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

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP’s insolvency and corporate recovery work spans a number of sectors, such as construction, energy, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and professional services. The team is led by Andrew Eaton, who has extensive expertise in the retail industry, where he assists clients with distressed situations. Real estate sector expert James Sutherland has developed a niche in handling contentious insolvency matters. Also notable is that the team has extensive expertise in the interplay between insolvency and pensions law; it advises trustees on issues concerning the protection of the pension assets of an insolvent company. Although the firm generates the majority of its work from the London market, the firm is increasingly sought out in cross-border matters, with it benefiting from excellent relationships with law firms worldwide. Senior associate Emily Scaife specialises in non-contentious transactions. Patrick Cook retired from private practice.

Practice head(s):Andrew Eaton

Other key lawyers:James Sutherland; Emily Scaife

Testimonials

The team is relatively small but filled with people with exceptional knowledge of the sector

The team is knowledgeable and sensitive to clients’ needs

The team mobilises quickly while it also remains pleasant and easy to deal with

Andrew Eaton handles a transaction like no one else

Andrew Eaton delivers spot-on advice in a timely manner

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank

FRP Advisory

AlixPartners Services UK LLP

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Embark Group

HSBC Bank

Muzinich & Co

Work highlights

  • Advised the administrators, AlixPartners Services UK LLP,  on the collapse of the Zinc Group, as well as on successfully responding to a claim by shareholders seeking to remove the administrators from office.
  • Acting on an expedited application for directions made by the special administrators of MF Global UK regarding implementation of a company voluntary arrangement.
  • Acted for Embark Group on its acquisition of the business and assets of Liberty Sipp in a distressed sale and its merger with group company EBS Pensions.
  • Advising two Muzinich funds on multiple claims arising from their investment in the Securus Group, which entered into administration in 2016.
  • Acting for FRP Advisory on the administration of Ikon Construction.

The team at Foot Anstey has a first-rate reputation in corporate rescues, restructures, turnarounds and insolvencies (including formal and non-formal procedures). The group's work spans sectors such as energy, infrastructure, retail and charities, among others. Clients include banks, creditors, turnaround specialists, distressed equity investors and stakeholders. The 'excellent' Joanne Rumley regularly advises boards of directors on handling financial distress in the context of directors' duties and managing insolvency risk. Legal director Tim Pritchard, who joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, has particular experience of the special administration process applicable to investment banks. Managing associate Brett Eeles focuses on insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):Joanne Rumley

Other key lawyers:Tim Pritchard; Brett Eeles

Testimonials

'A very solid team'

Key Clients

FRP Advisory

The Towcester Racecourse Company

Kingston Smith

Smith & Williamson

Work highlights

  • Advising FRP Advisory on the administration of Misco; recent work included an extensive security review across the Misco Group, as well as drafting and negotiating key settlement agreements.
  • Acting for the joint administrators of the Lifetime SIPP Company, an FCA-regulated SIPP provider.
  • Advised The Towcester Racecourse Company on the restructuring of its funding and capital structure.
  • Advising the joint special administrators of Strand Capital, an investment bank, on their appointment.

Michelmores LLP's team has a wealth of experience handling a full range of financially distressed situations, including debt restructuring and individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), transactional matters, recovery work and personal insolvency. The team is also highly capable in complex contentious asset investigations. Clients include insolvency practitioners and directors, companies and other stakeholders. Charles Maunder has significant experience of financial restructurings, while Sacha Pickering and Karen Williams handle all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency work.

Practice head(s):Charles Maunder

Other key lawyers:Sacha Pickering; Karen Williams 

Key Clients

York Global Finance

Wilkins Kennedy

FRP Advisory

Devon Commercial Property

Richard J Smith & Co

RSM UK

Moore Stephens

Work highlights

  • Acted for York Global Finance (a significant creditor) in the Lehmans' administration.
  • Advising the trustees in a bankruptcy matter dealing with the £20m estate of the former director of Rangers FC, Craig Whyte.
  • Acting for the administrators of the Terrace, a well-known restaurant and bar in Exeter.
  • Advising Devon Commercial Property on a £10m claim against former LPA receivers.
  • Acting for the liquidator on a potential cross-border case claiming over £20m from an insolvent firm of solicitors.

Osborne Clarke¬†leverages strengths across multiple disciplines to cover all aspects of¬†high-profile and complex debt restructurings and insolvencies. It acts for a wide range of clients, including distressed companies, banks, directors, lenders, creditors, insolvency office holders and practitioners. The firm particularly stands out in matters connected with sectors such as financial services, energy and utilities, and digital business. In addition, it features prominently in matters involving areas such as retail, sports and public infrastructure. ‚ÄėCalm and experienced‚Äô practice head Nigel Boobier¬†has extensive experience of complex restructurings and insolvency matters involving cross-border issues. ‚ÄėHighly pragmatic‚Äô legal director¬†Claire Bundy¬†undertakes both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work.

Practice head(s):Nigel Boobier

Other key lawyers:Claire Bundy

Testimonials

'Certainly a standout team'

A team of very capable professionals which offer market-leading services to distressed businesses

Nigel Boobier is very experienced and moves quickly, focusing on the key commercial points to bring a complex transaction to a successful end

Key Clients

Barclays

KPMG

FRP Advisory

Deloitte

BDO

Pension Protection Fund

Alder King

Grant Thornton

Rcapital

Allsop LLP

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Pension Protection Fund to advise on the pension fund trustee security and the appointment of fixed charge receivers over the property portfolio owned by Countrywide Farmers.
  • Advising FRP Advisory on the restructuring of Protec Group, a large business with a French parent.
  • Acted for KPMG as administrators of Saltrock Surfwear.
  • Advising joint administrators rant Thornton in respect of eight companies within the Cuddy Group, which entered administration.
  • Acted for the lender and administrators on the pre-packaged sale of trampoline park operator, Freedog Limited.

TLT houses a sizeable banking and restructuring team, which advises clients on matters such as debt portfolio acquisitions, loan portfolio transactions arising out of bank deleveraging and company voluntary arrangements. Clients of the firm include financial institutions, funds and private equity houses. The team has particular expertise in the renewables sector; in 2018, it handled multiple restructurings in this area. Elsewhere, the 'wise and competent' Peter Carney has developed a niche in agricultural insolvencies. Beyond domestic work, the team is increasingly involved in cross-border matters, primarily due to the amount of mandates coming through its Indian banking clients. Practice head James Forsyth is 'realistic, experienced and pragmatic'.

Practice head(s):James Forsyth

Other key lawyers:Peter Carney

Testimonials

'The team responds quickly and nothing ever seems to be too challenging'

'The client feels that the solicitor knows and understands their needs and this remains so until the conclusion of the case'

'Exceptional knowledge of the sector as well as commercial problem-solving ability - both of which come at a reasonable price'

'James Forsyth a good contact to have in times of crisis'

Key Clients

FRP Advisory LLP

BDO

CBRE UK

Grant Thornton

The Insolvency Service

KPMG

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Smith & Williamson

Wolf Minerals

Work highlights

  • Acting for the official receiver as liquidator of Wolf Minerals (UK).
  • Acting for a consortium of 13 Indian banks in relation to the registration of an Indian judgment against Dr. Vijay Mallya.
  • Acting for the official receiver in his role as liquidator of 14 companies wound up in the public interest following a prosecution brought by the Financial Conduct Authority against its main director.
  • Acting for the administrators of My Local.
  • Acted for CVR as administrators of Off Grid Power, a company involved in generating power from a biomass plant in the South West.

Ashfords LLP's practice is equally strong in both corporate and personal insolvency mandates. It is particularly highly regarded for investigative/asset tracing work and cross-border insolvency matters. The department also stands out for its regulatory offering and, more particularly, for its niche in advising large law firms experiencing financial distress. The varied client base includes insolvency practitioners, secured and unsecured lenders, corporates, directors, shareholders, debtors and their families. Department head David Pomeroy has extensive expertise in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency. Alan Bennett is experienced in advising debtors exposed by personal guarantees now owned by so-called 'vulture funds'.

Practice head(s):David Pomeroy

Other key lawyers:Alan Bennett

Testimonials

The practice is unique, because it offers a City-quality solutions to clients in the South West

David Pomeroy has great all-round experience and deep knowledge of the personal insolvency market

Alan Bennett is very good during difficult negotiations and great at tackling highly technical insolvency issues

Key Clients

Albert Goodman

Bishop Fleming

PKF Francis Clark

Quantuma

Grant Thornton UK

Kingston Smith

Kirks

Lameys

Mazars

Smith & Williamson

Work highlights

  • Advising an administrator on a claim against the director's deceased estate for a substantial outstanding Director's Loan Account.
  • Advising a creditor on an application made to set aside statutory demand.
  • Advising an Estonian creditor on modifications to an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) proposed by a Lithuanian debtor.
  • Advised directors of Hamilton Grays (Devon) Limited on pre-pack sale of business and subsequently acted for the administrator.
  • Advised a liquidator on a dispute regarding invoices as well as negotiated a settlement.

Clarke Willmott LLP¬†provides non-contentious advice to clients facing the risk of insolvency, and also provides ongoing assistance with managing the formal insolvency process. The team's recent highlights included handling multiple complex claims against directors for allowing specific creditors to be targeted for non-payment, and for causing companies to enter into employee benefit trusts (EBTs). Clients include insolvency practitioners, official receivers, government bodies, creditors and debtors. The core seven-strong restructuring and insolvency team works closely with practitioners in the firm‚Äôs property, property litigation, corporate and employment departments. Martin Askew, who is ‚Äėa good person to have on your side‚Äô, handles complex insolvency litigation and misfeasance-related claims. Ken MacLennan¬†is ‚Äėthe standout lawyer for non-contentious insolvency work‚Äô, according to one client.

Practice head(s):Martin Askew; Ken MacLennan

Testimonials

A highly innovative team

The partners’ skillsets complement each other perfectly

Key Clients

Begbies Traynor

CVR Global

Grant Thornton UK

Kingston Smith & Partners

KPMG

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Mazars

Menzies

Quantuma

Smith & Williamson

The Insolvency Service

Wilkins Kennedy

WSM Marks Bloom

Work highlights

  • Acting for Grant Thornton UK in a case concerning a director's duties.
  • Acted for the liquidator of a company who was pursuing  fraudulent trading claims against the director for trading the company in a manner contrary to the public interest.
  • Acting for the joint trustees in bankruptcy on matters regarding the bankruptcy of a deceased individual who had assets in the UK and overseas.
  • Acting for the liquidator of a company in respect of potential routes of recovery of money transferred via an employee benefit trust.
  • Acting for the joint administrators of one of UK’s leading resellers of site surveying, water detection and visioning systems.

At VWV,¬†insolvency litigation¬†is a cornerstone of the practice, with the team acting both for and against office holders.¬†Other work includes advising a number of energy suppliers on supply chain insolvency issues, as well as handling restructurings in the charity and education sector.¬†The team is led by the ‚Äėcalm but firm‚Äô Ed Husband, who has specialised in insolvency and restructuring work for 20 years. Associate Kelly Johnson¬†is ‚Äėdiligent and attentive to detail‚Äô.

Practice head(s):Ed Husband

Other key lawyers:Kelly Johnson

Testimonials

The team is always capable of dealing with anything we throw at them, grasping the fundamental problems and providing practical solutions and support

Extremely approachable and professional at all times

While the team is deservedly considered one of the leading firms in the South West for insolvency and restructuring work, but it also has a distinct national presence

Both friendly, approachable and highly determined to bring clients the right result, Ed Husband and Kelly Johnson make a brilliant team that provides excellent advice and support

Key Clients

Begbies Traynor

Smith & Williamson

Mazars

RSM

KPMG

Bibby

EDF Energy

Grant Thornton

Moore Stephens

CVR Global

Work highlights

  • Acted for the liquidators of Officeservce Technologies (OTL) and Officeserve Direct (ODL) on successfully concluding claims against the directors of ODL and OTL for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and misfeasance.
  • Advised the administrators of Humberts on all matters relating to the administration of a high-profile estate agents, headquartered in Berkeley Square in Mayfair.
  • Advised the trustees on multiple claims arising from the bankruptcy of a partner of a former law partnership.
  • Assisted the directors and proposed administrators on all aspects of Resourceful Earth's administration, a company which operated a waste-to-energy facility.
  • Advising the administrators of Blackdown Hills Enterprises on the administration of the company which operated a commercial poultry farm.

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises on high-value contentious and non-contentious matters at regional and international level. The team has a strong capability advising both large accountancy firms and smaller regional practices on a full scope of issues, such as insolvency appointments, asset advice and company disposals. Other clients include directors, interim managers and turnaround practitioners. Giles Hindle, who heads up the department, has extensive corporate recovery experience. Kevin Hawthorn focuses on personal insolvency and insolvency-related pensions and security issues.

Practice head(s):Giles Hindle

Other key lawyers:Kevin Hawthorn

Thrings LLP's varied client base includes shareholders, pension funds trustees and creditors/debtors. Its team also acts for insolvency practitioners and purchasers in the context of transactions for the sale or purchase of distressed businesses or their assets. Elsewhere, the group particularly stands out for its advice to directors on conduct-related issues, as well as the challenges raised by insolvency. Mark Cullingford is the head of the practice.

Practice head(s):Mark Cullingford

Key Clients

Bibby Factors Bristol

Moorfields Advisory

Begbies Traynor

Kingston Smith

Leonard Curtis

Smith & Williamson

Deloitte UK

Mazars

Grant Thornton UK

PwC UK

Work highlights

  • Advising directors of a property management company on claims that employee benefit trusts established under professional guidance were voidable or established by directors in breach of duty.
  • Advising lenders on a proposed restructuring of an insolvent company.
  • Advised a director on prosecution matters, following the client's disqualification as a director.
  • Advised the management of a leisure centre operator on disputed stakeholder interests and restructuring.
  • Advised creditors of a company on disputed debt claims asserting personal liability of directors.

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