Insolvency and corporate recovery in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP 'gets good results and takes a no-nonsense approach when dealing with difficult litigants'. The firm, which has strong relationships with numerous insolvency practitioners and also counsels company directors on corporate recovery matters, has a multi-disciplinary practice that brings together specialist insolvency skills and expertise in health and safety, property, finance and shipping. 'Very clever and efficient operator' and fellow of r3 (the Association of Business Recovery Professionals) Laurence Weeks, frequently assists IPs with non-contentious matters. He leads the practice from Cambridge, where legal director Maria-Christina Peyman handles insolvency litigation. Corporate partner Greg Allan in Norwich also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Weeks

Other key lawyers:

Greg Allan; Maria-Christina Peyman 

Testimonials

‘The insolvency team we deal with is headed by Laurence Weeks, a very clever and efficient operator who has a good bedside manner. Laurence and his team always have the client’s interests at heart.’

‘Laurence Weeks is a good leader of his team and has a hands on approach to his key clients. He gets good results and takes a no-nonsense approach when dealing with difficult litigants.’

Key clients

Price Bailey as liquidators of Colonial Capital (in liquidation)

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

McTear Williams & Wood

Privilege Finance

Ensors LLP

Price Waterhouse Coopers

FRP Advisory LLP

Bulley Davey

Peters Elworthy & Moore

CVR / Begbies Traynor

Work highlights

  • Advised RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP on the Administration of F.H. Gilman & Co.
  • Advised Resolve Partners Limited on the Administration of the Mitcham Partnership.
  • Advised FRP Advisory LLP on sale of a private hospital.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has two key strands to its insolvency work. It is one of five firms on the national Insolvency Service Panel, which sees it handle director disqualification work and complex public interest winding up matters, often involving large-scale frauds. Its government work also encompasses work for the Official Receivers of England and Wales, and an appointment to the Crown Commercial Services legal panel as part of a consortium in which it leads on insolvency work. It also handles high-value corporate and personal insolvency litigation, often involving multimillion-pound claims. Michael Green in Cambridge leads the insolvency and corporate recovery practice, while Morris Peacock oversees the firm's work for the Insolvency Service from Norwich, where William Shirley and senior associate Patrick Manning are key figures.

Practice head(s):

Michael Green; Morris Peacock

Other key lawyers:

William Shirley; Patrick Manning

Testimonials

‘A well respected team. One of my favourites for technical ability and commerciality’

‘Michael Green – makes you feel safe in his advice but also listens.’

‘Michael Green is someone who listens to me and is someone I can trust to deal with a case professionally, commercially and, when required, sympathetically.’

‘A commercial and versatile approach to problems with a focus on how to deliver the best outcome for their clients.’

Key clients

The Insolvency Service

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM (formerly Baker Tilly)

Price Bailey LLP

Kingston Smith & Partners

McTear Williams & Wood

Ensors

BDO UK LLP

Mazars LLP

Larking Gowen

The Official Receivers for England and Wales

Isadore Goldman

Isadore Goldman is a specialist insolvency firm with a strong reputation in complex insolvency disputes across the UK. Its Norwich office is home to substantial expertise and years of experienced, thanks to recognised leaders in their field, Frank Brumby and Adam McCaw. They 'always go above and beyond to provide a pragmatic approach and reliable advice'. They lead a team of dedicated insolvency and dispute resolution specialists, though Brumby also handles non-contentious matters including the sale of assets and the interaction of stakeholders such as landlords and secured creditors. 'Approachable and commercially-driven' senior associate Sian Leonard assists IPs with the appointment process.

Practice head(s):

Frank Brumby; Adam McCaw

Other key lawyers:

Sian Leonard

Testimonials

‘Very clear and concise communication with both ourselves and clients who we are pursuing. Very patient when dealing with problematic creditors, particularly over the Covid period when a different tact was required due to national restrictions.’

‘Friendly and responsive, they explain things in a clear manner for anyone to understand. When a softer touch has been required over the last 12 months, Isadore Goldman has always been able to oblige whilst being firm when required to maximise any recovery.’

‘Very practical and commercial approach. Due to the fact they are specialists in their fields their knowledge levels are excellent.’

‘The firm has excellent knowledge levels and specialists in their fields.’

‘Frank Brumby and Sian Leonard are always approachable and commercially driven, offering commercial solutions to complex problems.’

‘Frank Brumby and Sian Leonard – always available and go above and beyond. Exceptional advice and a pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

Aviva

McTear Williams & Wood Limited

Fleximize Limited

Larking Gowen

Ensors

Begbies Traynor (formerly CVR Global LLP)

RSM

Parker Andrews

SFP

Price Bailey

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of directors of Le Bistro Pierre when the company’s trading was severely affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a national insolvency and restructuring practice that provides a comprehensive service to insolvency practitioners, directors, creditors and other key stakeholders of financially distressed companies and individuals. Tthe firm was recently appointed to the Insolvency Services Panel to handle disqualification, investigations, public interest winding up mandates and asset recovery actions. Jamie Wheatley in Cambridge leads the practice along with London-based partner Neil Smyth. Wheatley, who is head of the firm's regulatory, public and commercial disputes group, focuses on insolvency, corporate recovery, contract litigation and reputation management. Principal associate Lino Di Lorenzo is an experienced commercial litigator and insolvency expert who handles complex, high-value commercial, contractual and company disputes, often with an international element.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Wheatley

Other key lawyers:

Lino Di Lorenzo

Key clients

McTear Williams & Wood

Moorfields Corporate Recovery

Moore Stephens/BDO

Regulator for Social Housing

American International Group UK Limited.

Mazars

FRP Advisory

Homes and Communities Agency

Insolvency Service

Trinity College Cambridge

Work highlights

  • Advising the Insolvency Service across multiple investigations and public interest winding up. Also acting for the various official receiver offices in antecedent recovery actions against directors and other targets.
  • Advising a former director of a healthcare company, against a substantial s. 423 Insolvency Act 1986 claim. The claim is high value and raises complex issues around the lawfulness of a dividend, limitation, duty of care, loss and the terms of an assignment under which the claim is pursued are involved.
  • Acting for the Archant Media Group in the restructuring of its debt, particularly its pension deficit, to enable the 175-year old trading business to avoid administration and survive, saving over 1,200 jobs.

Taylor Vinters

The firm is very professional, but also approachable, and works thoroughly and efficiently', remarks a client of Taylor Vinters in Cambridge. The firm acts for IPs, directors, creditors and debtors in formal administrations, liquidations, asset sales and winding up petitions. It also advises accountants in their capacity as appointment-taking IPs. Lead partner Adam Bradley is a licensed insolvency practitioner. He calls upon litigation partner Luke Hibbert and, for the property aspects of insolvency, real estate partner James Slinger. Senior associate Jessica Boxford, who is 'approachable, knowledgeable and dependable', has 18 years' experience in aspects of insolvencies and restructurings, leveraging her background in litigation.

Practice head(s):

Adam Bradley

Other key lawyers:

Luke Hibbert; Jessica Boxford; James Slinger

Testimonials

‘The firm is very professional, but also approachable. They work thoroughly and efficiently. ’

‘Jessica Boxford is great to work with. She is professional but approachable, and very knowledgeable about the sector. She is dependable and a safe pair of hands. ’

‘A good local firm combining value with expertise.’

‘Adam Bradley provides sensible and commercial advice from an experienced individual.’

‘They are very efficient and proactive in their responses and they respond quickly to queries and provide thorough and informative responses. All correspondence is clear and easy to understand.’

Key clients

Leonard Curtis Ltd

RSM Restructuring and Advisory

FRP Advisory LLP

Goldney Limited

McTear Williams & Wood

Allcontrols Limited

Barker Gotelee

Insolvency and business recovery is a core practice at Barker Gotelee in Ipswich, which provides specialist advice to insolvency practitioners creditors, debtors, directors and other stakeholders. Among its active clients are IPs Ensors, RSM and Bulley Davey. Practice head John Bradshaw has more than 20 years' experience and is among the most respected practitioners in the region. He works closely with litigation partner Dermott Thomas and corporate and charities partner Clare Richards. Chartered legal executive Sarah Mower has a wealth of experience in insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

John Bradshaw; Dermott Thomas; Clare Richards

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Mower

Key clients

Ensors

McTear, Williams & Wood Limited

Price Bailey LLP

CVR Global LLP

RSM

Moore Kingston Smith

PEM

Bulley Davey

MHA Larking Gowen

DCA BR Ltd

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough combines dispute resolution and company commercial specialists to advise on insolvency matters, acting principally for insolvency practitioners. In contentious matters, led by practice head James Maxey, the firm frequently acts for office holders in asset recovery and protection cases, and in the defence of claims brought by IPs for repayment of overdue directors loan accounts, unlawful dividends and undervalued transactions. Senior associate Nick Porter has 15 years' experience in insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Porter

Testimonials

‘In terms of local solicitors, the insolvency team at Buckles has the broadest knowledge with the ability to bring solicitors from other areas or even countries where specific knowledge is required. This is what sets Buckles apart from the other local solicitors.’

‘James Maxey and Nick Porter are the members of the team that we work with. Both are extremely good solicitors, very commercial and keep us up to date with the progress in cases.’

‘The team has been extremely efficient in the assignments that they have been instructed on and been very quick to get to the crux of the issues concerned. The team are intellectually very sharp and clearly very experienced. The lawyers are very responsive and technically very sound.’

‘The individuals at Buckles are all at the top of the industry, forward-looking and highly motivated. It has great people to deal with both on a professional and personal level, providing innovative thinking and advice.’

Key clients

Bulley Davey

RSM Restructuring

Work highlights

  • Acting for an insolvency practitioner in a complex preference claim within a bankruptcy. Achieving a complete win at trial.
  • Acting on the appointment of administrators to a specialist confectionary company, and the pre-pack sale of the business and assets to a new company.
  • Representing a landlord in its claims for unpaid rent and dilapidations against the tenant in administration and the administrators.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal is building a specialist insolvency practice in its Norwich offices, with the hire in 2021 of the region's only female dual-qualified IP and solicitor Fiona Stuart - formerly of Fosters - a key step along that path. Stuart, who is a member of R3's Eastern Committee, works closely with employment partner Ross Strowger, commercial property litigator Nigel Maguire and dispute resolution partner Tom Bailey to provide comprehensive insolvency and restructuring services. Clients describe the practice as 'very quick, efficient and proactive in its responses'.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Stuart

Other key lawyers:

Ross Strowger; Nigel Maguire; Tom Bailey

Testimonials

‘Very quick, efficient and proactive in its responses. They respond quickly to queries and provide thorough and informative responses.’

Key clients

McTear Williams and Wood

Ensors

MHA Larking Gowen

RCM Advisory Limited

Price Bailey

Begbies Traynor

FRP Advisory

Work highlights

  • Advised Price Bailey in connection with a complicated bankruptcy estate which involved multiple parties and various complex needs.
  • For McTear Williams & Wood, successfully suspended the automatic discharge from bankruptcy for an indefinite period until the bankrupt complies with the duties and obligations owed to his trustee.
  • Assisting Begbies Traynor with a pre-pack sale of the business and assets of a distressed company.

Ellisons Solicitors

Ellisons Solicitors joins the ranking having extended its insolvency practice to the East Anglia region. Practice head Scott Porter resides mainly in the Chelmsford office, but frequently works across the entire office network, including Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. Solicitor Lyndsey Squirrell is permanently based in Ipswich and is 'one to watch, she works hard and is going to make significant waves in the future'. The firm handles both transactional insolvency and restructuring work, though its main strength lies in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Scott Porter

Other key lawyers:

Lyndsey Squirrell 

Testimonials

‘Ellisons are an extremely well regarded in the communities in which they are located and further afield. Scott Porter is an exceptionally talented solicitor who is building a strong insolvency team around him. Lyndsey Squirrell is one to watch. She works hard and going to make significant waves in the future.’

‘The firm has great people; everything you would expect from a full service law firm. but very commercial in approach – a real pleasure to work with. Scott Porter is brilliant and is technical, tough, brilliant and hard working a true gem.’

‘In my view, the Ellisons insolvency team is amongst the very best that I have ever worked with. The level of service that they provide at all stages of a case is of a consistently excellent standard.’

‘Scott Porter is an exceptional litigator, combining a vast technical knowledge with superb tactical skills. Scott consistently has the uncanny ability to provide highly innovative approaches and solutions to extremely complex litigation matters.’

‘Lyndsey Squirrell is an extremely good solicitor who places great emphasis on client care, reflected in the excellent level of communication she provides at all stages of a case. I cannot recommend Lyndsey highly enough.’

Key clients

AIB Group (UK) p.l.c.

Anthony Batty & Co

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Begbies Traynor (Colchester & London)

Eastern Credit Ltd

Ensors

FRP

Insolve Plus

Kennway Francis

LB Insolvency

Leading Business Recovery

McTear Williams & Wood

Price Bailey

RSM

Smith Cooper

Smith & Williamson

Welzel Brinkop Rechtsanwälte

Larking Gowen

Bretts Business Recovery

Work highlights

  • Acting for a German client with a €750,000 debt in applying to court to challenge and set aside a CVA.
  • Acting for administrators in relation to complex issues arising from the administration of a luxury yacht building company.
  • Acting for liquidators of a construction company with multimillion-pound losses and advising on complex intra-group trust claims.