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  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency and corporate recovery clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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DLA Piper UK LLP is noted for its ability to ‘keep on top of things and drive matters forward’ and for its ‘brilliant technical capabilities, commercial aptitude and excellent responsiveness’. Richard Obank and Duncan Mosley jointly lead the group from Leeds and Sheffield respectively; Obank is ‘an outstanding distressed M&A expert with great wisdom and judgment that allows him to manage the most demanding and difficult situations’ and Mosley ‘knows the market well’. Colin Ashford focuses on contentious restructuring and insolvency work, Mark Jackson is the UK head of the restructuring team and Barney Smedley handles debt restructurings. Recent highlights include advising Duff & Phelps on the administration of the BHS Group, acting for PwC in a claim brought by Premier Motor Auctions alleging wrongdoing and negligence, and assisting Miller Homes with the sale of the Homes Group to Bridgepoint and the planning for the solvent liquidation of various Miller Group companies.

Walker Morris LLP is ‘an outstanding insolvency firm in Leeds’ that ‘receives top marks across the board’ and combines ‘a strong understanding of the field with unbeatable pragmatism and a client-oriented approach’. Department head Simon Clark is ‘a brilliant problem solver and incredible intellectual’; he focuses on non-contentious corporate recovery and turnaround matters and recently acted for NorthEdge on the restructuring of Help-Link. The team also includes David Hinchliffe, who has a niche specialism in football club finance work; John Roche, who handles claims for insolvency practitioners against company directors; asset-based lending expert Duncan Lole, non-contentious-focused Michael Taylor and Gawain Moore, who regularly works on cross-border insolvencies. Senior associates Sarah MacAuley and Olivia Robinson are also names to note. Moore acted for Begbies Traynor as liquidators of Changtel Solutions and Roche assisted BHP Corporate Solutions as liquidator of Topps Rogers Financial Management. Endless, Deloitte and KPMG are also clients.

Addleshaw Goddard is ‘at the top end of the scale for quality of advice and service’ with ‘an excellent round-the-clock approach, strong business acumen, brilliant attention to detail and strong relationship management skills’. Recent work includes advising Deloitte as administrators of Transline on its accelerated pre-pack sale to Russell Taylor Group and the subsequent disposal of three foreign subsidiaries, assisting Alix Partners as administrators of Olympia Securities Commercial with a contested directions application and acting for KPMG as administrators of Aquila Processing and Eagle Seafoods (Properties). PwC, Leonard Curtis, Endless and Clydesdale Bank are also clients. Graham Briggs and Andy Bates jointly lead the practice; Briggs is ‘incredibly experienced’ and Bates’ ‘market knowledge is outstanding’.

Ryan Millmore leads the team at Clarion, which ‘will do everything its needs to do to get the job done in a quick and timely fashion’ utilising its ‘invaluable strength in the region to push matters forward in a way that works for the local legal market’. Millmore is highly regarded for his corporate insolvency expertise; he recently advised Armstrong Watson as administrators of Earn Extra 139 and acted for Kingsbridge Corporate Solutions regarding the administration of Full Gas and its ultimate sale to Trek. Clients also praise asset-based lending specialist Ben Slack, who is ‘not afraid to fight if that’s what it required’, and Alice Pratt, who focuses on insolvency work; Slack assisted DFS with its acquisition of part of Multiyork out of administration and Pratt acted for Bill Plant Driving School on its pre-pack sale. Pre-insolvency specialist Roger Hutton, Marie Pugh and ‘strong and pragmatic’ legal director Helen Bates are also names to note.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ‘continues to make an impact in the region’ thanks in no small part to the expertise of team head Paul Dutton, consultant Peter Cranston, principal associate Lemi McAuley and senior associates Victoria Procter and the ‘impressiveAndrew Black. The practice is highly active in the retail, professional services, energy, infrastructure, construction and education sectors. In a recent highlight, Dutton advised the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on a reorganisation in which intercompany loans were formalised; other work includes acting for Staffordshire County Council as admission body in the reorganisation of various participating employers in its Local Government Pension Scheme including colleges and social housing providers, assisting PwC with the administration of Joseph Rhodes and Slater and Crabtree, and acting for RSM as administrators of Unity Law. HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Deloitte are also clients.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘strong and experienced team provides a first-class service’ to banks, asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners, private equity houses, distressed investors and clients in the public sector; examples include Begbies Traynor, Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton. Recent highlights include advising FRP Advisory on the pre-packaged sale of the Triton Global group to DWF, assisting KPMG as administrator with the pre-pack sale of A. Jones & Sons and Gordon Scott to Endless, and acting for Deloitte as administrators of Covpress Assembly. Richard Tripp leads the group and ‘exhibits excellent legal knowledge and efficiency making him a truly strong player in the field’; clients also praise legal director Dawn Allen, who is ‘incredibly approachable, knowledgeable and an absolute pleasure to deal with’.

Squire Patton Boggs is ‘excellent on all counts’ with ‘in-depth knowledge of the law and the local market’. Department head John Alderton specialises in reorganisations, disposals and corporate advisory work; he recently led advice to RSM Restructuring Advisory as administrators of ALNO Kitchens on the sale of its franchise and retail businesses and acted for KPMG as administrators of Clean Energy Trading in claims against various directors. Other clients include Deloitte, Begbies Traynor, CRG Recovery, PwC and Lloyds Banking Group. Key sectors include the retail, mining, chemicals and transport sectors. Laura Crawford is the key name for contentious insolvency issues; clients praise her as ‘highly motivated and dedicated to getting the best possible results no matter the complexity’.

Irwin Mitchell ‘never provides anything less than excellent advice’ utilising ‘great technical knowledge paired with a good dose of commercial reality’. The team is highly regarded for its real estate restructuring work; it recently acted for Armstrong Watson as liquidators of a property company and assisted a market leading insolvency firm as joint trustees with the bankruptcy of three individuals including handling asset realisations of a property portfolio. Other areas of expertise include corporate advisory work, pension scheme issues and commercial insolvencies. Andrew Walker is the national head of the firm’s restructuring and insolvency department, which includes the Leeds-based Doug Robertson, who is ‘easy to work with and incredibly approachable’; and ‘consummate professional’ Tom Paton in Sheffield.

Lupton Fawcett’s ‘fast, responsive and knowledgeable’ team ‘constantly goes the extra mile to achieve the client’s goals’ and is recognised for its experience in handling distressed or insolvent legal practices and large property portfolios of insolvent property groups. The group’s client base includes lenders, banks and insolvency practitioners; it recently advised Clark Business Recovery as administrator on a hostile appointment following a director dispute, assisted Begbies Traynor as administrators of Drawn Metal and DML Architectural, and acted for KPMG as administrators of BioEden. The ‘well-experienced and approachableJames Richardson leads the department, which also includes personal insolvency specialist Nigel Whitfield, who is ‘tenacious and pragmatic’; ‘safe pair of handsDavid Smyllie, who is noted for his defendant director disqualification work; and director Tom Whiteside.

Key names in Schofield Sweeney’s ‘brilliant’ group include Richard Ferguson and David Arundel in Leeds and Amar Rashid in Bradford; Ferguson handles transactional and technical insolvency work, Arundel focuses on contentious and non-contentious insolvency work and Rashid assists with the restructuring of borrowings. Recent highlights include advising Poppleton & Appleby as joint administrator of CIS Industrial and CIS Industrial Hire and Sale on a pre-pack sale, assisting DL Partnership as joint liquidators of Frontcatch, MMD5 and Barden Properties and acting for RSM Restructuring as administrators of DDK Estates on security issues and planning applications. Armstrong Watson, Begbies Traynor and Live Recoveries are also clients.

In Wilkin Chapman LLP’s Beverley office, Mat Dix focuses on insolvency work and regularly acts for local authorities while Adam Marham assists insolvency practitioners with insolvencies, corporate recovery work and pre-appointment insolvency issues. Clients also praise senior solicitor Gary Taylor, who is ‘a leader of the future and a bright, hardworking and user-friendly individual’, and personal insolvency-focused solicitor Rachel Atkinson, who is ‘very talented’. Grimsby-based team head Chris Grocock is ‘approachable, knowledgeable and always delivers the best possible service to his clients’; he is singled out for his recovery expertise. Recent highlights include advising the Public Safety Charitable Trust on its compulsory liquidation and assisting Woods Farming Partnership with its administration.

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is led by Andy Stirk who has notable expertise in the healthcare, real estate, hotels, leisure and education sectors. His recent work includes advising KPMG as joint administrators of Bill Plant on its sale and assisting FRP Advisory as joint administrators of Frizell Tipping and TW Frizell (Haulage & Plant Hire) with the sale of property, plants and machinery and related environmental issues. Other clients include Lloyds Bank, Santander, RSM Restructuring, Deloitte and Leonard Curtis Recovery. Managing associate Sam Dixon is also a name to note; he focuses on bank-led restructuring work and advising boards on their directors’ duties.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s recently established department is ‘quickly setting itself up in the region as one of the go-to firms, particularly in Hull and East Yorkshire’ with the recruitment of ‘excellent professionalChristopher Harrison in 2016 following the firm’s merger with Scarborough-based legacy firm MJ Harrison Solicitors and Azher Quyoom joining from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2017; clients praise Quyoom as ‘a true expert that really knows his stuff and applies his highly technical knowledge in a practical and commercial way’. Key areas of expertise for Quyoom include the manufacturing, healthcare, transport, infrastructure and construction sectors while Harrison is experienced in the agricultural field and property arena.

Matthew Brown heads DWF’s team and specialises in restructuring, turnaround and insolvency work acting for financial institutions, investors, borrowers and insolvency practitioners. In a recent highlight, Brown acted for Deloitte as adviser and the SES Group on its restructuring; he also assisted Begbies Traynor with the restructuring and insolvency of Ingrams Solicitors and advised AlixPartners on the administration of Trongate. RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Close Brothers, PwC and RSM Restructuring Advisory are also clients. Key sectors for the team includes the retail, energy, real estate and transport sectors. Other names to note includes senior associates Ashley Jaques and Danielle Bennett; Jaques handles property-based insolvencies and Bennett is experienced in personal insolvency work.

Freeths LLP ‘is able to deliver the perfect solution no matter the situation’ with a particular focus on restructurings and non-contentious corporate insolvency; it recently advised Wilson Field on the appointment of the joint administrators of Qube Managed Services and its pre-packaged sale, assisted Coveris with its acquisition of a manufacturing site from Gelpack Industrial and Gelpack Excelsior, which are both in administration; and acted for Begbies Traynor on the appointment of joint administrators of Gourmet Game and the pre-pack sale of the company’s stock. Clients praise group head Oliver Jackson as ‘one of the most proficient and commercially minded insolvency lawyers in Sheffield’ with ‘exceptional knowledge and interpretation of the law’.

Gateley Plc’s ‘excellent’ department is led by William Ballmann who handles business restructurings, refinancings, rescues and turnarounds. The group’s client base spans banks, accountancy firms, insolvency practitioners, investment funders and fixed charge receivers; examples include Begbies Traynor, Leonard Curtis Recovery and PwC. Highlights include advising Endless on its acquisition of the business and assets of Jones Bootmaker from administration via pre-pack sale, and assisting RSM Restructuring Advisory as fixed charged receivers with issues surrounding a residential development site including potential possession proceedings. Senior associate Matt Leech is also recommended as ‘one to watch’.

Gordons LLP handles contentious and non-contentious mandates including representing companies in administration, negotiating refinancing, restructurings, managing supply chains, rescue packages and enforcement procedures. In a recent highlight, the group assisted Deloitte with a notice of intention and notice of appointment filing in its role as administrator of Greenwoods Menswear and advised Walsh Taylor as administrator of LBS Worldwide on retention of title issues. KPMG, Bank of Ireland, BDO, Begbies Traynor and PwC are also clients. Wayne Parker heads the group and is experienced in the construction, manufacturing, retail, motor and travel sectors.

Gosschalks is ‘one of the best in Hull with a team of brilliant insolvency professionals who provide an effective and commercially sensible service’. Steve Dillon heads the group and is highly regarded for his insolvency litigation expertise and his work for insolvency practitioners; clients also praise associate Chris Adams, who is ‘approachable with a can-do attitude and a good sense of the legal and commercial aspects of every case’. The team assists clients at a national level and handles the full gamut of corporate insolvency work including enforcement proceedings, restructurings and post-insolvency issues.

HLW Keeble Hawson acts for insolvency practitioners, lenders, companies and individuals on a range of insolvency and business recovery issues including acquisitions, liquidation issues, investigations, disqualification proceedings, turnaround matters and private insolvency mandates. Clients include Begbies Trayor, Leonard Curtis, PwC, Gibson Booth and CG Recovery. The team recently acted for the joint administrators of a printing company, assisted the joint administrators of a property development company and represented the executors of an insolvent estate. Natalie Nattress leads the department and regularly handles bankruptcy and liquidation investigations; legal director Jo Smith is a key name for corporate insolvency matters.

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Legal Developments in Yorkshire and the Humber for Insolvency and corporate recovery

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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