly in various matters connected with the administration of Pihl UK Limited, including a dispute with Isle of Wight Council involving unjust enrichment and insolvency issues, which is related to the construction of a school on the island. The group has a strong following of government agency clients, for which it provides insolvency and restructuring advice, including HMRC and The Accountant in Bankruptcy. The firm was also recently reappointed to Lloyds Banking Group’s litigation and recoveries panels. Senior associate Claire Martin has a wealth of experience in insolvency cases involving UK, EU and other cross-border issues. Alistair Dean has expertise in construction disputes that also have insolvency issues. Gillian Anderson, Fiona Stephen and associate Lesley Fitzgerald are other key practitioners.

BTO Solicitors LLP’s team advises on personal and corporate insolvency issues for directors, banks, insolvency practitioners and funders, as well as SMEs and larger corporates, among other clients. It undertakes a significant amount of non-contentious work, including Andrew Sleigh serving as lead adviser to Hamilton Brothers (Engineering) Limited on its pre-pack acquisition of a tractor distribution business. The firm also handles corporate restructures, as well as administration, sequestration and liquidation petitions. On the contentious side, the firm fields a number of practitioners with a wealth of experience of insolvency litigation, including Dorothy Hatfield, Grant Hunter, consultant Robin Macpherson and associate Kirsteen Maclean. Cases typically involve issues such as misfeasance, wrongful trading and disqualification issues. Alastair Dunn is often called upon by former directors to provide expert opinions on corporate matters that have been challenged by insolvency practitioners.

Blackadders LLP has built up notable expertise in personal and corporate insolvency, advising on bankruptcies, corporate restructurings, CVAs, administrations, liquidations and insolvency litigation, among other matters. Recent hire Stephanie Carr, who leads the Glasgow office (having joined from Harper Macleod LLP) and practice head Ryan McKay are qualified to practise across Scotland, England and Wales, making them well placed to advise on cross-border issues. Carr passed the personal insolvency and liquidations papers of the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB), and is also an accredited insolvency specialist. In addition to providing core restructuring and insolvency advice, the practice also covers ancillary issues, such as corporate, employment, pensions and property. The team also acts for such names as KPMG and RSM Restructuring, while other clients include distressed companies (and their directors and sponsors), creditors, investors and financial advisers. Solicitor advocate Richard Godden has more than 20 years’ experience.

Noted for its pan-UK reach, DWF acts for secured and unsecured creditors, insolvency practitioners, investors and company directors, among other clients. Derek Ellery heads the practice, which draws upon the firm’s multidisciplinary strengths to cover a broad spectrum of insolvency-related issues. Its diverse workload, which spans a multitude of sectors, includes corporate restructurings and turnarounds, debt and equity restructuring, distressed business disposals and litigation, or administrations where there are multiple substantial property assets. Property finance specialist Geoff Stansfield and Damien Bechelli are names to note along with Euan McSherry, who acted for Mazars LLP in the removal and replacement of joint liquidators in 17 liquidated companies based in Scotland. Alix Partners, UK Asset Resolution, Scott Moncrieff and Baker Tilly are also clients. Chris McLauchlan joined Eversheds Sutherland.

Gilson Gray’s strengths in a wide range of disciplines enable it to provide an extensive insolvency offering. Steven Jansch, who is accredited by the WS Society in commercial litigation, and is also accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an insolvency law specialist, works with others on restructurings, insolvency appointments and insolvency litigation. Craig Darling, who heads the business restructuring and recoveries team, has experience of practising in England and Scotland, and acts for creditors, directors, liquidators and fixed charge receivers, among others. Real estate head Murray Stewart is experienced in matters such as administrations of property companies and the realisation of distressed property assets, among other areas. David Alexander’s workload includes debt recovery matters that have insolvency-related issues. In a notable highlight, a team including Darling and Alexander acted for the board of directors in the restructuring, debt recovery and insolvency of Caledonian Marts (Stirling).

Ledingham Chalmers LLP provides assistance with administrations and liquidations, insolvency-related debt recovery, asset realisation, corporate restructuring and refinancing, as well as property-related insolvency work. Practice head Tim Thomas undertakes a significant amount of work for insolvency practitioners in the North East of Scotland and further afield, and has completed the full ICAS course for the JIEB exams. Rebecca Walker recently obtained the Certificate of Competency in Insolvency from the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Jody Mitchell is also recommended.

Lindsays provides contentious and non-contentious advice to a wide range of clients, including company directors, individuals, creditors and insolvency practitioners. On the personal insolvency front, Iain Penman is particularly experienced in sequestrations, as well as matters such as trust deeds, heritable property sales, and property or asset recoveries from bankrupt parties. The firm’s corporate insolvency work includes debt and company restructurings, court appointments of insolvency practitioners in administrations and liquidations, and advice on directors’ duties and unfair preferences.

Shoosmiths’ multidisciplinary team was significantly strengthened by the recent hire of new practice head Stuart Clubb, who joined from HBJ Gateley. Clubb is a solicitor advocate with 15 years’ insolvency litigation experience. Litigators Rod Macphail and solicitor advocate Andrew Foyle are also well regarded. Foyle and associate Ben Zielinski defended a former shareholder and director of a Scottish limited company against a claim brought by its liquidators arising from an allegation of a transaction involving an undervaluation that benefited the client. The firm’s other clients include insolvency practitioners, lenders and distressed businesses. The practice is also able to leverage strengths in areas such as real estate and corporate law, as needed.

Alan Munro is the main contact at TLT, which handles various types of litigated insolvency matters, including claims involving company directors (where matters involve misfeasance allegations, the recovery of unlawful payments made from company funds) and against private individuals (where matters involve recovering debtors’ assets), among others. In 2016, Munro and others defended a former company director against a gratuitous alienation claim brought by the liquidator of the company. Another area of strength involves assisting local authorities with creditor petitions in personal insolvency cases, concerning the recovery of council tax and non-domestic rates. UK Asset Resolution and Greene King Brewing & Retailing are notable clients.

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