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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 > East Midlands > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Annabel Whittaker - Actons

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A good spread of knowledge’ and ‘quick response times’ make Actons a popular choice not only for insolvency practitioners, but also for lenders. Well-versed in both personal and corporate insolvency, the team is noted for its strength in contentious work, thanks in large part to litigation specialist Victoria Dunstall, but is also experienced in non-contentious matters. Practice head Nicky Calthrop-Owen and associate Annabel Whittaker are licensed insolvency practitioners. Recent highlights include acting on behalf of Grant Thornton in litigation against two company directors to realise funds for a liquidated estate, involving misfeasance claims and obtaining a worldwide freezing order over property assets within the UK and Europe, ultimately securing a multimillion-pound settlement. KPMG, Bates Weston and RSM Restructuring Advisory are also clients.

The ‘terrificBrowne Jacobson LLP fields a ‘commercially astute’ team that is praised for its ‘substantial wealth of knowledge’ and ‘experience for all types of insolvency processes’. The group focuses mainly on contentious work, with ‘impressive star associateEmma Taylor also handling non-contentious matters. With its national geographic reach and broad sector scope, the team is well-placed to assist with high-value insolvencies, often with a cross-border element. Practice head Dominic Offord combines ‘experience and intellectual rigour’ and recently acted alongside London’s Derek Bambury and Nick Pontt in representing Irving Picard as US trustee of the consolidated SIPA liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in High Court liquidation seeking equitable relief and statutory claims under the Insolvency Act 1986, coordinating overseas counsel from the US, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda. It also acted for the directors and security trustees of an English fund on a fraud to the fund involving six corporate bonds relating to serviced office developments and investments for car park assets, both in the United Arab Emirates. Deloitte and KMPG are also clients.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ‘provides the level of technical quality, client service and commercial acumen normally associated with a Magic Circle firm or large City practice’. With a ‘strong team across the board’ and the ‘outstanding’ and ‘technically rigorousMark Wood at the helm, the practice is known for undertaking complex restructuring work, especially in the retail, financial services, energy and leisure sectors. Principal associate Ian Gill, senior associate Douglas Highet and associate Sharenaah Atwal are also noted. A major recent highlight was acting for the administrators of Feather & Black on issues related to the administration, including advice on trading issues and asset disposal. In other work, the group joined forces with its Madrid office to act for John Sisk to pursue actions in the standstill agreements of Duro Felguera. Other clients include Lloyds, KPMG and Mazars.

Complex contentious insolvency matters form the heart of Gateley Plc’s practice, but the team’s expertise also spans accelerated sales, financial and operational restructuring instructions, as well as advisory work. Its broad sector expertise covers IT and logistics, leisure and financial services, among others. Legal director Su Garner advised the joint administrators of The Imaginarium Studios on directors’ duties whilst the company sought further investment and later acted for the administrators on the pre-pack sales of intellectual property and other assets. In another highlight, joint practice heads Garner and Chris Radford assisted M1 Insolvency with the preparation of CVA proposals for the proposed supervisors and the transfer of 23 companies into CVA, all in the context of the voluntary liquidation of several companies of a large industrial group which have been the subject of industrial disease claims. PKF Cooper Parry Group, KMPG and Svenska Handelsbanken are also clients.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s team possesses ‘a wealth of knowledge’ and impresses with ‘speedy responses’ and its ability to ‘quickly grasp the crux of the matter’. Adept at both contentious and non-contentious work, the team handles the full range of insolvency-related mandates, with newly-appointed practice head Simon Trees and the ‘very knowledgeable and robustKevin Modiri the key advisers on the contentious side. Other key figures include Rachel McCahill, who has a focus on advisory work. In addition to acting for the joint liquidators of Ilkeston FC in the sale of the club’s business and assets, the group also assisted with the placing of Twintec into administration, the subsequent sale of the business and assets and the ensuing high-profile litigation. Stewart Vandermark is now the CEO of the firm.

The ‘highly knowledgeable’ group at Freeths LLP handles the full spectrum of restructuring, corporate recovery and insolvency work, with particular expertise in complex investigatory work and anti-avoidance and asset realisation cases. Nil-asset cases with significant deficiencies and corresponding forensic work are also areas of focus for the practice, which is headed by Simon Baigent and includes Graham Greenfield, whose ‘vast depth of experience and knowledge’ together with his ‘calm and considered demeanour’ inspires ‘complete confidence in his abilities’. Clients include Mazars, Elwell Watchorn Saxton and PKF Cooper Parry Group.

Howes Percival LLP delivers ‘prompt service’ and has significantly increased its offering with the merger with niche insolvency firm Summers Nigh in mid-2017, adding Deborah Nigh and Katie Summers to Carl Mifflin’s team. The team’s main standout feature is its expertise in government contracts insolvency work, but the group also excels in contentious insolvency work undertaken for insolvency practitioners and office holder claims identifying recoveries. In recent work, the group advised the administrator of Data Investments on the appointment of administrators, the removal of incumbent LPA receivers and a potential claim for potential extortionate credit transactions as well as on the refinance of the company’s property, ultimately achieving an imminent return of the company to solvency. The client list also features BDO UK, RSM Restructuring and Mazars.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is active in transactional, advisory and restructuring work, with contentious work making up a significant portion of the caseload. Able to leverage the firm’s overall sector expertise, the team is especially well-placed for instructions from the education and energy sectors. Led by Birmingham-based practice head Andrew Taylor, the key East Midlands contacts are Deborah Jenkin-Jones and Sean Moran. Recent highlights include successfully representing the liquidator of Halal Monitoring Committee in a High Court claim regarding breach of duty, skill, care and diligence against the directors of the company. Other clients include new client Grant Thornton, KPMG and Springfields Advisory.

Fraser Brown acts for insolvency practitioners, directors, creditors and debtors on the full gamut of insolvency instructions. Practice head Adrian Slater’s specialisms include traditional matters regarding liquidations, administrations, receiverships, voluntary arrangements and bankruptcy. He also has experience in cross-border fraud and global asset tracing and recovery. Slaters’ caseload predominantly consists of litigation work.

Noted for its ‘commercial approach’, Geldards LLP offers insolvency litigation and transactional experience in both personal and corporate insolvency proceedings, with its expertise in cross-border insolvency forum shopping and strong track record in advising public bodies such as local authorities as the group’s standout features. Company director disqualification mandates and mandates at the intersection between property and insolvency law are other areas of expertise. The key advisers are practice head Nino Simone, Jonathan Butler and ‘proactive’ associate Ruth Thurland, who ‘demonstrates strong technical skills combined with commercial awareness’. RSM, Smith Cooper and PKF Cooper Parry Group are clients.

Langleys Solicitors LLP handles personal and corporate insolvency instructions, acting mainly for local and national insolvency practitioners. Practice head David Tonge, who is adept at assisting with contentious and non-contentious work, is the key practitioner. Samantha Gray joined peer-to-peer lending platform ThinCats.

Smith Partnership has a clear focus on contentious personal and corporate insolvency mandates, but also provides advisory work ranging from administration to members and creditors voluntary liquidation, compulsory liquidation and voluntary arrangements. Associate partner Ruth Ball heads the practice. Clients include PKF Cooper Parry Group, Smith Cooper and FRP Advisory.

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