Insolvency and corporate recovery in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP's team works with a wide range of clients, providing a broad spectrum of insolvency assistance. Through 2020, the group has been busy working for high-profile retail clients including Paperchase in response to the challenges introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic; this has included advising directors on CVAs and orders of sale. Emma Taylor, who leads the Nottingham team, is 'one of the go-to insolvency specialists in the East Midlands market' and works alongside the London office to provide national coverage. 'Unflappable' associate Joe Price is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Emma Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Joe Price

Testimonials

‘The team at Browne Jacobson have been amazing throughout the whole process. Each individual I have dealt with in the team has always been on hand whenever I have needed them to discuss my case. It was a very stressful time and financially Browne Jacobson ensured that wasn’t an area for me to worry about.

‘From the moment I met with Emma Taylor and discussed my case she put me at ease within the first 5 minutes. She completely understood the situation and explained what the next stages would be and how to proceed. There was no ambiguity and straight to the point.’

‘Joe Price – Understands the end goal and works to get a solution to benefit all stakeholders. Works diligently and accurately to provide reassuring strategy. Undaunted by the prospect of and unflappable in the midst of a difficult situation.’

‘ A ready grasp of the instruction, good with the clients offering straightforward advice.’

‘My contact is Emma Taylor. Emma is proactive and takes personal responsibility for the work of her team and the advice that they provide.’

‘Very knowledgeable team. Offer practical solutions. Have dealt with complex issues and difficult stakeholders. Can balance progress and stakeholder interests and requirements.’

‘The depth of quality within the Corporate Recovery team at Browne Jacobson is superb. ’

‘Joe Price is great to work with. His interpersonal skills and communication give him an outstanding bedside manner in dealing with clients.’

Key clients

KPMG LLP

BDO LLP

Mazars LLP

SC Advisory Services Limited (T/A Smith Cooper)

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Nottinghamshire County Council

Rcapital Partners LLP

Paperchase Products Limited

London Borough of Havering

Work highlights

  • Advising the directors of Paperchase Products Limited on their duties and options in response to the current pandemic and on its impact on the company’s financial position and ability to continue trading.
  • Advising and assisting the joint administrators of Insulate Realisations Limited on various post-appointment matters arising following the sale of the company’s business and assets.
  • Advising and defending the directors of H H Realisations Limited in response to claims by joint liquidators alleging breach of duty under the Companies Act 2006.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Working closely with the firm's Birmingham office, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is one of the strongest firms in the region for bank-related work. The team, led in Nottingham by Mark Wood, is instructed by high street banks and Big Four accountancy firms to assist with restructurings across numerous sectors. 2020 led to an increase in insolvency work for the group in the retail and hospitality sectors; the national team has advised on proceedings relating to a number of high-profile restaurant chains. The Nottingham team also includes Ian Gill, who acts in contentious issues.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wood

Other key lawyers:

Ian Gill; Douglas Highet

Testimonials

‘I worked with the team at Eversheds on a restructuring sale process, the team were very proactive and extremely responsive to the needs of all parties involved. The team worked extremely hard, dealing with a difficult counterparty with great professionalism. The deal was large and complex and the team at Eversheds worked collaboratively with myself, the lending syndicate and the target to ensure we completed in an efficient manner.’

Key clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC

Santander UK Bank PLC

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

KPMG LLP

Deloitte LLP

Alvarez and Marsal

Boparan Restaurant Group

Livingbridge

Work highlights

  • Acted for PWC as administrators in the restructuring and sale of assets of NFT Operations Limited.
  • Advising KPMG LLP in relation to all aspects of the administrations of Antler (Holdings) Limited and Antler Limited.
  • Acted for Deloitte as administrators of Picsolve International Ltd.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc is a key firm for insolvency mandates, advising on accelerated sales, advisory work and financial and operational restructuring matters. The firm's reputation is reflected in the strength of its client base, which spans leading insolvency practitioners including PwC and KPMG. The group, which frequently collaborates on nationally significant matters with its other UK offices, is particularly active in advising sureties on complex restructuring assignments and representing clients in cross-border contentious insolvency matters. Chris Radford and Su Garner are the key practitioners, operating from Nottingham and Leicester respectively.

Other key lawyers:

Chris Radford; Su Garner

Testimonials

‘Very strong mid-market law firm. Well known in their local East Midlands market.’

‘Su Garner – very committed to client delivery and very strong technically.’

‘The firm is easy to deal with and partner access excellent. They have helped navigate a difficult banking and shareholder issue in a calm and practical manner. They are very responsive.’

‘My main point of contact is Chris Radford. Chris has excellent technical knowledge and is able to convey his advice clearly and succinctly, setting out the detailed rationale behind the advice that he is providing. Chris is able to deal with complex matters in a very timely manner and is commercial in the advice that he then provides.’

‘They are able to work with all types of clients, building a relationship of trust through the advice and knowledge. The ability to adapt to the audience is second to none, guiding clients through what can be difficult situations.’

Chris Radford has been a stand out partner and has given some clear and very assuring advice in a very difficult situation.

‘The team is able to deal with high volume and complex work, providing innovative, robust and commercial advice and solutions. The team appears to be very joined up across different disciplines (e.g. insolvency/restructuring; pensions; construction; employment) and consistent in their approach and advice.’

‘Su Garner provides an outstanding level of service, going the extra mile to ensure that her clients are well informed and making the right decisions for them, with the range of options having been fully explained.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

BDO LLP

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Quantuma Advisory LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

KPMG LLP

M1 Insolvency LLP

Smith Cooper

Work highlights

  • Acted for the administrators of the Simons Group in relation to business and asset sales and other matters arising in the administration.
  • Acted for the administrators of Paintbox Birmingham Limited in negotiating a trading agreement with JLR and the sale of the assets.
  • Acted for No1 Lounges in connection with its company voluntary arrangement.

Howes Percival LLP

Praised by clients as 'one of the most diverse teams in the insolvency market', Howes Percival LLP assists with all aspects of contentious and non-contentious insolvency mandates. Complex investigatory issues are a speciality of the practice, including matters relating to tax avoidance schemes, for-ex investment fraud and the misappropriation of company funds. Department head Carl Mifflin is recognised as 'one of the stand-out individuals in the insolvency field'; his recent work includes advising directors of hospitality sector companies on their duties relating to Covid-19 restrictions.

Practice head(s):

Carl Mifflin

Testimonials

‘The team are solution driven and utilise other departments in the firm well to provide commercial and robust advice to the client.’

‘My key contact is Carl Mifflin. Carl is experienced and extremely knowledgeable and is very good at determining when it is appropriate to use specialists in other sectors within his firm. Carl is extremely personable and works well with clients as well as my team staff.’

‘Compares well with other firms. Provides good quality advice.’

‘Carl Mifflin provides sensible, considered advice, demonstrating very good technical knowledge in an approachable manner.’

‘I find the team extremely responsive, good at what they do and I have complete trust in the advice they provide. In addition, they are very reasonable and always flexible when it comes to billings.’

‘My main contact is Carl Mifflin. He is an excellent lawyer and often someone I speak to when in a difficult situation. I trust Carl’s advice and know I can rely on him.’

‘The Team at Howes Percival is arguably one of the most diverse in the Insolvency market. It continues to deliver high quality work and service.’

‘Carl Mifflin is one of the stand out individuals in the insolvency field. His manner enables him to build quick and warm relationships with his client, whilst he is able to tell it how it is, supported by his broad depth of technical knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

Mazars

Grant Thornton

BDO

Begbies Traynor

RSM

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton

Quantuma

Duff & Phelps

ReSolve

Larking Gowen

Menzies Corporate Recovery

BRI Business and Recovery

FRP Advisory

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint administrators of Earlbond 100 Limited in connection with the sale of the company’s business and assets and advising on matters arising in the administration.
  • Acted for the trustees in the bankruptcy of D Clark in connection with the identification and realisation of various properties located in Cyprus.
  • Acing for the joint liquidators of Produce Unity (Evesham) Limited, the directors of which utilised various tax avoidance schemes resulting in liabilities to HMRC in excess of £24m.

Actons

For insolvency work, Actons is highly active in the East Midlands market. The firm fields multiple experienced and specialist lawyers, who regularly assist with corporate insolvency and bankruptcy annulments. As a dual-qualified solicitor and insolvency practitioner, practice head Annabel Whittaker acts for private individuals, directors and companies on all elements of insolvency mandates. The team also welcomed back Victoria Dunstall in September 2020 following a year lecturing at Nottingham Trent University, increasing the firm's contentious and non-contentious expertise. Nicky Calthrop-Owen took up a consultancy role in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Annabel Whittaker

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Dunstall; Nicky Calthrop-Owen

Testimonials

‘An extremely well-rounded practice offering the full range of services with in-depth knowledge to Insolvency Practitioners’

‘Annabel Whittaker heads up the team and manages the department seamlessly. She is liked by all of her colleagues and is always there to assist with any queries or challenges I face as an IP. She is also JIE qualified which gives her that edge of knowledge over her competitors. She is professional but empathetic, understanding and when needed, can explain matters in laymen’s terms and considers all angles.’

‘The team provides precise, timely and accurate advice, during what are typically very stressful times. They have a can-do attitude, are robust in negotiations when needed, but equally focused on getting the deal done and finding ways to work around problems.’

‘We mainly work with Nicky Calthrop-Owen and Victoria Dunstall on our insolvency assignments. Both of these individuals have extensive knowledge of insolvency law and procedures and both have extensive commercial skills enabling solutions to be found to all problems.’

‘Highly knowledgeable and experienced team having worked in insolvency for many years. Good in-depth replies to any queries raised.’

‘Victoria Dunstall – very experienced individual providing good research in relation to a complex members’ voluntary liquidation. Annabelle Whittaker – very experienced individual with excellent bankruptcy and IVA knowledge.’

‘Actons always have someone with knowledge who can assist with any query you may have. They are excellent when discussing fees and very accommodating. Their correspondence is always highly technical with the right amount of personal content, to making working together a pleasurable affair.’

‘Annabel Whittaker is technically excellent and easy to work with, with a commercial approach to strategy and delivery of work.’

Key clients

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

CFS Restructuring LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

Payplan Partnership Limited / Payplan Bespoke Solutions Limited

Bates Weston LLP

Smith Cooper

Bridgewood Financial Solutions

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Harrisons Business Recovery

KPMG (UK) LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising the joint administrators of a company in the construction industry on their appointment as administrators and matters arising from the wind down of the company.
  • Assisting a trustee in bankruptcy with investigating and establishing the size and value of an individual’s interests in a significant property portfolio.
  • Advising on various employee benefit trusts litigation proceedings on behalf of and against insolvency practitioners.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP' offering spans contentious and non-contentious insolvency issues, and the team handles distressed M&A, asset disposals and restructuring mandates. Primarily operating from Leicester under the leadership of Simon Baigent, Graham Greenfield in Nottingham advises on both corporate and personal insolvencies. Litigator Charles Darby departed the firm in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Simon Baigent; Graham Greenfield

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP's expertise spans the full range of contentious and non-contentious insolvency issues, and the team advises directors, insolvency practitioners, creditors and financial institutions. The group also has experience in cross-border proceedings, frequently working with accountancy firms based in Germany. Senior associate Ruth Thurland works with clients from across the firm's other practice areas whenever insolvency issues arise; this includes advising on both personal and company insolvencies, as well as director disqualifications. Nino Simone leads the dispute resolution team and handles insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):

Nino Simone

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Thurland

Testimonials

‘The practice not only includes staff with solid general knowledge and experience but it has specialists in technical areas  who are proactive in finding a solution and understand the commercial aspects that are vital when dealing with projects in this area. This gives confidence that whatever your requirements they are able to assist and give clear guidance.’

‘The ability to consistently give sound, focused advice and guidance on specialist areas. I value this approach versus providing options and generic advice with no guidance or commercial angle. Ruth Thurland, Senior Associate, is one of these.’

‘A very professional set up, with bright solicitors working there and strong support teams.’

‘Ruth Thurland. Extremely user-friendly, bright and easy to work with. Always very commercial in her outlook.’

‘Ruth Thurland brings a calm and considered approach to all her dealings.’

‘Ruth Thurland, is a shining example of the high quality specialists I have come to expect at Geldards. She has an excellent knowledge of the restructuring and insolvency space and has a wealth of experience necessary to deliver commercial results. I also know she will be client focused for any matter referred to her. I have no hesitations recommending Ruth.’

Key clients

Smith Cooper

Blades Insolvency Services

Western Power Distribution

Bates Weston Chartered Accountants

LM Insolvency & Advisory

Boots UK Limited

Carlisle City Council

Derby County Football Club

Council of the City of Wakefield

The Welsh Government

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's East Midlands team, which has a close relationship with the Birmingham office, assists with all aspects of contentious and transactional insolvency work. While the group is experienced in a number of sectors, the healthcare, hospitality and energy industries are areas of particular specialism; the team has been busy aiding companies effected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sean Moran is 'one of the go-to lawyers in the East Midlands insolvency market'; in addition to leading the team, he advises directors and insolvency practitioners on accelerated M&A scenarios.

Practice head(s):

Sean Moran

Other key lawyers:

Tim Speed; Craig Bennett

Testimonials

‘The practice has high quality solicitors across all areas resulting in an ability to provide solutions on multi-faceted situations.’

‘Sean Moran stands out for me, very easy to work with, clear and capable. I never have to chase him, he is cost effective, pushing work down to more junior team members as appropriate which I really value.’

‘Everyone at the practice is approachable and available to assist where action is required on short notice. The advice provided is practical, commercial and well explained.’

‘Sean Moran always has the answer and is one of the go-to lawyers in the East Midlands insolvency market.’

‘The work carried out by the practice is invaluable to us and the work we do. Being in insolvency we come across a number of different aspects and possible issues in a Company and the team at Shakespeare Martineau will do all they can to assist and have people in various departments to obtain expertise in those different areas required.’

‘There are no technical weaknesses within the Insolvency team at Shakespeare Martineau. The Team react well to the demands and rigours of each assignment and understand when a client needs something do urgently.’

Tim Speed deals with complex matters with ease, retaining the detail and advising accordingly.’

‘A strong and experienced team with good cross-discipline communications.’

Key clients

KPMG LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

BDO

Mazars

RSM

Duff & Phelps

Bridgewood

Smith Cooper

Leonard Curtis

Begbies Traynor

CBA Business Solutions Limited

Assist Business Consulting

Horsfields Limited

S P Ford & Co Limited

Deloitte

Robin Hood Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of Robin Hood Energy on the sale of its business to Centrica and the subsequent administration.
  • Advised on the administration of 11 companies, encompassing 37 care homes, the care homes being subject to transitional services agreements and subsequent sale of the businesses to new operators.
  • Advised the directors of Methodist Guild Holidays Limited and Hothorpe Hall Limited on the appointment of FRP Advisory as administrators.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP's Nottingham office, through associate Robin Johnston, primarily focuses on the non-contentious side of insolvency work, assisting at the pre-insolvency stage with voluntary agreements and refinancings, while also advising on administrations and receiverships. The team was significantly bolstered in April 2021 with the arrival of Rachel McCahill from Nelsons Solicitors Limited; a stand out name in the market, McCahill adds expertise in contentious matters to the team.

Other key lawyers:

Rachel McCahill; Robin Johnston

Testimonials

Whilst Robin Johnston has a relaxed approach in dealing with clients, his background and knowledge enable him to deal with a range of issues from the most complex of restructures to straightforward personal insolvency matters. The size and structure of the team enables Robin to show fleet of foot, none more so evidenced than in delivering a pre-pack Administration within three days from a standing start.’

The team provides innovative solutions that can be commercially delivered to meet the client’s prioritised wish list.’

The contact I work most closely with is Robin Johnston. Robin considers the wider picture and works with you to find a solution that best meets the client’s needs. Robin has very good technical knowledge and utilises the firm’s wider team to provide a holistic solution.’

The Buckles practice is one which is accessible, straight forward and the advice given can be understood and relied upon. Communication style is one that puts the client at ease through its clear, concise and friendly manner.

Robin Johnston is very straight forward, easy to understand and get along with. He has a “can do” attitude and never over complicates the issues or over plays his role. He always has my best interests at the fore, even if that is not in his or the firm’s best interest. His approach has fostered a relationship of trust and as such he is the first port of call when advice is required.

Key clients

Smith Cooper

VosCap Business Recovery

Elwell Watchorn and Saxton LLP

Langleys Solicitors LLP

Langleys Solicitors LLP has a strong presence in the Lincolnshire area, and is a key choice for insolvency practitioners, secured and unsecured creditors and debtors. Practice head David Tonge is highly regarded by clients for his work advising on CVA proposals, pre-pack administration sales and claims against company directors.

Practice head(s):

David Tonge

Testimonials

‘David Tonge is a fabulous solicitor and very commercial and pragmatic in his approach with a wealth of experience. I have no reservations in using David for any insolvency need.’

‘Very professional.’

‘David Tonge- Fabulous manner and knowledge especially regarding banking issues.’

‘David Tonge brings great experience and technical insight to bear on complex issues.’

‘Professional, efficient reliable and trustworthy. Everything you would require from a legal company dealing with insolvency.’

‘David Tonge. Very Capable and someone that I have absolute trust in. An innovative yet careful strategist who is personable and approachable.’

Key clients

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

Begbies Traynor

Bridgewood Financial Solutions Limited

Dains LLP

John Harlow Insolvency and Corporate Recovery

Kingsbridge Corporate Solutions

Lambert Smith Hampton

University of Lincoln

Make an Entrance Limited

Vale Protective Coatings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the administrators of Techmax Limited on the sale of the company.
  • Acted for the joint liquidators of Bastien Jack (East Grinstead) Ltd upon the sale of a freehold residential block of 28 flats occupied by tenants with statutory protections.
  • Acted for the joint liquidators of Technical Turf Limited in respect of issues concerning a director’s loan account in excess of £100,000.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has a notable reputation for insolvency work, advising on both personal and corporate insolvency cases. Other key areas of expertise include employment benefit trust matters and misfeasance actions. Andy Rudkin, who arrived from Else Solicitors LLP in December 2020, advises on insolvencies as part of his diverse commercial litigation practice. Former practice head Rachel McCahill departed in April 2021 to join Buckles Solicitors LLP.

Other key lawyers:

Farrah Khalid; Andy Rudkin; Kevin Modiri

Testimonials

‘The team is well informed and covers all the aspects from advice to case preparation, communication with parties involved, court representation and ensuring a suitable outcome. Their knowledge on the subject matter of insolvency is second to none.’

‘The individuals are empathetic and work closely with the client. The client’s interests are placed first. Farrah Khalid was very professional and resolute in her dealing with the complainants. She ensured I had the best outcome. Her colleague Lewis Addison was similarly very professional. They both ensured an outcome that was most appropriate for myself within the framework of the law. And they ensured the agreement of settlement was sealed without any prospect of the case re-opening or complaint.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory LLP

Kennway Francis Limited

The MacDonald Partnership

Smith Cooper

Blades Insolvency

Bridgewood Financial Services Ltd

Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

Berley Chartered Accountants

Mazars LLP

4Syte

Nucleus Property Finance Limited

Nucleus Property Finance 1 Limited

Smith Partnership

Associate Ruth Ball is the primary contact in Smith Partnership's insolvency team and assists with a broad spectrum of issues. Splitting her time between the firm's Derby and Leicester offices, Ball's practice spans contentious and non-contentious issues, and personal and corporate insolvency work; she also acts for directors in claims brought against insolvency practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Ball

Testimonials

‘Excellent team of people which excellent insolvency knowledge and rapid response to any queries.’

‘Ruth Ball is a highly experienced and knowledgeable insolvency lawyer. Very focused, persistent and excellent asset recovery in all cases referred to her. Fees charged are very cost effective.’

‘Smiths’ insolvency team is truly exceptional. They deliver a quality service to their clients by applying expert legal knowledge in a practical and comprehensible manner. I never have a moment of worry that the client’s needs and wishes will be lost.

Key clients

Smith Cooper

Moore Stephens

CFS Restructuring

KPMG

Manolete

Bates Weston

Work highlights

  • Advised Moore (Stoke) on an application to set aside a trust of deed in relation to a jointly owned property whereby the bankrupt transferred his interest in the property to his parents immediately prior to his bankruptcy.